Italian and Israeli startups met a full house of investors at the event organized by the Italian Business & Investment Initiative (IB&II) and hosted by the Italian bank Intesa Sanpaolo at its offices in Manhattan, last Friday May the 2nd. It was also the occasion to present “Tech and the City” and explain how useful our book is for anybody – any professional, entrepreneur, student, researcher – interested in becoming part of the New York tech community and settling in the city.
“A central part of our mission is to provide a physical forum to connect the supply and demand of capital between the United States and Italy, and to attract new foreign direct investments by promoting Italy’s startups as exciting and viable opportunities”, explained Fernando Napolitano, president and ceo of IB&II (in the photo here below).
Seven startups – six from Italy, one from Israel – gave demos of their products: Atooma, Badseed, HyperFair, map2app, Myze, Italianbox and Sencogi. The first five of this list, have been “nurtured” by Mind the Bridge (MTB), the startup accelerator and seed investment fund (Mind the Seed) based in San Francisco (CA) and created by Marco Marinucci. MTB is a partner of IB&II: it runs a 10-week Accelerator program twice a year and a 3-week Startup School program in its incubator Mind the Bridge Gym.
Marco Marinucci (in the photo here above) explained that he advocates a “dual-company model,” whereby development stays in the home country, but headquarters are in the U.S., where the market and the money is: “You can play the big game of the mass market and find funding here, while maintaining all the development abroad”. Actually in “Tech and the City” there are several stories of companies working well with this model.
For entrepreneurs thinking of settling in New York, the Bloomberg administration offers a lot of help, as Carlton Vann – Director of the Division for International Business within New York City’s representation at the United Nations – explained. All information needed to start a business is on the website of the city, where in particular the section “Business Express” helps aspiring entrepreneurs understand which rules to follow and what incentives are available. “We also provide practical information to find legal advice or administrative and office space,” added Vann (in the photo here above).
The discussion was very lively, thanks to many questions and comments from venture capitalists and Angels, including Brian Cohen, New York Angels’ Co-Founder and Chairman, and author of “What Every Angel Investor Wants You to Know“; and Mark Peter Davis, the Founder of Interplay Ventures, Venture Partner at High Peaks Venture Partners, and the author of the new handbook “The Fundraising Rules”.