Home Forums Silicon Valley Study Tour – 20-26 August 2017 Milano Silicon Valley 2017

35 replies, 10 voices Last updated by Marta Pancaldi 6 years, 4 months ago
  • Paolo Marenco

    Here we are! Ready to start the selection of Milano University attendees to SVST

    We start this year in Milano Bicocca University after the great Tour just concluded with an attendee, Marco Pastore, selected from iBicocca initiative last year. We start again from iBicocca, with the great meeting of November 21, I’ll be there, join us!

    Paolo Marenco

    Hey all, here you can find the great Report of our last SVST written by your UNI Bicocca Colleague Marco Pastore…read and comment, what   impresses you more?

    Marco Pastore

    Hi everyone! I hope there will be many UniBicocca’s students interested in this project. The Silicon Valley Study Tour is something extraordinary that will change your lifes. Trust me. I joined the tour of last year and it has been an incredible experience. Have the possibility to enter in the major techcompanies and university of the SV and to see how they work and how they study is something really exciting that will help you to understand where is going the future and will totally change your mindset. We (italians) have got much to learn and to bring back form the SV mentality, but at the same time ‘be italian’ is really appreciated there because they say we have got trasversal skills which are really important in a business. So the SVST is a fantastic opportunity both for who desire to understand more about the area and take ispiration, both for those (especially  IT scientist, Data scientist, Designers) are searching good work-opportunities. What are you waiting for?

    If you wanna know more about the Tour read the report of last year here linked above and if  there are any questions do not hesitate to contact me: m.pastore9@campus.unimib.it

    Good luck!



    Hi everyone, I’m Emanuel and I’m a student of Bicocca, I met Marco Pastore and Paolo Marenco thanks to Ibicocca.

    Marco spoke about San Francisco and Silicon Valley, he impressed me when he told about SV’s people, they don’t think/spoke about the present but only about the future of the innovation.  I can’t believe that Facebook has 7000 workers, in my town we are 10000 people :O !!!! I want their salary ahahaha.



    Paolo Marenco

    I advice you to read (at least) the abstract of this inspiring book 

    Paolo Marenco

    To start the year, you can find the preliminary program of Silicon Valley Study Tour August 2017 (final program only at early August)

    • This reply was modified 6 years, 6 months ago by Paolo Marenco.
    Luca Signori

    Hi everybody! How are you? My name is Luca Signori. I am new here but, like you, I’m a big fan of innovation and digital technology.

    For the subject of my first post, I would like to share with you my views on the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. It is the largest fair dedicated to consumer electronics products in the world, beginning in early January.
    Of the many technological innovations that have been presented, these are the innovations that I liked the most:

    From the Internet of Things sector, I was particularly struck by Lumigent, a LED lamp that does a lot of things. It is voice controlled and judging by the way you speak with it, it positions itself in one way rather than another; it is able to establish just the right amount of light output and allows you to take a selfie handsfree. These qualities were what allowed it to earn the prestigious CES 2017 Innovation Award Honoree. I don’t know what impression it gives you, but to me it looks like it’s come down to Earth from an alien planet. But if he was able to accomplish an achievement so important it is surely something to look out for!



    The most beautiful and strange surprise of the year instead comes from two new innovations that are revolutionary to me.
    The first is the Royole Flex Phone, a smartphone that can keep on your wrist like a bracelet. Thanks to this dual functionality you can choose whether to answer the call and hold the phone to your wrist, or unroll it and bring it closeer to your ear as you normally do: cool! But not only that. When you choose to keep it in the bracelet mode it also functions as a fitness tracker.


    The second is the Essential Vibrating Connected Jeans, jeans that indicate which direction to take depending on vibrations from either the left or the right pocket. They were presented by the French company Spinali Design, who has designed several models that can be connected to your smartphone by Bluetooth.



    Finally, among the novelties of the automotive industry, the most anticipated at CES, I was intrigued by the new Volkswagen electric mini bus, reminiscent of Bulli from the Fifties and Sixties. Volkswagen I.D. Buzz is the name chosen by the German automaker. It allows you to configure at your leisure the interior of the cockpit and charging takes place wirelessly via positioning of the vehicle over an induction plate. However, it will not be ready before 2020, so, just as with many other prototypes at CES, we will have to wait a little to see it in circulation.



