Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – August 2019 Novara Silicon Valley 2019

244 replies, 25 voices Last updated by Paolo Marenco 1 year, 8 months ago
  • Sara Catto

    Hello guys and good Sunday.

    In my opinion we should focus our start up in Italy: opportunities are many and we also have the possibilities to do that. I agree at first with Selene, when she says that we should know how these big realities as China and Silicon Valley operate and apply it to our models to improve themselves every day more, and after I agree also with Giorgo when he talks about the testimonies of the partecipants to the meeting held at the Fondazione Novara Sviluppo in Novara about “A3Cube: big data, supercomputers, great success” where Emilio Billi and Antonella Rubicco talked about the difficulties in dealing with asian countries related to the language, the uses and the importance of having a resident trustful correspondent over there.

    So, I would oper a start up in Italy, paying attention to the technologies and metologies used abroad to be able to stay of the times.

    Let me know what do you think about my opinion


    Eunice Curreri

    HI guys,

    Regarding Luca’s topic I would like to say that I share the line of thinking of Edoardo and Stefano, but I also agree with some of you.

    In my opinion, China offers without any doubts a lot of possibilities for a business man who wants to create or maybe just develop his start up. As Linda said, It’s an economically growing nations, so they have great investment and good innovations, but it’s all depend on the market in which you operate.

    Personally if I had to start a new business and a new start up I would choose Europe, there’s so much to take advantage of, and moreover the conference of Thursday gave me a lot to think about. Emilio and Antonella completely reversed my idea about some things; I already knew some aspects that they told us about, but listening their direct testimony is different, and I understood there are so much factors to considerate before to move out – not only the investment possibilities – and the different culture is just one of these, but also one of more important. Approaching with Asian world it’s quite difficult from what I heard, not only because of the language, but also because they have a lot of different uses that we can’t even imagine, maybe it’s sufficient get used to this, but surely must be found a local correspondent, especially at the beginning.

    A dual company is a good solutions in my opinion, taking financial funding opportunities outside the EU, but maintaining the production in our own country. We have a good market after all, a good legal regulation which protects the intellectual property and also a different way to deal and approach new ideas (and it’s not all so granted, the legal aspect is very important in each part of our lives). As already said it’s a world of sharks, and due to the fact that they are bigger, they’re also more used to see a business growing and then failing so fast, I think that especially for someone who is at the beginning it’s not so easy. The risk is a part of the game, but the consequences are not always positives.

    Concluding I would like to add that I really love to travel, discovering new cultures and learning from them, the World is big and beautiful, but I also love my country and I believe it can offers a lot. Working and living in a very different environment is another thing, and instead of just leaving we must be smart enough to take inspiration from other countries and importing a winning business strategy, always maintaining our values and skills; there are a lot of fields where we’re excellent in!

    Let me know your opinion and have a nice day!


    Stefano Garavaglia

    Good morning everyone,

    I’m glad to read that almost all of us has a common view about “doing business” in Italy or at least in Europe, it’s really encouraging and indeed a positive mind set for all of us. This is even more powerful and more important nowadays, given the presence of key hubs overseas and the harder capital market conditions in financing young new ideas, due to the high initial risk associated to the investment decision.

    I agree with Benedetta concerning the “dual company” way to raise capital, it’s a clever and efficient way to solve/avoid the issue, and I find the financing solution proposed by Giorgio really well-oriented, it underlines our nation effort in this way (even if still underdeveloped for such aspects), willing to ease the many difficulties in getting the resources to bring a new idea, a new business to life.

    Our European capital market (and not only) suffers issues such as adverse selection, that means that the financer is not able to choose which “seed” is best to fund, and moral hazard problems, given the fact that the financer can not monitor the hypothetical manager behaviour, which could be unfair. The increasing risk and the absence of real grants lead to increase the cost of capital, well captured phenomenon by the really high yield of the venture capital, long lasting funding way belonging to the private equity category which is the only chance for a non-listed entity (apart from debt) to raise capital. If the above named “seed” (early stage of a hypothetical future start-up) is associated to a high risk level, when and if it is funded, generating a start-up, the need of financial resources is going to increase; going to decrease only once the substained growth is gained and a stable and consistent income level is reached. Then, the financial need is no more negative and the associated risk is really low, and shareholders can proceed to a cash-out phase carrying out an IPO or simply selling the firm.

