Energy, environmental sustainability and smart mobility are the topics tackled by The Tech Mix, the Startup Initiative organised by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center in cooperation with the Dubai Chamber and Roland Berger.

The most promising and innovative Italian startups will engage with those from the Middle East - North Africa area and with potential investors and business partners.

Dubai, 8 November 2018 – Intesa Sanpaolo continues to support the growth of the most promising Italian startups and chooses Dubai as the new venue for Startup Initiative, the international acceleration programme of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center that selects the best new high-tech entities and prepares them to face the global market.

The event, called The Tech Mix, was held today at the Dubai Chamber and involved four Italian startups, accompanied by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center, and six startups from the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) area, identified and followed by the same Dubai Chamber and by the strategic and corporate consulting company Roland Berger.

The ten companies involved in the forum operate in three key sectors: energy, environmental sustainability and smart mobility, which are the same that Expo Dubai will deal with in 2020, as part of the topic Connecting Minds, Creating the Future.

Big players from the ecosystem of innovation and new technologies, including Google, together with potential investors and possible business partners, followed the presentations of the startups and participated in the subsequent pitching contest, assessing activities, projects, patents and scale-up plans.

Dubai, the economic capital of the United Arab Emirates and one of the most important stock exchanges in the world, hosts numerous investment funds, banks and multinationals. Intesa Sanpaolo has a hub there which coordinates the branches and representative offices in the Middle East and North Africa, an area with which in 2017 Italy recorded trade for 70 billion euro, 41.4 of which were exports, equal to about 10% of Italy's total exports.

“With foresight, the Emirates have highly diversified their economy, earmarking significant resources to innovation, a determining factor to compete in ever more complex and globalised markets, and paying growing attention to the circular economy, key to the planet's sustainable development. Thus we have decided to carefully monitor this highly dynamic area on these two fields of our competence, accompanying the top Italian companies, including the most promising startups, there” – stated Maurizio Montagnese, Head of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center.

With initiatives like the Startup Initiative The Tech Mix, Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center intends to develop also in Dubai, as the Group's reference point for the MENA area, a new launch site for startups and for Italian companies with high potential in general, exploring the ecosystem of local innovation for future partnerships that are useful for scale-up programmes.

So far Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center has organised 117 investment forums in Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, the United States, Israel, Hong Kong and Dubai, allowing 870 startups to meet with about 10,700 investors, companies and operators in the field of innovation and obtain funding for more than 142 million euro. Thanks to the cooperation with the hub branches of Intesa Sanpaolo in London, New York, Hong Kong and Dubai, the Innovation Center aims to accompany many more innovative Italian businesses across the world for them to be able to grow and give new impetus to the country's economic development.

Italian startups selected by Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center

Enerbrain, established in 2015, deals with developing energy retrofit solutions for large buildings which slash consumption and significantly improve indoor thermal comfort. In a few days and without changing the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) systems, Enerbrain records and optimises in real time parameters such as humidity, temperature and CO2.

Greenrail is a SME launched in 2012 that designed and patented in 50 countries an innovative and sustainable railway sleeper made of recycled plastic and rubber, obtained from recovered ELT (End of Life Tires). Greenrail reduces vibrations, noise and maintenance costs by more than 30% and is the only one able to integrate intelligent technologies to produce energy and communicate diagnostic data.

U-earth is the first biotech company in the world to tackle air purification in working environments, and is a market leader in biological air purification thanks to patents and exclusive technology. Inside the AIRcel bio-reactors, U-earth miniaturised and enhanced the process that the Earth uses to purify itself through the action of bacteria found naturally in the environment. U-earth also produces U-monitor air quality monitoring systems and the first biotech anti-pollution mask in the world, U-mask.

Energica Motors is the first Italian manufacturer of high performance electric motorbikes, the epitome of the excellence of Modena's “Motor Valley”. It was established in 2014, although the electric motorbike project had already begun in 2010 with the prototype deriving from the eCRP 1.4, vice world and European racing champion on electric race bikes.

Startups of the Middle East and North Africa selected by the Dubai Chamber and Roland Berger

Voltlines is a shared transport service established in 2017 for commuters in Istanbul which speeds up journeys, increases comfort and cuts costs. Through a personal account, Voltlines provides unlimited access to all the service vehicles of its transport network.

Wimo is a last mile management software that helps companies organise and get the most out of their car fleet while simplifying transactions and increasing profitability.

Junkbot is a DIY robotic kit which allows working robots to be built by transforming domestic objects such as plastic bottles and old CDs, wooden spoons or boxes. The robots created may be programmed for a variety of functions and with different levels of ability.

Store2door Cargo is the first online shipment company in the UAE that provides customers with the best rates for international transport over several carriers. The service is aimed at tourists and expats struggling to transport their possessions bought in the EAU back to their countries. The online platform makes the operation an engaging and amusing experience.

FriendyCar is the first peer-to-peer car rental and car sharing market in the Middle East and North Africa. FriendyCar helps cities remodel and revolutionise mobility by focusing on two factors: sharing and connected mobility. The service also aims to change the world of car insurance via its Friendy-insurance. Awarded as best regional startup, FriendyCar was selected by Websummit among the top 100 startups in the world.

Arcab is a mobility service that helps commuters bridge the gap between expensive private transport and crowded public transport via optimised routes and comfortable journeys at an accessible price in premium vans. With the Arcab app, you can monitor the vehicles in real time, set memos, get credit for free trips and use free Wi-Fi during the journey.

Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center

Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center is the company of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group dedicated to the world of innovation. The company invests in applied research projects and high potential startups, to encourage the Group's and its customers' competitiveness and speed up the development of the circular economy in Italy.
With an office in the Turin skyscraper designed by Renzo Piano and a national and international network, the Innovation Center aims to represent an engine enabling relationships with other stakeholders from the innovation ecosystem such as companies, startups, incubators, research centres and universities, promoting new forms of entrepreneurship to access venture capital.
There are three main activities which Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center focuses on: circular economy, Startup Initiative and Neva Finventures.

Circular economy. Intesa Sanpaolo is one of the most sustainable banks in the world, included in all the leading sustainability indices. This background and the strong drive towards innovation fuel inside the Innovation Center the commitment to the circular economy, a new paradigm aimed at decoupling economic development from the exploitation of finite natural resources and redesigning the industrial system.
In 2015 Intesa Sanpaolo became the financial services global partner of the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, a world leading organisation in circular economy acceleration, and in 2018 it assisted Fondazione Cariplo in creating the first Italian circular economy laboratory in Milan dedicated to encouraging open innovation projects for companies and startups.
Intesa Sanpaolo wishes to encourage the transition of companies and consumers to the new circular model, concentrating on a widespread presence in the territory and a systemic impact. With this view in mind, in the 2018-2021 business plan it set up a ceiling of 5 billion euro to support companies that adopt the circular economy with innovative methods, granting the best credit access conditions.

StartUp Initiative. International acceleration programme with the purpose of selecting the best startups to prepare them to tackle the market and assist them to touch base with potential investors and industrial partners.

Neva Finventures. Corporate venture capital of the Intesa Sanpaolo Group focused on investing in startups in open banking and circular economy, with the objective of investing internationally in fintech entities directly (through equity investments in the startups) or indirectly (by buying units of venture capital funds). Among the top investments at international level are: the entry into R3, the largest global consortium of financial institutions that cooperates to test the use of blockchain solutions; the entry into the German corporate venture fund Rocket Internet Capital Partners; the entry into iwoca, a UK-based fintech company specialised in loans to SMEs with turnovers of up to 5 million euro.


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