    Lasts a couple of considerations.

    The first, is a personal block, which I’m already working on. I’ve always been a big believer in technology and I believe in its power to improve our lives, but that applied to cars, and all that is called automotive, I still find hard enough to prescribe to and digest. This is especially the case when it comes to self-driving cars. Let me explain: I can’t even imagine driving inside a car without automatic transmission, which is what I’ve learned to use when I went to driving school. Here it is. The idea of ​​driving on the road and sitting comfortably as you would on a couch, without having to steer or have your feet on the brakes is unnerving. However, I am still convinced that technology (and especially electric cars, I’m a big supporter) will manage to find a way to make me feel comfortable with the idea.
    The second consideration is more of an anecdote which I want to tell. Years ago, in my classes with the driving instructor, when we took the car out to “practice”, there were two things that fascinated me and at the same time left me unsettled. One: you turned on the car by pressing a button on the dashboard, along with the clutch and two: the remote control to open the car looked like a debit card rather than a real key. They were the first small signs that something big was coming. And indeed it has been (and will be) just like that!

    Waiting to know what has impressed you most of CES and other hi-tech events, I thank you and I hope to meet you soon!
    “Stay hungry, stay foolish”

    Paolo Marenco

    Good topic Luca, I add Big data as a propeller for enormous change ( positive or not…will see..) of our life .

    Psychologist Michal Kosinski developed a method to analyze people in minute detail based on their Facebook activity. Did a similar tool help propel Donald Trump to victory?

    Two reporters from Zurich-based Das Magazin went data-gathering.​ Read this story…just a beginning of an Era.


    Luca Signori

    Thank you Paolo! And thank you for the article. Sure! Big data are one of the most important trends of the year. I’m confident about big data. They will be (or maybe they already are) a powerful revolution!

    Paolo Marenco

    Another stimulus….A new way to drive a company.

    With difficulties by Zappos, now part of Amazon …but successfully by a new start up born 2 years ago in Genoa- Milan- CH by 2 Silicon Valley Study Tour Alumni, Saverio Murgia and Luca Nardelli, Eyra

    Luca Signori

    Thank you Paolo! I think holocracy is very important for agencies (and not only for hi-tech agencies) all over the world.
    P.S. I already know Saverio Murgia and Luca Nardelli and their Eyra! Great!

    … but returning to the Big data post.

    We can all agree on the fact that Donald Trump’s victory was for the media what a meteorite strike in broad day light is for the Earth: absolutely. What scares me most (and should scare us all), however, is something else: that now unspeakably large amounts of big data might now fall into the wrong hands. If in fact this does happen, we are in serious trouble! Actually, we already are! The work of Cambridge Analytica company (which in practice has two goals: bring Britain to leave the European Union and put Trump in the White House) proves it.
    I can already hear you all saying already, “So what should we do every time we send our CVs to companies with email, phone number, and residence / home address, or the personal information we reveal on social networks and the seeds we plant every day on the internet writing posts, publishing photos and chatting with friends and relatives?” My reply: I have nothing to say. We are all online, and being online has become for us almost a sort of oxygen that we cannot (or won’t?) do without.
    But, question: what if the big data networks connected to the Big Five (called in English OCEAN, acronym of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extrovesrion, agreeableness and Neuroticism) and neuromarketing techniques were used exclusively to take everything away? Wouldn’t it be worse?
    I can already imagine your response. An answer which will be still more reaffirmed after watching this video.


    However, as I pointed out in my previous post, I am confident. I believe that the more our understanding (and critical conscience) of big data increases, the more we will be able to interpret them, collect and use it as a resource that enhances our lives. And better pose it to destroy them.

    The same can be said for neuromarketing, a discipline that studies the decision-making processes of the consumers (or voters depending on the situation), and that is fundamental considering that we make 75-95% of decisions on non-conscious emotional basis. Therefore, we use what is called priming. Priming is the ability to respond to visual stimuli, sounds and sensations that a brand, but also influencers, celebrities or politicians, provoke in us. All of these processes enable a more precise reading of our behavior due to different types of measurements. I will mention two.


    The first: eye tracking. From the way we open or restrict the pupil, this eye tracking technique is able to tell what the strengths and weaknesses of a marketing plan are even before presenting it to the public. Eye tracking can be used for a multitude of things, from analysis of advertisements to the creation of Internet sites, adv testing, research tv and much more.