    To give some numbers, data, every thousand business plans undergone by young entrepreneurs, hundred are valued worthy to get a meeting, half of them bring to the run of a due diligence, and in the end only ten business plans are funded. That means that the possibility to get the investment, the chance to succeed, is only one percent. That’s to argue that a succesful start-up need not only a good idea, but also a strong base around which to be developed, a good revenue forecast and the real credibility around these.

    In economies such as US, market-oriented, there is a real integration between public and private equity, easying the cash-out perspective and also the funding decision; while in bank-oriented structures such as the European one in which the venture capital is low developed, especially in Italy, this “working method” is more difficult to be carried.

    An often underestimate funding way, on my view, could be crowdfunding (34bn dollars raised overall), which means that everyone who believes in the idea, or simply wants to invest a small amount of money in a project can do it, funding start-ups (among the others) on online platforms, obviously not for free (it could be so). What you can get back depends on the scheme choosen by the firm, from a non-money reward to interests on your “loan”, from equity partecipation to royalties. The strength points of crowdfunding are many: capillarity, low money-entity, everyone can do it.

    What do you guys think about it?

    Have a good start of week,



    HELLO GUYS, how are you??


    I am writing to inform you that I totally agree with @lucalost’s concept regarding the investment size of China, since this year it invested 58,8 billion dollars against 6,5 of Europe. Furthermore, another essential factor for the start up development is the overtaking process of the early stage, that in Europe represents a critical problem.
    Despite these facts, we must consider many others aspects, such as the field where you would operate, the product you would offer. For istance, China miss a great leadership culture, good development ideas, sharing economy that could damage the interests of a hypotetical start-up based there.

    About the comment of @edoardoceffa, although German is a really good place for start up creation, I would also consider London, as the third largest platform in terms of  investements, as a good option in Europe.


    Finally, I guess that the main thing it’s not the initial funding availability, but the achievement of the golas of a start-up that are totally dependent on the place you choose.

    what do you think about this items?




    Luca Lostumbo

    Hey guys!! Hope everything is fine!!!

    Stefano, regarding crowdfunding, I think that this way to get funding can be valid, especially for the start-ups but not only. We should also remember that the new European rules are making it much more difficult for banks to provide credit to the bands of undercapitalized operators, with low profitability, with irregular banking relationships. One could therefore think that “crowdfunding can compensate for the failure to obtain traditional funding” . However, this phenomenon – as illustrious authors recall – “works well in countries where there are already other funding opportunities”  because “it can only be successful if it is part of a longer supply chain “.

    Crowdfunding has a series of main features that differentiate it from other types of financing: flexibility, involvement of communities, variety of its forms and the democratization of finance. In addition, the crowdfunding, in each of its models (there are four: donation-based, social lending, equity-based and reward-based), can allow you to test the validity of your projects, exposing them to the judgment of the Internet crowd and, therefore, to a multitude of people difficult to reach in other ways – thus ensuring a return not so much (or not only) economic, but in terms of feedback. Moreover, if the idea is well received by the web, a crowdfunding campaign can become a powerful marketing tool able to effectively build a valid brand image. 

    Crowdfunding, regardless of its type, could also expose to a series of disadvantages, that are some contraindications that could turn into risks or limits: information asymmetry, moral hazard and adverse selection. In the end, in both directions, there is a lack of clear unambiguous regulation of crowdfunding and related taxation.

    Moreover, in my opinion, I think the success of crowdfunding is closely linked to the culture of the country where this type of activity is carried out: countries with a digital literacy rate and greater trust in online payments are more likely to succeed than others.

    In 2017 online equity fundraisers in Italy reached 11,586 million euro, almost tripling the results of the previous year. The forecasts for 2018 speak of over 8,000 million (data updated to May 13, 2018). These are significant numbers if we consider that in 2014, only 1,308 million euros were invested in startups and innovative SMEs.

    In the end, crowdfunding is a constantly expanding phenomenon that if used with constancy and intelligence can really help in the realization of a project. Skills such as public relations (to gain investor confidence), excellent skills in the economic field and right strategic choices (web marketing, etc.) are the basis of a successful project but there are the conditions to exploit this type of financing in an optimal way.

