Five South Tyrolean startups ready for launch.

Generating energy in an alternative way, preventing respiratory diseases, producing innovative and functional foods and developing a technology for the production of substances from hemp: These are the ambitious goals of five South Tyrolean start-ups. In order to achieve their goals even faster, they took part in an accelerator program initiated by the IDM Incubator at NOI Techpark and Industrio Ventures in Rovereto. To conclude the programme, the five companies presented themselves to potential investors from the Trentino-South Tyrol region on 25 May at the Hardware Start-up Accelerators Industrio.

The Participation in an accelerator program can be the turning point for a start-up: In three months, steps can be implemented that usually take much more time. The starters have to work hard and concentrate on the most important goals. Finally, the crowning achievement is to convince private individuals to invest in the project: This requires a good idea, a marketable business model and a convincing team, and the chemistry between investor and team must be right. "The Accelerator program organized jointly with Industrio and the opportunity to introduce themselves to investors are a valuable opportunity for the five start-ups," says Petra Gratl, head of the IDM start-up center, and emphasizes: "Industrio is the only hardware start-up accelerator in the region that allows companies to grow quickly and sustainably and then introduce them to potential investors". A hardware start-up is a start-up that develops physically tangible products.

The ideas to be financed come from a wide variety of areas: BPCO media is developing a medical device to prevent seizures caused by chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases, the fourth most common cause of death in Europe; the HBI start-up plants convert organic waste into energy in just five hours; Veil Energy has developed special algorithms to generate electricity due to temperature differences; Kaanabo has developed a process to use the hemp strain, which is normally thrown away, and convert it into raw fibre for tissue directly in the field. Nonnatech develops functional and probiotic food supplements based on fruit juice. Alessia Mortari, one of the founders of Nonna-tech, says about the program: "The accelerator program was an exciting experience. As part of the program, we were able to reassess our business model by looking at it critically and constructively from various angles. For example, we were supposed to talk to potential customers, which we hadn't done before, and so we found out that our product offers far more possibilities than we thought".

Accelerator programs take place within a defined, limited period of time: In this case, the programme lasted three months, from March to May 2018, starting from an existing business idea and supporting start-ups in product development and market validation: The aim is to find the right target group and carry out initial market tests. The business model will then be perfected and the team prepared to meet investors at Industrio. "During the three-month coaching session, the five companies in the accelerator had to do everything they could to raise their awareness of the product and the market," says Gabriele Paglialonga, CEO of Industrio and member of IDM's Innovation/Export Advisory Board. "Everyone has an excellent project, passion and technical expertise, and the economic expertise can be developed: "No team is'planless' when it comes to its own development goal, and that's a good sign," concludes Paglialonga.


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Five South Tyrolean startups ready for launch.