1st Place: SwissLeg (Lugano) – Healthcare & Medical

              2nd Place: Charity Stars (Milan) – No profit

              3rd Place: Leevia (Trento) – Crowd-funding platform


              The event was organized by Intesa Sanpaolo Startup Initiative and Banca Prossima, in cooperation with Alta Scuola Impresa e Società of the Università Cattolica di Milano (ALTIS), Associazione San Michele Valore Impresa, Italeaf, Associazione ProSpera and U-Start.



Milan, 28 February 2014 – There were nine startups for the same number of innovative high social impact ideas.

This was the result of the Italian stage of the “Global Social Venture Competition” (GSVC), the International Award conceived by the University of Berkeley to encourage and develop business ideas with a strong social significance and environmental impact.

In Italy the “Global Social Venture Competition” uses the format developed by “Intesa Sanpaolo Startup Initiative”, i.e. the Intesa Sanpaolo platform dedicated to highly innovative entrepreneurial initiatives.

In Italy the key player of the competition is Alta Scuola Impresa e Società (ALTIS) of the Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore, a partner in this venture since 2008, which liaises with Banca Prossima, the Intesa Sanpaolo Group bank dedicated to the third sector, Associazione ProSpera, the boutique advisory firm U-Start and Italeaf, an investment holding company and a business accelerator that is active in the Cleantech sector and in industrial innovation, which is also the main sponsor of GSVC.


The event’s goal is to encourage the meeting of innovative businesses and an audience of investors that includes investment funds, Business Angels, Venture Capital, institutions, companies and firms.

The 9 startups that took part in the event were chosen from among the 80 business projects presented.

The selection criteria used considered both its potential social impact and the idea’s business potential.


At the end of the arena meeting the following startups were the finalists:

              1st Place: SwissLeg (Lugano) – Healthcare & Medical

              2nd Place: Charity Stars (Milan) – Non profit

              3rd Place: Leevia (Trento) – Crowd-funding platform


The first two placed startups will represent Italy in the “Global Finals” of the GSCV, which will take place at Berkeley from 9 to 11 April 2014, where they will compete with business ideas from all over the world for the first prize of USD 25,000. They can also participate in the “U-Start Conference”, take advantage of the legal consultancy of “Bird & Bird” and the consultancy of “Creare Valore”, which is dedicated to marketing for the web and the new media.

The first three placed startups will take part in the “SME and competitiveness Executive Master” of ALTIS.

Some special awards in the operational area were also assigned as follows:

              Best idea in the area of “Green and Circular Economy” to the startup Diptera (Mestre – Venice): 1 year of incubation within Italeaf.

              Best idea in the area of “Bioeconomy” to the startup Madegus: 6 months of incubation within Parco Tecnologico Padano.

              Best idea in the area of “Health” to the startup On-Iris (Genoa): 6 months of incubation within Fondazione Filarete.

              Best idea in the area of “ICT” to the startup Leevia (Trento): 2 years of free membership on the U-Start platform and the possibility of taking part in the “U-Start Conference”.

              Best idea from the Milan area to the startup Intrart: services for the startup from Crispy and Startmiup.


All nine finalists will have access to free membership for a year on the www.u-start.biz platform.




Global Social Venture Competition (GSVC) was founded in 1999 by the HAAS School of Business of Berkeley. The goal of this initiative, created in partnership with the London Business School, the Columbia Business School, the Indiana School of Business, the ESSEC Business School and Thammasat University is aimed at encouraging the development of new business and startup ideas with strong social and environmental impacts. From its inception to the present day GSVC has confirmed itself as being the only competition of this type at a worldwide level that is aimed at focusing attention in the field of a socially based entrepreneurship.



The Intesa Sanpaolo Startup Initiative is the international acceleration platform of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group that selects promising high-tech startups and prepares them to challenge the market and meet potential investors and industrial partners. From its foundation in 2009, the program has achieved an impressive track record: 62 investment forums in 8 countries, i.e. IT, UK, US, FR, DE, E, IL, RU, in 5 different technologies of digital and mobile, Cleantech, Biotech & Health, Nanotech and Materials and social enterprises, which corresponds to 450 startups and growing companies, with thousands of investors, firms, organizations and other players within the innovation context.



The Alta Scuola Impresa e Società (ALTIS), directed by Mario Molteni, a professor of Business Economics and Corporate Strategy at the Università Cattolica, has the goal of encouraging entrepreneurship and management for sustainable development through research, MBAs and executive courses, some of which are in cooperation with the financial daily Il Sole 24 Ore, conventions and workshops, as well as projects for the businesses, observers and awards. The Alta Scuola has seven divisions that are entrusted with ALTIS’s mission: Strategy and Sustainability, Impact Entrepreneurship, Company Welfare and social innovation, SMEs and productive districts, Finance and Development, Public Management and Non Profit. Among the different initiatives promoted by the Alta Scuola the following are highlighted: The Network of managers committed to social responsibility (CSR Manager Network Italia), the Social Projects Exchange, the Household/Work Conciliation Network, the first Italian MBA to be held on the African continent in Kenya, Ghana and Sierra Leone, for the development of social entrepreneurship, which achieved the Ashoka U Innovation Award and the recognition of the GMAC Met Fund.



Italeaf S.p.A., with a Share Capital of EUR 15 million, is an investment holding company and a business accelerator for enterprises and startups in the innovation and Cleantech sectors. Italeaf, thanks to its net equity of EUR 27 million, pursues the creation of value through the creation, achievement and development of an “Italian Green Industry Hub”, which is a point of convergence and a community for entrepreneurs, startups, spin-offs, mentors, investors, advisors, consultants and partners. The goal of Italeaf is to make this model duplicable, so as to be able to initiate the creation of national network. Italeaf has operational sites in Umbria, in Terni and Nera Montoro (in the Municipality of Narni). The company controls TerniEnergia, which is quoted on the STAR (High Requisites Securities Segment) of the Italian Stock Exchange and is active in the sectors of renewable sources of energy, energy efficiency and waste management, Greenled Industry, which operates in the development and production of powerful LED lights for increasing the efficiency of industrial energy and for public lighting and Skyrobotics, a development and production company for unmanned aircraft systems, i.e. drones, in the mini and micro classes for the professional market. Italeaf intends to candidate itself, within the first six months of 2014, for listing on the AIM UK market of the London Stock Exchange.



Prospera is a Non Profit association founded in September 2009, whose goal is the forming a class of executives based on the values of responsible commitment and of intellectual transparency and honesty. The associates of Prospera are managers, university teachers, entrepreneurs and professionals coming from differing business organizations, who are personally and voluntarily committed to sustaining the hopes and ambitions of the new generations. The projects, directly developed and promoted by Prospera, which also occupies itself with any required financing from private contributors and partners, are created and completed in cooperation with Universities, Public Administrations, Business and Trade Associations, Research Centres and Professional Associations.

As of today Prospera is present all over Italy, with more than 1,000 members.



U-Start is a global boutique advisory firm offering services targeted at facilitating the matching and cross-border investment amongst a select group of international investors (Angels, VC funds, family offices, corporate offices and wealth management institutions mostly based in Europe) and early stage companies in Southern and Eastern Europe, Africa and Latin America.

U-Start also offers an INNOVATIVE ONLINE PLATFORM (www.u-start.biz) which is the entry point to U-Start Services, facilitating the connection amongst local entrepreneurs and international investors.

U-Start accommodates international companies in need of funding or connections to scale their business in the countries where it operates in, and investors looking to expand their investment portfolios.