Regione Lombardia e MUSA annunciano un montepremi aumentato a 150 mila euro, eventi di networking con fondi di Venture Capital, e premi speciali per progetti di sostenibilità, sicurezza sul lavoro e imprenditoria femminile

This morning saw the presentation of the 22nd edition of Startcup Lombardia, the competition promoted by Regione Lombardia – Direzione Generale Sviluppo Economico and MUSA – Multilayered Urban Sustainability Action, in collaboration with Lombardy’s universities and university incubators. Launched in 2003 by the Politecnico di Milano, the Startcup has become a pillar of Lombardy’s innovation ecosystem, awarding grants worth over EUR 1.1 million since 2016 thanks to regional support.Startcup Lombardia is not just a competition, but part of a broader project aimed at supporting innovation in the region.

This year, two key events will be held alongside the competition: Startcup 4 engines of Europe and the Matching Day – linked to the 0100 Conference – which aim to create connections between startups and venture capital funds. These events will take place on 28 and 29 October at Palazzo Lombardia.

The Lombardy Region’s Councillor for Economic Development, Guido Guidesi, emphasised the importance of the competition. ‘With Startcup Lombardia, 41 companies have already been set up with a total regional investment of around EUR 1 million and EUR 23 million in equity investments accumulated by the start-ups,’ Guidesi said. ‘We wanted to increase the number of partners and put in place concrete initiatives to support innovative ideas. The winning start-ups of the Startcup competition will have a guarantee granted for a maximum amount of 250,000 euro, to partially cover the equity investments made by investors through the Opstart platform’.

Giovanna Iannantuoni, President of MUSA and Chancellor of the University of Milan-Bicocca, reiterated the commitment to enhancing innovative ideas with a positive impact: ‘We want to promote advanced technological solutions that have a real and tangible impact on local communities and the environment. Collaboration between academia, institutions and the private sector is fundamental to create an ecosystem where innovation is at the service of collective wellbeing.”

Startcup Lombardia is open to aspiring entrepreneurs, teams and established companies. For the 2024 edition, the total prize money has been increased to €150,000, to be awarded to the best projects in four categories: ICT & Services, Industrial Technologies, Life Science & MedTech and CleanTech & Energy. Each category will have a winner who will receive 25 thousand euros. In addition to the category prizes, there will be Special Awards for Sustainability – Climate Change and Social Impact, each worth 25 thousand euros. This year, an additional 5 thousand euro will be awarded for projects dedicated to safety at work, highlighting the focus of the Lombardy Region on this crucial issue.

Seven Special Mentions will be awarded, including one for Female Entrepreneurship, for the best startup with at least 50% of the founders being women. In addition, up to four Special Mentions ‘Startcup 4 engines of Europe’ will be awarded in cooperation with the regions Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, Baden-Wurttemberg and Catalonia, with a total prize of EUR 10,000. Applications for Startcup Lombardy must be submitted by 1 August 2024. The first evaluation phase will end on 18 September, followed by the semifinal on 25 September, where the 12 best projects will be selected to enter the Acceleration Days. The final will be held on 23 October, with the winners gaining access to the National Innovation Award, to be held in December in Rome.