Silicon Valley Study Tour

Marco Marinucci, founder of the Mind the Bridge initiative, share with us some considerations on the first edition.

"It's been a thrilling evening.
In front of a full room filled with over 250 people (probably the busiest SVIEC event I have been to) who included the Ambassador Spogli and a delegation of 55 senior Italian executives, in the Silicon Valley for a 2dd tour organized by the US embassy.
Here below, I share with you a short version of the speech I gave for the announcement of the finalists.

The one thing I would add now is the following:
the 6 great projects who were selected by the Selection Committee are not necessarily the only "winners" of the initiative.
Our bottom line objective is to create links, opportunities, bridges, as well as mentoring, for every participant. Thus, while we are starting planning the road show for the finalists, we are also brainstorming internally to define the next steps *also* for the other projects.
So stay tuned to get more news!


Mind theBridge is a collective effort.
I know this is something that you are used to hearing.
However, in this specific case, this is really the case.
The whole concept of Mind the Bridge, of creating bridges, is based upon the assumption that this can work only as a collective effort.
I want to recognize, first of all, the support given by the other members of the initiative’s Organizing committee:
- Jeff Capaccio (no need of introduction)
- Matteo Daste co-founder of BAIA (business Association Italy America)
- Richard Boly from the US Embassy to Italy
- Luigi Orsi Carbone, representing First Generation Network, the newly created network of Italian entrepreneurs of first generation
These poor 4 folks have to bear the crazy last minute conference calls constantly in the last 3 months.
The 2 that are based in Italy are used now to get my calls right in the middle of the “telegiornale”…
And then Alberto Cecioni, who’s responsible for all the communication of the initiative.
And, of course, the Selection Committee, composed by 9 members who had the hardest job: selecting the projects that could (potentially) be the best fit with the initiative, out of a pool of 50-something business plans that we received in (just) 1 month (that shows the demand the there’s out there for what we are doing).
What is even more remarkable is that the Selection Committee had to go through this process from practically Christmas eve, to …last night. Pretty remarkable, indeed.
So, here they are:
First of all Anna Gatti (a colleague from Google) who accepted to be also the coordinator of the selection committee (she didn’t know what she was getting herself into!)
Alberto Sangiovanni-Vincentelli, from University of California Berkeley
Fabrizio Capobianco, from Funambol
Giacomo Marini, from Noventi Venture Capital
Fausto Boni, from 360 Capital Partners (in Italy)
Dino Vendetti, from Formative Ventures
Alessandro Biral, from Keynote Ventures
Vittorio Viarengo , from Oracle
Eric Stein, from Google

I know I’ve been the pain in your back for the last 3 weeks.
So, Thanks so much for your precious help.
Round of applause for them, please.

WOW, I feel like at the night of the OSCARs with all these thanks.

So, here’s the response:
Out of a pool of about 50 business plans ranging from reselling shishi marble di-carrara to Californians, to molecule production, to Viticulture technology,
The selected projects are:
(getting even more Oscar-like here..)
• VivaBioCell (the area is biotech, tissue engineering)
• Econoetica (multimedia for tourism)
• Nano4Bio (bio sensors, cell cultivation)
• Blucape (mobile wireless)
• BioMan (biotech, food supplement)
• Ingenia (energy control)

As you may imagine, the selection process has not been simple, but we believe that we picked projects that give a good representation of what Italian entrepreneurs have to offer today.
We are also confident that those are the projects where we, as a community, have some added value to offer them.

What are the next steps?
Next week, we’ll be selecting the list of mentors who will work with the entrepreneurs to sharpen their Business Plan and presentation and prepare it for the final tour in the Silicon Valley . Such mentors (coordinated by Luigi Orsi-Carbone) are, successful entrepreneurs or managers who share and mentor through their own experience.
Finally, we’ll be bringing the selected projects here, in Silicon Valley, to showcase their projects the first week of April.
We’ll be also hosting an event in San Francisco, where the entrepreneurs will deliver their “elevator pitch” on April 1st (it’s not an April fools joke!).
So, stay tuned, and we hope to see you all there.


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Comment by paolo marenco on January 24, 2008 at 2:33am
Dear Marco, yesterday we had a great oportunity at Cosimo Spera conference by PoliTorino. I invited to attend Ingenia, one of the 6 Mind the Bridge selected, that, as you know, is one of the 2 from Piemonte. I was happy that Ingenia representative was present and told about their goal and their MTB great opportunity...Will they be another " Funambol case" in the energy sector?? we do hope so...!






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