BEST PROGRAM

BEST PROGRAM

It is focused on creating high-tech startups in Italy by the best and brightest Italians through an exchange program with Silicon Valley.

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The program

MISSION

To stimulate economic competition and the creation of a high-tech entrepreneurial culture in Italy by transferring best US cultural and business practices through an innovative exchange program with Silicon Valley.

Launched in 2007, BEST is today a successful program ready to be scale-up to support Italy’s change.

What

BEST is a bilateral Italy-USA program.

The most important of the industry and with the best track record of successes.

Who

It is a cooperation between the US Embassy in Italy, the Fulbright Commission in Italy, INVITALIA and Italian General Consulate in San Francisco.

BEST is managed by a Steering Committee.

How

Three modules: education, training on the job and mentoring to create a startup in Italy.

It is funded by companies, institutions and the Italian Regions who can use the European Social Fund for Entrepreneurship (ESF).

Target

Italian citizens (<35 years old) in possession of a Bachelor degree or Graduated or PhD or attending a PhD. The program is open to students in art, fashion and design.

ABOUT US

The Steering Committee manages and ensures that BEST winners have access to the Italian and US ecosystem to launch and grow their start up.
Invitalia is the implementing partner for Italy.

Steering Committee

John R. Phillips

US Ambassador to the Republic of Italy and the Republic of San Marino

Ronal P. Spogli

CEO Freeman & Spogli, Los Angeles,  former US Ambassador to Italy (2005-2009)

David H. Thorne

Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State, former US Ambassador to Italy (2009-2013)

Fernando Napolitano

Italian Business & Investment Initiative CEO, New York, Chairman of BEST SC

Domenico Arcuri

CEO Invitalia

Massimo Bergami

Dean Alma Graduate School

Luigi Capello

CEO LUISS Enlabs

Yves Confalonieri

Direttore Contenuti Mediaset Premium

Donato Iacovone

CEO Ernst & Young Italia

Maximo Ibarra

CEO Wind

Francesco Inguscio

BEST Alumnus

Claudio Giuliano

Managing Partner Innogest

Marco Marinucci

CEO Mind the Bridge, San Francisco

Massimiliano Montefusco

Marketing Director Radio Dimensione Suono

Luigi Nicolais

Chairman CNR (Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche)

Elizabeth Robinson

Quadrivio/TT Ventures Investment Director

Francesco Venturini

CEO Enel Green Power

Elizabeth McKay, Nicholas Giacobbe 

US Embassy in Italy

Objectives

This program allows those with leadership -- desire to experiment, perseverance to overcome obstacles, ambition to succeed, courage of knowledge, confidence that change is a must, determined to be an actor of positive change in Italy -- to learn how to create a successful business working-out in the best world’s gym: Silicon Valley.

Change your life. Change Italy.

Selection workflow

How It Works

  • TENDER NOTICE

    The tender is managed by the Fulbright Commission in Italy and issued on December; it ends on March 30 of the following year.

    Each candidate submits his/her idea by filling the forms that will find online (Fulbright Italy website)

  • SELECTION

    After a first selection of the application received on-line, the candidates with the best ideas will be invited to Rome for an interview in English.
    Members of the Fulbright Commission, industry experts and a representative of the University of Santa Clara compose the selection committee.

  • WINNERS

    The Fulbright Commission announces the winners by the end of May.
    The winners leave for Santa Clara University at the beginning of September.

The scholarship covers all costs: taxes and tuition fees, housing, monthly allowance, health insurance, program fees, books, transportation, orientation program in Italy before departure and an orientation program upon arrival.

Key Performance Indicators

Numbers at a glance: Startup and jobs created, sales, projects funded and other key indicators that confirm the success of BEST program.
63Winners (including the current 2014/2015 class)
37high tech startup created in Italy
30Million Euro of financing rounds, primarily by US funds
9.5million euro total turnover by the 37 startup
320new jobs created
4countries where the startup operate: Italy, Singapore, UK, Usa
7editions to date. The 8th will be on September 2015
16Italian Regions of origin of the 63 winners
tabella-5-eng

Startups created through BEST

Selected video interviews of startup founders

Complete list of startup

  • JMTVideo www.jmtvideo.com
    Startup settore advertising – rif: Vincenzo De Laurentiis
  • Lambda Energy (sito non disponibile)
    Startup in ambito solare / energy – rif: Francesco Riboli
  • LimeLab www.limelab.it
    Startup settore design – rif: Roberto Carisi
  • Material Recovery Systems www.mrssnc.com
    Startup servizi industriali – rif: Antonio Gentile
  • Nuvolab www.nuvolab.com
    Acceleratore di startup privato – rif: Francesco Inguscio
  • Qiris www.qiris.it
    Acceleratore di stratup privato – rif: Nicholas Caporusso
  • Quipu www.quipu.eu
    Startup biomedicale – rif: Elisabetta Bianchini
  • Remembrane www.remembrane.com
    Startup biomedicale – rif: Alexandros Chatgilialoglu
  • Slowd www.slowd.it
    Startup in ambito design – rif: Stefano Rossi
  • Smania www.smania.info
    Startup settore medicale, rif; Silvia Bossi
  • T4ALL www.t4all.it
    Startup Web & Mobile Software company – rif: Giovanni Luca Daino
  • Tec Star www.tec-star.it
    Startup Nanotech – rif: Lorenzo Calabri
  • TechOnYou www.techonyou.com
    Startup Biomedicale
  • TechPeaks techpeaks.eu
    Acceleratore di startup pubblico (provincia autonoma di Trento) – rif: Paolo Lombardi
  • Terapiasicura www.terapiasicura.it
    Startup settore medicale – rif: Riccardo Petelin
  • The Algae Factory www.thealgaefactory.com
    Startup settore food – rif: Pierluigi Santoro
  • Treedom www.treedom.net
    Startup settore sostenibilità ambientale – rif: Lorenzo Martelletti e Federico Maria Grati
  • ViaggiVerdi www.viaggiverdi.it
    Startup settore travel – rif: Simone Riccardi
  • Vubi.co www.vubi.co
    Startup software – rif: Paolo Meola

Donors

poste
us-embassy

ITALIAN REGIONS

The Italian regions have the opportunity to use the European Social Fund for Entrepreneurship.

To date only two Italian regions activated it: Emilia Romagna and Tuscany

The European Social Fund (ESF) is the main policy tool used by the EU to support employment, ensure more equitable employment opportunities for all.

The ESF invests in human capital: workers, young people and those in search of a job. With a budget of € 10 billion a year, the ESF will increase the employment prospects of millions of European citizens, paying particular attention to who is more difficult to find work.
For more information click here.

 

The ESF to Italy in 2007-2013 amounted to € 14 billion from EU funds (6.9 billion €) and National (€ 7 billion).

The goal of BEST is to award least 300 Italians per year at a cost of Euro 525,000 per Region

The European Social Fund 2014-2020 is enhanced especially in the following areas:

  • establishment of a minimum in the ESF budget allocated to each category of regions, the highest elevation of the previous one (about 25% for the less developed regions, 40% for those “in transition” and 52% for the more developed ones);
  •  in total it comes to at least EUR 84 billion for the ESF against 75 of the current programming

 

(Source: http://europalavoro.lavoro.gov.it/europalavoro.lavoro.gov.it/EuropaLavoro/Varie/programmazione-2014-2020)