SPREAD2INNO Press Release First Innovation Academy – Italy

SPREAD2INNO: Levelling up innovation at We Make Future in Bologna, Italy

The first SPREAD2INNO Innovation Academy took place in Bologna, Italy, as part of the WMF – We Make Future event on 13-15 June, 2024. At We Make Future, 70,000 participants gathered in Bologna to explore the future of AI and digital developments. Hosted by Fondazione E. Amaldi, the SPREAD2INNO innovation academy was a space buzzing with innovation and eagerness to shape the future.

The Innovation Academy was hosted by SPREAD2INNO for the first set of winners from the local startup events and included a wide variety of inspiring talks, insightful workshops, and an exciting pitch roulette. Participating startups were able to experience the following programme:

Space Economy Stage Workshops

Several sessions were hosted at the Space Economy stage, aiming to equip startups with knowledge and skills highly valuable for moving forward in the world of business and innovation. Topics covered on this stage included a workshop on business model strategies and EU environments, hosted by Fraunhofer IPK, and a keynote talk on finance & funding possibilities by EBAN, including insights into different funding sources like venture capital, angel investors, and crowdfunding, and a weighing of their advantages and drawbacks.

Future of Open Innovation and VC Stage

Combining their knowledge and expertise, the SPREAD2INNO Partners M&S and Teseas held a joint talk on Innovation Procurement and EU funds. The workshop introduced startups to the procurement landscape and up-to-date information on EU funding programmes, enhancing participants’ abilities to access new markets, expanding their operational horizons and offering companies numerous opportunities to develop new products and services using space technologies or applications in non-space environments.

One-to-one meetings

Providing expert advice and individual insights, SPREAD2INNO partners hosted one-on-one meetings for the participating startups. Topics covered included roadmaps to future milestones, tech due diligence, business model design, and public and private funds.

Pitch roulette & award ceremony

The highlight of the Innovation Academy was the thrilling pitching sessions, in which the participating startups were able to present their business and compete for one of three spots in the third phase of the SPREAD2INNO Acceleration Programme. The three startups that were able to stand out at this academy and emerged as winners are Revolv Space, Astradyne and Campsaround – congratulations!

Overall, this first SPREAD2INNO Innovation Academy provided a great place for startups to connect to stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem, learn more about a variety of areas and level up their business.

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