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Companies and startups in the digital transformation tornado: the search for innovation


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  • Date November 29, 2018
  • Observatory Hi-Tech Start-up
  • Language English
  • Function Innovation/Strategy


In 2018 Italian hi-tech startups that were granted equity funding collected 267 million euros more than in 2017 nearly doubling the sector’s overall value. The growth was registered in all sectors: investments by formal players double, from 107 million in 2017 to 215 million in 2018. At the same time, financing by informal players, the second component determining overall value, is also growing considerably and consistently (+58%) to nearly 154 million euros (from the registered 98 of 2017). The international financing element is, this year too, confirmed as extremely relevant and growing strongly compared to the previous year, reaching 229 million euros (38.3% on overall growth), +82% compared to 126 million euros registered in 2017. Average financing collected by the 78 startups funded in 2017 increased compared to previous years: the balance shows how 46% of rounds exceed the symbolic 1-million-euro threshold.
The main results of research all clearly point in one direction: the need to “systemize”, to converge towards strong collaboration between all players involved. To enable the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, each component must do their share and be given their share of value in return. In this critical development phase towards the creation of a solid platform for Italian startups and scaleups, it is therefore fundamental to maintain how collaboration between startups and other players of the ecosystem, including incumbent companies, creates mutual value and multiple benefits. This providing that such collaboration has the structural characteristics we have called “3S”: it must be systematic, meaning it has to be pursued steadily as part of an integrated plan; strategic, to provide the possibility of creating and capturing new opportunities, impact on performances and on the long term competitive advantage; and scientific, because it requires the adoption of experimental and scientific approaches to entrepreneurship (e.g. Lean Startup Approaches) based on the test and on measuring the results of the original business models stemmed from entrepreneurial initiatives.

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