2013 will go down in history as the year of the startups in Italy. Not just for the high caliber exits, like that of EOS, which was sold to American company Clovis for almost 500 million dollars. Nor for the millions (six) in investments that were brought home by Jusp in April, or the 3.7 by Musixmatch, which was also recently cited by Apple as one of the best applications of 2013. Or even because GoPago was acquired by Amazon. But 2013 will also go down in history as the year of Italian startups because of the Crescita 2.0 decree of 2012 that gave definition and action to the category of innovative enterprises by guaranteeing a series of simplifications with the scope of giving a decisive push to the sector and 200 million euros of investments to get it all started. As well as because Italy beat most countries worldwide by already creating regulations for equity crowdfunding, the fruit of which we have yet to enjoy.
What can already be seen as a result of all of this is the reaction of the ecosystem of young enterprises to these novelties: 1,456 have already enrolled in the register for innovative startups. The first on the list enrolled on Christmas Eve in 2012. The last one was on December 13, 2013, during one of the most prolific weeks for enrollment overall: from 9 to 13 December 41 new startups were registered, far above the annual average of 27. That’s more than 6 a day, or, 4 each hour. The true peak, though, was last March: from 11 to 15 March registrations reached aquota of 95 (more than 13 per day, over 2 per hour), and from 18 to 22 March another 56 startups were registered. This period was particularly busy due to the extension made to be able to get onto the special register available to startups.
The most active cities are Milan (184 startups) and Rome (126). Turin (86) takes third place and Naples andFlorence are tied with 31 new startups each. As for the regions, northern Lombardy is again in first place, followed by Emilia Romagna, which even after the earthquake of 2012 does not appear to have lost its entrepreneurial spirit.
There is still one piece of the puzzle missing for this promising picture: the implementation of the decree on tax deductions for enterprises that invest in startups. Mattia Corbetta
from the technical administration office of the Ministry of Economic Development assured Startupitalia! that the issue “will be resolved within the week and it is important to emphasize that the measure will be retroactive
for 2013”. Thus, even those who invested this year will benefit from deductions of 19%. In 2014, he adds, “we will concentrate on the creation of a bridge between startups and small and medium businesses”. Unfortunately, the intention is not to enlarge the definition of an innovative startup, thus allowing our research and development entrepreneurs to enter within the sector and receive the consequential benefits, but, rather, to encourage collaborations between startuppers and more mature entrepreneurs.
And, from what StartupItalia! has deduced, the first few months of next year will witness the official initiation of the startup ecosystem within the Expo environs: the intentions of the organizers of the world fair set to be held in Milan in 2015 is that of giving space to food and the environment in the Italy pavilion. The selection will be made together with the Ministry of Economic Development.
Closing things out with the current year, a note should also be made of the visa approval for startuppers within the Destinazione Italia initiative. Now, it will take 60 days for the conversion in Parliament and then things can begin.