Incubators and accelerators in Italy, the situation in Latest News

The incubators e business accelerators they are in everything 237 and occupy a total of approx 1,700 employees. But more importantly, they serve to create jobs, as they help business ideas flourish and thrive, including those that will fuel the tech companies of tomorrow. I am more than 3.600 le startup who have used their services so far e 550 million euros the total turnover of incubators and accelerators recorded in 2022. It is the snapshot that can be obtained from the report of Social Innovation Monitor (SIM), research team based at the Turin Polytechnic coordinated by Professor Paolo Landoni. SIM periodically publishes an in-depth study on the subject, thanks to a constantly updated database and the surveys it proposes to a representative sample of interested parties.

The services offered by incubators and accelerators

The latest report, released in recent days, maps the incubators and accelerators currently present in Italy, with an analysis of the main services offered. These include:

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  • managerial support through the drafting of business plans, company formation, business model development, mentoring, marketing, sales support and internationalisation;
  • physical spaces, including shared facilities;
  • entrepreneurial and managerial training;
  • funding search support, including help in investor dialogue;
  • administrative, legal and legal services;
  • support in the management of intellectual property;
  • support in the development of networking relationships with research centres, universities, state bodies, companies and other incubated enterprises;
  • support for technology development and scouting;
  • social and environmental impact assessment services of incubates;
  • training and consultancy on business ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility.

Definition of incubator and accelerator

Slight differences, but a common goal

The research starts from definition itself of incubator and accelerator, which can be distinguished by the type of subject supported and by some recurring characteristics in one or the other case. The incubator mainly supports entrepreneurial teams that have not yet transformed into companies or newly established organizations, therefore in the phase of early stage. The accelerator, on the other hand, mainly supports companies that have already started, albeit recently, and usually have less support time than incubators. Basically there are no shared and unambiguous definitions, given that both have the same objectives. If anything, the differences concern the context in which incubators and accelerators are born and developed: university, corporate, open innovation, etc.

CDP certified incubators and accelerators

A separate discussion is that of the certified incubators registered in a special section of the Business Register pursuant to art. 25, paragraph 5, of Legislative Decree 179/2012, subsequently integrated with the Decree of 22 December 2016 of the Ministry of Economic Development. To date, there are 60 certified incubators and to find out what the requirements must be to be able to register, you can consult the summary guide prepared by the chamber of commerce system.

This year the research also analyzed accelerators created starting from 2021 by Deposits and Loans Fund (CDP) in the National Accelerator Network. At the end of 2022, 16 accelerators of the network had started up. Created in partnership with other entities, they are evenly distributed throughout Italy: 5 in the north-west of the peninsula, 4 in the north-east, 4 in the central regions and 3 in the south.

Subdivision by type supported

A further classification of the types of incubators and accelerators is that which refers to the recognized support, or not, of organizations with a significant social and environmental impact. Based on this subdivision, they are distinguished Business Incubator, Mixed Incubator e Social Incubator. In the latter, more than 50% of incubated organizations have peculiarities attributable to a significant social and environmental impact.

Incubators and accelerators, news and trends

In general, the report attests to a slight growth of past incubators and accelerators from 229 in 2021 to 237 in 2022. 55% are located in northern Italy, with Lombardy alone hosting 57, followed by Emilia Romagna (29) and Lazio (22). Although the number is lower in the South, equal to 18% of the total, the double-digit increases in Campania (from 6 to 16) and Puglia (from 7 to 14) should be noted. That means both opportunities for new business ventures in this part of the country and for those who can join incubators and accelerators as employees.

Suffice it to say that the national population of workers has almost tripled, going from 577 to the current 1,700. Numbers that take into account the small size of these organizations, given that around 67% have 5 or even fewer collaborators and that the average turnover is equal to 0.60 million euros. An average that a small number of incubators and accelerators brings to 2.33 million euros, but which actually falls below the majority of the realities considered.

Finally, if we look at the total funding disbursed, we discover that it was 155 million euros, with an average of 1.97 million euros per project. Average that drops to the “median” 0.20 if we exclude the percentage of the 25 incubators and accelerators that gave each of the organizations more than 1 million euro.

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