Exponential Growth, Abundant Resources, and Strategic Initiatives Propel Lombardy to Lead in Startup Ecosystem, Attracting Local and International Entrepreneurs

For the past decade or so, Lombardy and particularly Milan have witnessed an exponential growth in the number of innovative startups.

Currently, 50 percent of Italian startups are located in Lombardy, according to data provided by the Ministry of Economic Development and analyzed in the Mind The Bridge report, moreover, the number of new companies founded in the region has increased by 26.8 percent in 2023 alone, reaching 3,751 companies (out of a total of 14,000 scattered throughout Italy) positioned particularly in the metropolitan city of Milan which ranks first in Italy for the creation of new startups.

This trend is not causal but the result of the great availability of funding and resources that Milan and Lombardy are able to provide compared to other realities, but above all thanks to the excellent level of Milanese universities in the field of technology and the consequent mentorship activity they implement towards young entrepreneurs.

Lombardy also does not stop here and also looks to the future, with the establishment of a fund for start-ups called Lombardia Venture worth 40 million euros and the refinancing of the Microcredit program that will have a budget of 24 million euros in 2024. Not only Italian startups converge on Milan, the city is in fact capable of attracting 25 percent of foreign startups operating in Italy.

The Chamber of Commerce points out that the Lombard capital is endowed with a multicultural economic system that is much more developed and efficient than cities such as Rome, having over 5,000 foreign-invested companies operating in its territory, employing about 590,000 workers and providing an aggregate turnover of nearly 305 billion euros. But it is not only Milan and Lombardy, it is all of Northern Italy that benefits from the positive presence of start-ups: out of the total number of Italian start-ups, 6 percent are located in Piedmont, Veneto 4 percent, Trentino 2.7 percent, Friuli 2 percent and Liguria 1.4 percent.

It is therefore noteworthy that the North travels at a very different pace than the rest of the country; this is primarily due to the fact that northern startups debuted early and benefited from a more mature and welcoming entrepreneurial fabric than the central and southern regions. They have found a solid network of companies with which to collaborate and offer their services, ranging from e-commerce to customer management platforms, from cloud computing to cybersecurity.