StartUp Ecosystem Day: innovation conquers the BBS Community

13 March 2024

Bologna, Villa Guastavillani, a day that is anything but an ordinary afternoon. The StartUp Ecosystem Day, now in its eighth edition, is back.

The busy hustle and bustle of participants and organizers resemble those of great occasions. The ancient walls of Bologna Business School’s historic headquarters seem to placidly watch over the hurried pace of a special day dedicated to innovation and entrepreneurship. After all, the past and future are now intertwined in the school’s DNA, thanks not only to the educational activities that take place there daily but also through initiatives like the StartUp Ecosystem Day. “This is the right time to think outside the box and turn ideas into reality,” said Alessandro Pastore, Industry Leader of the Global MBA in Green Energy and Sustainable Businesses, emphasizing the importance of a proactive approach to innovation.

The StartUp Ecosystem Day is a platform for young professionals, executive profiles, and entrepreneurs to meet and exchange ideas, promoting interaction between theory and practice and openness towards innovative business models. The event, which reflects Bologna Business School’s commitment to bridging academia and the entrepreneurial world, aims to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and support an open and future-oriented business vision, where innovation, entrepreneurship, and education come together to acquire new tools and tech skills for tackling ever-new challenges. As highlighted by Loza Tamirat, Business Analyst at Vertiv, “Today, technology supports and enriches almost every aspect of our lives.”

As the rooms come to life and meetings kick off, there is an immediate sense that the numbers will be significant this year and that participation will be high. This feeling will be confirmed by the end-of-day statistics: thanks also to the collaboration with the Metropolitan City of Bologna, the 2024 edition has gathered 116 startups and more than 500 participants, confirming the event as a reference point for the Bologna Business School Community and for the entrepreneurial fabric of the region.

The sessions of the StartUp Ecosystem Day revolved around crucial themes such as Agri-Food/Food-Tech, Automotive and Automation, Clean-Tech and Energy, Design, Fashion, Made in Italy, Digital Services, ICT, and Fintech. These areas, crucial for sustainable development and innovation, allowed participants to explore alternative ideas and solutions, enriching the entrepreneurial ecosystem with new stimuli and perspectives and fostering interdisciplinary dialogue. A common thread among the conversations within the different panels was the need for a sustainable energy transition. Those who want to start a business today should “Move forward with energy, making it safer, cleaner, and more efficient for people and the planet,” as stated by Stefano Terzi, Industrial & Energy Technology – Digital Product Management Executive at Baker Hughes, emphasizing the importance of responsible innovation.

Among the participants and panellists, prominent figures such as Micaela Farchi, Innovation Consultant at Gellify, Antonio Marotta, Founder of Quinck, and many others shared their visions, highlighting how innovation is essential to tackle future challenges. “We all know that the secret recipe ingredients for a successful startup are not so secret,” said Andrea Pia, emphasizing the transparency and accessibility of entrepreneurial knowledge.

The AgriFood Round Table highlighted the importance of financial investment in Agri-tech startups. Daniela Tontini from CRIF highlighted how it is “important to financially invest in a sector where data can be used to connect agriculture to the Italian financial systems.” Timothy O’Connell, Adjunct Professor at the University of Bologna, pointed to artificial intelligence as a catalyst for epochal change, stating that “AI will change the industry radically” and one must be prepared.

The synergy between Bologna Business School and the Metropolitan City of Bologna plays a fundamental role in promoting innovation and supporting the growth of a dynamic and inclusive entrepreneurial ecosystem. The event catalyses cultural transformation and the adoption of cutting-edge entrepreneurial practices, strengthening the bond between institutions, companies, and innovators.

With the eighth edition of the StartUp Ecosystem Day, Bologna Business School once again demonstrates its commitment to promoting innovation and supporting the development of increasingly attentive, conscious, and future-oriented entrepreneurship. The event foreshadows a year of great opportunities and further successes, not only for Bologna Business School and its community but for the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem of the territory.


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