    And you guys what do you think about crowdfunding? Let me know!!!!!

    Have a nice day, bye!!!




    Hi everyone!

    I personally have conflicting ideas about crowdfunding: on one hand I see it as a great way to use the internet, since it gives you the opportunity to contribute concretely to projects you strongly believe in and to help someone’s idea becoming reality, which is a noble cause.

    On the other hand I think this path is not strewn with roses, at least in certain respects, for example the fact that your project has to be disclosed in the public domain, which implies it could be easily stolen! So you better be sure to legally protect your start-up’s idea, and to discuss copyright issues with a lawyer maybe.

    Also, I agree with Luca when he says “the success of crowdfunding is closely linked to the culture of the country”: as much as you believe in your project, it’s not written anywhere that the funding is destined to reach its minimum initial investment.

    Crowdfunding might not have some issues that can occur with other fundraising projects, but it does have some of its own, so it’s important to know them well. Because it’s only when you do that, that you can really make the best out of it: you can raise capital and in the meantime build a community of people that believes in your idea up to the point of sustaining it even after its initial stage ended, that’s the real goal.

    One year ago, our commercial law professor suggested us to check out this italian crowdfunding platform (https://www.crowdfundme.it/) and I found it really interesting to read all the innovative and inspiring ideas people fortunately have! (It also makes me smile to see that in the first page two projects out of nine are about wine… italians!)

    Have a nice day!


    Good evening guys!

    Personally, I find crowdfunding a good way to invest in a project, I agree with @lucalost, I haven’t thought about this! Is an alternative really valid!
    Crowdfunding allows to engage people with different points of view, who  can take part in many ideas.

    Crowdfunding is an important strategy, represents a form of external communication, a kind of more formal communication with lenders, but I also know that this is an unused approach, less frequent in many realities, but it should be more frequent.

    Is a really opportunity, also to create visibility and a community of people who want to collaborate all together in what they believe.

    In my town, Biella, at High School, we organized a day where people from banks, companies..told us about this way of funding money, it was so interesting!!
    Let me know!!



    Lorenzo Daidone

    Hi everybody!

    I’m Lorenzo Daidone, I attended the Silicon Valley Study Tour this summer. This experience changed my life and my career.
    I would like to share with you my crowdfunding story. When I was selected to partecipate in the experience I was really excited but I wasn’t able to pay it…but in the end I went to California!

    For many of you the crowdfunding way could be a good opportunity.

    How did I do? Find out more at: https://youtu.be/eY5UxCM_Ras


    Hi Guys!

    Crowdfunding is a good idea!

    I think that the transparency of each project allows accessibility to anyone who wants to consult from any device connected to the network! All observers and operators interact with the authors producing added value and an enormous exchange of opinion. This also makes it’s possible to check whether there is a real market for your idea based on the public’s response. If the collection has been successful, even if the amount collected isn’t very high, the campaign offers useful data to be able to dialogue with traditional investors, demonstrating the potential of a project that was able to raise funds even if promoted with the only energies of the authors. Farther in case of an unsuccessful harvest they may suggest course correction. A successful campaign is also a great marketing operation as it’s able to capture the public’s attention, generating strong positive effects on the brand and on the professional profile of the author, increasing their reputation and trust.

    Good night.

    Matilde Trevisan

    Good evening guys!

    I’m agree with Valentina and I think that only by sharing our ideas can we improve our projects! What better way to make our dreams come true?

    Crowdfunding is spreading more and more and it has been present in Italy from only five years but it has already achieved excellent results. Here are some data: in 2017 online equity fundraisers reached 11,586 million euro, almost tripling the results of previous year. For 2018 we speak of over 8,000 million euro.

    Since the start of the law the total risk capital collected amounted to 27,391,730.

    About the platforms, the top 3 for founds raised and number of projects published from 2013 to today are: CrowdFundMe, Startsup and MamaCrowd.

    These results promise an excellent increase. With the advent of internet and digitized payments the types of financing are multiplied and have covered countless fields helping thousands of small companies and startups to become known and grow in the global market.  It is so interesting!

    Let me know!


    Sara Catto

    Hi guys!

    About the crowdfunding I think that is an excellent idea for people who want to realize their dreams, but they haven’t the finance to do that. In my opinion I think it takes courage, initiative and ability to spread the message in the best possible way, like Lorenzo did with his crowdfunding.