    The second: facial coding. Facial recognition technology that transforms our face into a password. It paves the way for selfie-payment, allowing banking transactions take place across several areas: e-commerce, entertainment, travel, and museums.


    Finally, I reflect on e-voting, or the ability to choose one’s own political candidate through an electronic ballot voting system. This is a theme which we have heard a lot about in the last decade, especially in campaign periods. And that, along with the tsunami of big data and the (re) discovery of neuromarketing, could become one of the most important trends of the coming years.
    For two reasons: for the great impact that digital technologies (especially smartphones) have in our daily lives and for the physiological / progressive reduction of the digital divide and digital illiteracy.

    Pros and cons
    Now let’s see the pros and cons of an e-voting system.

    1. Immediate results of the vote;
    2. Minor investment of resources (reducing stationery costs, ballot counters and polling station presiders equally);
    3. There is the guarantee of a smaller number of errors (voters using the touch screen must choose between yes and no);
    4. It could reduce public dissatisfaction with politics and help to bring people back to towards civic participation;
    5. People with impaired mobility (and find it therefore difficult to reach polling stations) could vote from home.

    These cases are for now hypothetical as for any innovation can become common use, or widespread, a lot of time is needed. Time that often extends beyond what is predicted or expected. And it is the prolongation of time that is the number one enemy of e-voting. Serving time for software companies to ensure the secrecy of the vote, citizens’ privacy and security against any cyber attack; time that is required by the institutions to see if current legislation allows for these types of formulas. And finally, time for citizens to overcome the initial, but justified, skepticism towards a system that they still know little of.

    The United States tries – blockchain in stars and stripes
    As you know, in the US e-voting already exists in 50 states, but the reality, as is shown by Verified Voting, it varies widely with each county which decides independently whether and how to adopt it. As you can see from the map, some states still use paper, other voting by mail, others make use of direct recording electronic systems (DRE) and Voter-verified paper audit trail (VVPN). These are limits which could be overcome through the use of technology blockchain; a technology that is usually located in the Fintech field space, but that can be used before, during and after the elections. How? An American startup, Follow My Vote (see this video), explained that if the vote is recorded as a transaction blockchain you can create a chain that takes into account the counting of votes and that allows anyone to verify that no vote has been modified, deleted or added against law.

    Luca Signori

    Hi Paolo and hi everybody!
    Two fast suggestions, two events about hi-tech and startups.

    First. Yesterday, february 21, began Startup Grind Global Conference, an event founded in Silicon Valley to connect entrepreneurs and their global community.

    Second. Next week, from february 27 to march 2, in Barcelona, will take place Mobile World Congress, the most important event about mobile world and his evolution.

    Keep your eyes open!

    Luca Signori

    Hi Paolo and hi everybody!

    Startup Grind Global Conference in Redwood City ends on february 22 and Andrea Roberto Bifulco (Founder & CEO of Machiavellico, ex Google and Vodafone) went there. Here his statements about the event.

    “Thousands of people coming from all over the world met and networked the top profiles of the valley creating a great community with the spirit of supporting each other. Humbleness and simplicity are the two things that impressed me most. From the founder of a billion dollar Startup to the Venture Capital firm, they all share these amazing aspect of the Silicon Valley life. The conference is a great moment of networking and learning. Unfortunately, since it lasts only two days, many times there are speeches at the same time in different rooms, making impossible to follow every speaker you are interested in.”

    Andrea Roberto Bifulco between Luigi Congedo (Principal @BootstrapLabs and Irina Pesterean, Co-Founder @MonkeyParking)

    Federico Pellegrini

    Good morning everyone!

    Well, firstly I am going to present myself.

    This is Federico Pellegrini, and I earned a Bachelor’s degree in the field of Economics and Business Administration at the University of Milano-Bicocca.
    There I had the opportunity to take part at a conference held, by the others, by Mr. Marenco.
    I know a few moths are now gone since that moment, but I would like to share with all of you my thoughts on that experience.

    But, first of all, thank you Marco Pastore, for all your efforts in writing such a great report from the SVST of last year, and for the insights, you shared with us during the iBicocca Event last November.

    Let’s start!

