Where has your experience in BBS has taken you? The BBS Alumni share with us their projects. In this edition of BBS Alumni Network we introduce Lorenzo Salmi, Alumnus of the Master in Marketing Communication and New Media, and his project: Badeggs.
Lorenzo Salmi, Alumnus of the Master in Marketing, Communication and New Media, has a background that is very far from the culinary arts. But the experience at BBS, where the topic of food is looked at with great interest, and the encounter with a young chef with a prestigious training, has lead him to establish a startup that combines the art of cooking with a few marketing and communication tools. Digital, of course.
Lorenzo is from Bologna. Despite the attraction for the experiences he's put together abroad, he invariably comes back to his home-town to apply what he's learnt. “I've always been interested in discovering what happens in other countries. While I was at University, I went to London for a year for a project that also gave me the chance to improve my English. Then I ended up in Spain, with the Erasmus programme, in San Sebastian, in the Basque country.” His field of interest has always been clear. “After the Classical Lyceum in Bologna, I attended the Communication Sciences three-year course at University, and my final dissertation was about the diplomatic language 2.0.” In the days when he was pondering about his future after getting his degree, Lorenzo heard about the Master in Marketing, Communication and New Media at Bologna Business School. He was invited for an interview and then accepted, also being awarded a scholarship. “It was a very important experience: I extended my international cultural connections, even though I was still in Bologna. And this thanks to the Master's community, which comprises students from all over the world.” At the end of the Master's at BBS, Luca completed an internship, that lasted almost two years, for the Buenos Aires office of the University of Bologna, where he worked at the development of online communication and other aspects linked to public relations.
“Despite the fact that I only had a three-year university degree, I was looking for an opportunity that could offer me a concrete chance to start working. I'm convinced the Italian system is old-fashioned and I believe that an MS isn't the most efficient way to access the professional world of communication.” Lorenzo expresses his perplexity about a system that only focuses on an educational qualification without attaching any relevance to experience. “On the contrary, at BBS I've come into contact with the world of work and I've developed those practical skills in the business field that I'm still using.” At BBS Lorenzo understood what the word startup really means. A whole world was opened before his very eyes and he immediately took the opportunities. “The prototype of my entrepreneurial project was born inside BBS thanks to the reflections with a fellow student, after a few examples had been analysed in class. In order to test the validity of the idea I submitted it, still as a draft, to the School Dean, so to understand what I could do with it.”
“It's a new way for young chefs to consider their professional journey. We select the best students at academias and Hotel and Catering Schools. We offer them opportunities that can lead them to a job placement. The first step is being the chef for someone at their home, where the chef learns to directly relate to their customers. The second step is showcooking, during which the chef offers their skills to different brands and, in the presence of an audience, the chef experiences another way of communicating their cooking style. The third step is catering for businesses: a much more institutional type of work, much closer to the actual work they will do in restaurants, the target of the final placement.” The Badeggs system can measure the experience acquired by the chefs and how they were received. “The more opportunities one takes, the higher the chance to find a job in the catering industry.” Badeggs started off in the last weeks before Lorenzo ended his experience in Argentina. Once the prototype for the platform, which is constantly being modified from its initial beta version, was developed the team defined its legal status and an Ltd was established. “In March 2016 the “chef at home” dinners in the region Emilia-Romagna were fully operational, after a testing stage between December and February. The network is expanding and we're working on the commercial side, both in Italy and abroad. We work with 60 chefs, they all have their own profile and they have had different experiences. On average, we now organise two dinners a week.” A few partnerships with different suppliers were established. In addition to this, Badeggs' people like creating artistic formats, like the one for the Milan Design Week, where they joined forces for a shared project with Bulbo, another startup connected to the BBS community. “And now we're extending the network to chefs outside the Emilia-Romagna region.”
“I saw exciting projects and met very interesting people, with whom to establish synergies and I hope it'll be repeated more frequently, enlarging it in terms of scope and industries involved.” Lorenzo was in San Francisco, where10 startups from the Emilia-Romagna region had been invited, and Badeggs was among them, when he was asked to take part in the BBS Digital Fair. “Precisely because the food world is very hackneyed, I worked hard in order to understand what works.” We could say that Lorenzo is on loan to the food world. Not so his partner: Federico Bassi, 24, is a chef with a curriculum featuring valuable experiences. “It was him who highlighted that offering a placement after a quality path is an objective that makes the difference, in this boom of the food and wine sector. In this field, it often happens that startups are re-workings of foreign ideas, often from the States, that are relocated in the Italian context, which is culturally very different.” Lorenzo is aware he's proposing to the market an array of talents who, thanks to the platform, are also able to manage the communication side of things.
“Nowadays, it's necessary to have across-the-board skills. You can't lock yourself in the kitchen: chefs must be able to identify their target, communicate with it and involve their audience. With Badeggs we created a platform that offers visibility and multiplies practical professional experiences”. He ends with a message for the growing number of Bologna Business School's students interested in Food and Wine: “Take every opportunities. If you have an original idea connected to this topic and based on a digital platform, don't expect to get results right away. If you grow it with determination, all the pieces will click into place eventually. You need to be patient and earnestly observe what surrounds us”. This honesty doesn't lead to the delusion of those who fall in love with their idea without being able to question it, on the contrary it allows one to identify the critical issues as well, to modify and strengthen one's business idea.
Read here the other projects published.
Are you a BBS Alumnus? Do you have any project you would like to tell us about? Send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
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