STARTUP ECOSYSTEM DAY 2021 – Virtual meetings, real results

7 January 2022

Great success for the sixth edition of the event designed to shorten the distance between the most innovative Startups and the BBS Community, which took place last December, 10th. A success revealed by both the numbers and the comments of the participants who had, once again, the opportunity to verify the effectiveness of a digital format that focuses on the needs of new businesses and young people looking for opportunities for discussion and growth. 

Also this edition, like the previous one, saw the choice of a perfect solution to meet the safety and flexibility needs of the participants, limiting travel and maximizing meeting opportunities. At the StartUp Ecosystem Day 2021, which reached the record number of about 800 total users on the platform, 70 companies took part, divided into sectors of interest such as Digital Service and ICT, Clean Tech and Energy, Automation and Robotics, Agri-Food, Life Science and Pharma.

The event was kicked off by Riccardo Fini, Director of the Entrepreneurship Hub of BBS and creator of the StartUp Ecosystem Day, who underlined the importance of working to enhance the national innovation ecosystem, promoting meeting and interaction between the most innovative startuppers and the BBS business network. A concept that was also taken up by Antonella Grassigli, Co-Founder and CEO at Doorway, Angel Investor, Partner at IAG, Co-Founder of Angels4Women and winner of the Business Angel Award 2021, who concluded the plenary session, at the end of which the thematic sessions and the one-to-one meetings started. 

Various and interesting concepts emerged during the sessions, which draw a particularly encouraging landscape of the new businesses in our country. Lucia Chierchia, Managing Partner of Gellify, as well as BBS Alumna and Executive Director of the Executive Master in Technology and Innovation Management, highlighted the need for an “innovation governance” which, combined with ” an entrepreneurial mentality that integrates internal and external competences” can give life to a road map “capable of foreseeing and removing the obstacles that may arise in the creation of a new company”. This is why, Chierchia pointed out, it is not enough to “encourage and inspire startuppers”, it is also necessary to “involve corporate managers and entrepreneurs in general”.

Alessandro Pastore, Industry leader for the Global MBA in Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses of Bologna Business School, immediately brought to the center a key theme for those who do business today: that of sustainability. If doing business is also consuming and producing energy, we must immediately ask ourselves how to deal with resources to tackle the problem and rely on competent and trained people for this purpose. “Introducing in every company a person, internal or external who deals with issues related to renewable energy” explained Pastore “must be a priority for anyone who wants to do business in the contemporary market”. A concept reinforced by the testimony of Elisa Flamini, BBS Alumna and Consultant in Beeing, a startup in the Agri-food sector, who told how the keystone was precisely the search for “a way to do business in a sustainable way from a social and environmental point of view”. The theme of sustainability therefore also affects this sector which, during the event, was represented by Ludovica Leone, Industry Leader of the Global MBA in Food and Wine at BBS who aimed to highlight the point that “many people who want to work in the food & beverage, agribusiness, actually turn into entrepreneurs: a very important resource for the school and for the entrepreneurial area of BBS.” 

When we talk about the environment, we also talk about health, a sector in which startups are called to test themselves under the pressure of one of the most demanding markets ever. “The environment in which pharmaceutical and life science companies operate” said Laura Toschi, Deputy Director of the Executive Master in Technology & Innovation Management at BBS, “is increasingly challenging, driven by an increasingly demanding health agenda. The global need for innovative and affordable medicines is growing: regulators, healthcare professionals and patients are demanding greater value for money, proven product efficacy, transparency and access to information”. 

A great challenge for those who have the attitude to accept it, in an area, that of Life Science and Pharma, which, two years after the beginning of the pandemic, continues to present itself as full of opportunities. As well as that linked to Automation & Robotics, also driven by the Automotive which, as Enrico Dente, Program and Ventures Manager of the Plug and Play Tech Center, pointed out, has a great need for innovation, but also to find a balance “between disruption and credibility “.

In short, for those in the BBS Community who want to do business and are not afraid to test themselves, there was no lack of stimuli this year. But the StartUp Ecosystem Day did not end in a single day: for the first year, in fact, the portal remained active until the end of the year, with the possibility for startups and users to interact and plan in-depth meetings.


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