    Are you agree with me?



    The success of a crowdfunding campaign depends not only on the quality and validity of the project to be funded. Much depends on the affinity between project contents and objectives and potential lenders. For these reasons there are crowdfunding platforms dedicated to specific sectors, ranging from non-profit to digital, from environmental protection to the social world, from food to design, from publishing to sport, art and culture, from scientific research to innovation, to arrive at more generalist platforms or mainly regional and local diffusion.

    On the success or failure of a project could affect the model and the rules chosen for the collection and accreditation of donations.

    The main models are: donation based (does not provide any reward for the donor who made the donation), reward based (provides a reward, but not monetary, for the donor who made the donation), lending based (allows organizations and companies to give and obtain loans to and from people and companies) and equity based (allows the donor to become a shareholder of the funded and then realized project).

    When it comes to crowdfunding, one of the most recent stories that comes to mind is that of Canonical. The British company that develops Ubuntu, one of the most widespread distributions of the Linux operating system, had launched a fundraising campaign on the IndieGoGo portal between July and August. Objective: to reach $ 32 million in funding to build Ubuntu Edge, a mobile phone with Android and Ubuntu together. He did not make it, and he had to give the money back; but, with 12 million reached, it established a new record at the time, emphasizing once again the great potential of crowdfunding, the phenomenon of spontaneous donations “from below” which, although not an absolute novelty – the newspapers, for example , have always launched forms of fundraising during special calamities or to support charitable initiatives – has known a new youth thanks to the Web.

    I think that before investing any amount you need to know what you are investing, then much depends on how much you want to invest if it is a sum that you can afford to lose, any type of investment is better to consider first what amount you can risk .

    Where to go to find the best customers?

    LinkedIn, with an organic and paid strategy? Or rather an offline strategy with persuasive materials (eg a presentation package with a letter that intrigues and argues why to buy, DVDs that demonstrate the use of the product, testimonials, quotes from the media, explanation of the warranty and the method we use) direct to key decision makers on a reliable pre-selected list?

    Reviewing everything, I would also check that each content leads to a clear CTA that allows you to call directly or better to book a call with my consultant (seller) through a dynamic and high-interaction questionnaire (those made with Typeform).

    The website http://www.starsup.it/ explains a very clear idea of the new frontiers of crowfunding, take a look guys !!


    Hi guys! 

    I hope you’ve had an amazing week.

    First of all, I’d like to thank our great @lorenzodaidone for sharing with us his amazing crowdfunding experience, just the right video at the right time.

    Moving on, I want to introduce you to the new topic.

    Have you ever heard about the Moral Machine from MIT? I don’t want to tell you more about it. Just go on the website, click “Start Judging” and go through the whole process, then we will start the discussion. I’d like to know your thoughts, fears, ideas and suggestions by reference to the topic.

    A little reminder, the Novara SVST 2019 selection deadline is on December 16th, however we need to collect all your CVs within December 10th so don’t forget about it!

    Have a nice weekend,



    Hi guys,

    I just want to remind you that in order to be considered eligible for Novara SVST 2019, you need to engage with each other on EVERY proposed topic, including the last one.

    Thank you for your cooperation, let’s have some high-quality conversation here!

    Have a nice week,

    Matilde Trevisan

    Good evening,

    I did the test and I read different opinions about this topic.

    The Moral Machine present us many binary options. The choices are different for the type of pedestrian that the car could hit: males or females, children or older people, thin or overweight. The test consider different categories of people: ahomeless, criminals or employed. Often the elements of complexity can be confusing: a group of three overweight criminals who cross the pedestrian crossing with green is “more expendable” than three children who, distracted, are going through red?

    At the end of the game a sort of classification is drawn up: from the most “saved” human type to the most “sacrificed” type. The result depends on the different mix of set proposed and this make it clear how difficult it is to extrapolate the general rules that help self-driving to decide without sticking to well-defined cases previously.

    The Moral Machine is a very interesting test, especially if we consider the regulatory debate on the laws that will govern the movement of self-driving cars.

    In my opinion it is very difficult and dangerous to create a “line” that it is accepted by everyone. The variables to be considered are many and depend on the ethics of each.

    What do you think about this guys?

    Let me know


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