This last June 25th history was in the making at the Palazzo dell’Innovazione in Naples. City administrators, regional politicians, university professors, scientific researchers, innovators, startuppers and foreign diplomats came together to support Unite the Two Bays – From Vesuvio to Silicon Valley…and back and to reaffirm Naples’—and Campania’s—position as some of today’s pivotal worldwide centers for creative innovation. And not only that, but also to reaffirm that the Campania Region and the city of Naples can offer much more than just sanitary emergencies and criminal wars as one may be misled to believe from frequent media reports. That beyond stereotypes these are much more complex and rich realities than the monochromatic picture provided by media reports. Than they are hubs of creative thinking and disruptive innovation, and that because they are at the crossroad of major demographic trends and migratory patterns they can, more than other realities, hybridize different ethnic belief, divergent cultural traditions, and diverse economic models into a new multi-ethnic, multi-cultural, and more tolerant experience of social development.
A project that strives to establish a permanent communication channel between Naples and San Francisco to foster cultural and economic exchanges, Unite the Two Bays seeks to advance an image of Naples and Campania as a hot-spot of innovation technology.
Launching the contest “From Vesuvio to Silicon Valley and back”, Campania Felix and Skillpoint (the promoters of Unite the Two Bays) intended to stimulate the birth of a bi-costal social network comprised of individuals, companies, local administrations, and politicians who could work together to build a digital bridge between the Bay of Naples and the “other city by the Bay”, San Francisco, and to link the Regione Campania to Silicon Valley with the intent to facilitate the meeting between innovative ideas in search of founding and transoceanic venture capitalists in search of an out-of-the-box project to finance.
Partnering with seminal initiatives such as the Job Creator Tour promoted by San Francisco based Mind the Bridge Foundation, Campania Felix and Skillpoint intend to simulate the growth of creative enterprising and of cutting edge production experiences in Naples and in Campania, and to offer fertile economic opportunities and which could lead to job creation for youths aspiring to participate through their original contribution to the economic recovery and the cultural resurgence of Naples, and the entire Campania region.
The selection of three startups to be awarded a fellowship to participate to the Mind the Bridger’s Startup School in San Francisco this coming winter, On June 25th at the PICO has been is a first, small step in this direction, and confirmation of our undefeatable belief that Naples speaks innovation, and can provide occasions for growth to forward-looking thinkers and smart operators who are able to work at the intersection of local economic interests and global technological trends.
The quality, the breadth and the depth of the projects presented by the stratups that have participated to “From Vesuvio to Silicon Valley..and back” did nothing but to further confirm this belief. For what we gathered from their presentations these startups are positioned at the forefront of an original form of socially minded startupism that while creates new entrepreneurship strives to resolve local and global issues. For almost the totality their creators have identified a social need, an area of public life suffering from neglect, and/or a business function needing improvement and have moved in with a technological and business solution that provides a novel answer to those unmet needs and demands. We dare to believe that on June 25th at Pico we have seen the Napolitan way to people’s centered technological innovation and economic growth.
We must thank Campania Innovazione, CESVITEC, Bank Cooperative Credit Naples, Moncada Energy USA, MobileIron, and Dorothy and Enzo Torresi for the support they have provided to From Vesuvio to Slicon Valley..and back, and for providing founding for the three fellowships.
Of the 25 startups that participated to From Vesuvio to Silicona Valley…and back, 8 were selectd for the final presentation of June 25 to the mentors od Mind the Bridge Foundation and Venture Capitalists: Buzzoole; Natural Intelligent Technologies; Epi-c; Rehub; Intertwine; Ship Performance Monitoring; SetLife, YouareYou. Three of the eght finalists were selected for Mind the Bridges’ Startup School: Epi-c; YouAreYou, and SetLife.
In Attendance: by videoconference from San Francisco: Paolo Pontoniere, Managing Director of Campania Felix, Llc.; Mauro Battocchi, Italian Consul General of San Francisco – Paolo Barlera, director of the Italian Cultural Institute in San Francisco; Jeff Capaccio, President SVIEC, and NIAF Western Regional Director. From Naples: Representing the Campania Region Guido Trombetti, Vice President, and Fulvio Martusciello, Assessor Guido Development.
Representing the City of Naples Luigi De Magistris, Mayor; Enrico Panini, Councilor to Development. For the Consulate General of the United States of America in Naples Donald L.Moore, Consul General. For the CESVITEC, Giuseppe Oliviero, Vice President – For C.N.R. Ing Giuseppe De Pietro, Director of Naples’ field office. For Istituto for Foreign Trade dr.Lucio Coggiatti. For Skillpoint, Dr. Luciano Serafini.
Giving appointment for 2014 edition of “From Vesuvio to Silicon Valley… and back,” we wish to thank all those who made it possible with their contribution and commitment to the realization of the event: the sponsors, institutions, promoters, partners, the participants.
Campania Felix, Llc., and Skillpoint would also like to thank all those who have dedicated their time and their personal times, including: Antonio Marciano, Eduardo Imperiale, Enrico Panini, Luigi Iavarone, Marco Marinucci and Alberto Onetti of Mind the Bridge Foundation, Riccardo Luna of CambiamoTutto, and the 40 and more startuppers who participated in the contest and demonstrate that Naples and Campania are a true hot spot of creativity.
In the coming months we will continue to follow our startuppers , accompanying them virtually to San Francisco and waiting for their return to talk about their experience, and share the know-how they will have acquired.
See you soon
Paolo Pontoniere & Luciano Serafini of Campania Felix and Skilpoint