By Martin Olczyk, Managing Director of the Techstars Cities of the Future Accelerator
After two programs focused on Smart Mobility, Techstars is launching Italy’s first-ever accelerator focused on Smart Cities, investing in companies that disrupt the way we live today, providing new solutions for growing populations, transportation, housing, energy, infrastructure challenges as well as for employment and basic services such as education and health care.
The inaugural class of the Torino Cities of the Future Accelerator is composed of 12 high-potential European companies. These are exciting times for our founders, the city of Turin, and for our program partners, Fondazione Compagnia di San Paolo, Fondazione CRT, and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center.
European Tech is on Fire
Over the past months, we met hundreds of international companies virtually and in person, while traveling across Germany, Eastern Europe, and Italy. We looked at thousands of companies across different industries and found an amazing group of founders. For the first time in the history of our program, all our companies are headquartered in Europe.
Start-ups in Europe have received a record $120 billion in funding in 2021, according to a report from venture capital firm Atomico, roughly three times the $41 billion of capital raised in 2020. Early-stage investment levels are now “on par” with U.S. levels. This trend is aligned with the incredibly high number of companies we have seen during the recruiting period. Techstars is running programs in 7 European cities in 2022 investing in more than 100 early-stage companies.
Paving the way for a booming ecosystem in Italy
The applications were highly competitive again, and this time, all of the companies that made it to the final stage came out of Europe. We look forward to adding these 12 ambitious companies to our portfolio, joining us from Italy, Germany, the UK, Hungary, Ukraine, France, Switzerland, and Romania. This class represents a wide range of industries, with very international founders’ roots and a diverse pool of four female CEOs, five teams with Italian founding members, and three Torino-born companies. Compared to our first program in 2020 with two Italian teams, this represents a great indication of a growing ecosystem in Italy. We have not only 5 selected Italian teams but we met dozens of very promising companies across Torino, Milan, Napoli, Rome, and many more online in cities we haven’t heard of - yet!
Torino is growing to become Italy’s Smartest City
Our alumni companies have already benefited from the Turin Ecosystem over the past two years, thanks to the support of local mentors, through various partnerships with Italian Corporates and pilots with the local Municipality such as the Torino City Lab and the House of Emerging Technologies projects.
The City offers a unique platform for young technology companies where founders can access testing possibilities across autonomous mobility solutions, drones, 5G, data, circular economy, aerospace, health, and robotic companies, just to name a few.
The program will run again from our HQ in Italy, OGR Torino, and will culminate in Demo Day on Thursday, 21st April. Mark your calendars and join us - this will be the first in-person Demo Day if the situation allows it.
It is my pleasure to introduce the Class of 2022 for the Torino Cities of the Future Techstars Accelerator:
The 360° essential solver for New Parents.
A portable device that guides and corrects users' movements.
The Flexibility Orchestrator for EV Smart Charging and V2X.
A SaaS platform for companies in the aviation industry.
Eliminate the scammers making money with your IP.
We make cameras smart and GDPR compliant.
Electricity marketplace powered by artificial intelligence.
We enable remote containerised cargo inspections and automated claims resolution.
A Proptech startup for Digital Twins management by actively using buildings live data in a sustainable way.
An electric mobility one-stop marketplace for companies needing to electrify their vehicles fleet.
Fleet optimization software for electric cars, vans and buses.
A smart integration marketplace that enables the seamless global trade of waste and recovery commodities, goods, and services.