    November 21-22th, Milano

    PianoBi was an extraordinary event organized by iBicocca. Two intense days where it was given the opportunity to all the students of the University to get in touch with entrepreneurs, startuppers, lecturers and so on, but definitely all of them were important “actors” in the world of innovation, willing to share their view on what as yet to come in the future.

    Plenty of events were going on during those two days, such as many Startup Pitch, in order to understand from the inside what each Startup is working on and what kind of profile they were looking for to employ, or the Fast Interviews, in order to have the opportunity to share a quick talk with the startuppers.

    But my purpose is to focus on a particular event, wich is the round table held on the afternoon of the 21st of November, “Both side of the table”.


    This was an amazing event, it gave two different points of view about the world of Startups and more in general about Innovation.

    The speakers were firstly the founders of 6 startups, and secondly incubators and accelerators.
    This was the moment when I got to know Paolo Marenco and SVST.
    His speech was absolutely inspiring.
    All the passion and efforts for this project were flowing with his words.
    It is easy to understand his true devotion for such an amazing project like SVST, and also his proud to have set up all of this.

    I couldn’t miss the opportunity to get a hint by those great speakers, and I asked a question about the timing for founding a startup.
    My question was: “Is it opportune to wait until the end of the studies in order to put the 100% of the efforts on the project, or is it possible to work in a Startup alongside a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree?”

    The answer was straightforward.
    It is always a good idea to work while studying, because a better understanding of the practical experience, will maximize also the learning of the theoretical knowledge.
    Then, working in a startup, dealing with innovation and having an agile work, is even easier to do while studying (Agile and smart working are interesting topics).

    I share this view.

    This was the full program of PianoBi, and I suggest to all of you (also if not “Bicoccans”) to join in the next time, because having the opportunity to see what startups are working on, has an invaluable price.

    Anyway, I really appreciated the talk I had with Paolo Marenco and I found so exciting to have a forum, a website such this one, where to share our thought and try to discuss interesting topics related to innovation, which, for definition, will be the keys to our future.

    This is why I would like to go a little further on one of the speakers I met at PianoBi.

    He is Vincenzo De Nicola.

    He and his project absolutely blew my mind.

    He is an amazing personality, so I suggest you to read this article to understand better who he is and what he already did although he is just in his mid 30.


    (The article is in Italian, I am sorry but haven’t found something interesting in English)

    In a few words, he is an Electronic Engineer born in Teramo, that worked in Yahoo and Microsoft but then found his success founding (in Silicon Valley) a fin-tech startup called GoPago.

    Eventually, he sold his GoPago to Amazon but didn’t join Bezos, indeed he took some years off to “give back” to his city in Italy, and became sort of a professor in Computer Science at his old High School.

    I think that what he did, elevates him not just to a person who achieved his goals in business, but also a remarkable person from the human point of view. (Mr. Marenco also told us about when SVST visited GoPago few years ago..)

    At the moment Vincenzo Di Nicola has founded Conio, another Fin-tech start-up based in Milan, together with the ideator of the well known “Conto Arancio”.

    Conio is an app which wants to facilitate the process of acquisition and storage of Bitcoin in our smartphone, a Bitcoin Wallet.

    Later on this talk, I had the opportunity to ask a few questions to Di Nicola regarding Bitcoin, which is a surprisingly amazing topic which I believe we could start a discussion on it.

    (One question I asked him was: “Do you see Bitcoin as a currency or as a good, such as gold, due to its intrinsic scarcity?)

    Is <span style=”text-decoration: underline;”>Bitcoin</span> a currency or a commodity?

    I already knew Bitcoin since a few years, but since that moment I never scratched the surface and went deeper.
    Now I think I went through this topic enough to have my own thoughts on it.

    For all of you how don’t know anything about Bitcoin, or want to understand a little bit more, I strongly suggest you this video, which is an introduction to Bitcoin and Blockchain.

    This guy is Andreas Antonopoulos and he’s a great speaker, I am sure you will enjoy it.
    WORTH WATCHING:   http://bitly.com/2dnNDxC

    Waiting for your feedback.

    Paolo Marenco

    Hey Milano Universities people…good debate!.

    Here is the format for yr cv (1 page is a must!) .

    Send it to me within April 7. First week of April you will have the eligibility to the SVST 2017…and you selected could start to organize the trip


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