BizPlace Top 50 2020
Introduction to the BizPlace Top 50 2020 list
We are proud to present #BizPlaceTop50 2020, the list of Italy’s fifty most influential entrepreneurs in 2020 as chosen by the BizPlace team. BizPlace Top 50 brings together shining examples of companies who have adapted to the difficult circumstances of 2020, from well-established startups and innovative SMEs to new businesses who have had a successful year.
The list is divided into ten categories to provide an overview of the world of Italian innovation.
The selection criteria were company growth in terms of key metrics and revenue in comparison to the previous year, the ability to raise capital and the company’s social impact, with a particular focus on startups who have achieved impressive results despite the problems caused by the global health crisis.
With so many shining examples of ‘Made in Italy’ excellence, it was difficult to narrow down the list to just 50 companies.
Congratulations to all the entrepreneurs chosen for our BizPlace Top 50 list, we wish you all the best for the future!
Read the down the list to find out more about the selected startuppers.
Gaetano Volpe: Gaetano Volpe is CEO and Founder of Latitudo40, an innovative startup offering integrated geo-information solutions in the cloud, using images from Earth observation satellites and innovative artificial intelligence, machine learning and big data analysis algorithms. The name is a reference to the latitude of Naples, the company’s hometown. With Urbalytics Green, a verticalisation of the platform that focuses on the transition to sustainable cities, Latitudo40 won the Enercom Group’s innovation2live award.
Andrea Guzzoni: Andrea Guzzoni is CEO and co-founder of Rentuu, a London-based startup that manages a cloud-based platform for equipment renting. This year Rentuu has raised £1.5 million, underwritten by IAG Business Angels. The company has offices in Great Britain, Italy, the Netherlands and Ukraine, and has over 300 partners.
Fulvio Giannetti: Fulvio Giannetti has had a successful year with the startup LybraTech, 51% of which was acquired by the Zucchetti Group, the first Italian group in the software industry. The startup wants to revolutionise the hotel industry, developing AI technology to suggest the best price of rooms. Thanks to LybraTech, the structures are becoming more flexible and can maximise revenues. The startup already has clients in 16 countries.
Lorenzo Luce: The innovative startup Big Profiles was founded by Lorenzo Luce when he was 25 years old. This year the company has raised €1.5 million in an investment round driven by Invitalia Ventures and LVenture Group. BigProfiles is a platform using AI technology to profile clients of a company – utilising external information to predict the behaviour of a client and their purchasing habits.
Lorenzo Battistini: TAKOBI is a cloud-based management software developed specifically to facilitate the growth of micro, small, and medium size Italian enterprises – Lorenzo Battistini is the co-Founder and CEO. TAKOBI’s mission is to help entrepreneurial Italian companies to manage their activity in a simple, fast, and cost-efficient way. To support companies hit hard by coronavirus, these SMEs can benefit from a 90 free trial in the Digital Solidarity package promoted by the Government.
2. AGRI & FOOD
Mauro Germani: With a long history in the restaurant industry, Mauro Germani founded the startup SoPlaya to put restaurants in direct contact with producers, creating an efficient and sustainable supply chain that guarantees good value for money. The B2B marketplace reached €3.5 in an investment round led by P101 to help the startup expand further across Europe.
Andrea Cruciani: Andrea Cruciani is the CEO and co-founder of Agricolus, a company focuses on innovation in in the agriculture industry through the use of cloud technology. The startup provides a platform for the precise management of agriculture businesses using the collection and analysis of data, bringing both economic and environmental advantages.
Massimo Morbiato: Massimo Morbiato is founder and CEO of EZ Lab, an SME founded in 2016 that uses blockchain technology in the agri-food sector, ensuring the safety and anti-counterfeiting of Made in Italy. The crowdfunding campaign on Mamacrowd has already achieved great results, with a total harvest of over €700,000.
Ivan Aimo: Ivan Aimo is CEO and Co-Founder of Deliveristo, the B2B startup in the food delivery sector that closed a round of €1.5 million in July. Deliveristo is a digital marketplace that allows restaurants to buy high quality products directly from suppliers.
Romolo Ganzerli and Flavio Nappi: MammaPack was founded by Romolo Ganzerli and Flavio Nappi to bring Italians abroad food and products from their country at a reasonable price. MammaPack offers a selection of another 10.000 products that are shipped all over Europe in 24h, without weight limits.
Luca Manara: Luca Manara founded App Quality to help developers improve the quality and User Experience of apps, sites and smart devices. It works through the power of the crowd – App Quality has more than 15,000 specialised testers in Italy who are available to test the usability of web portals. This year P101 has led a round in the startup, for a total crop of €3.5 million.
Marianna Poletti: Marianna Poletti is founder and CEO of JustKnock, a startup founded with a vision to change the way people find work. The company acts as an intermediary between candidates and companies offering job opportunities – unlike its competitors, on the platform the emphasis is on ideas, not just the length of the curriculum.
Giovanni Antonio Conforti: Giovanni Antonio Conforti is CEO of Yakkyo, a startup with the aim of revolutionizing the world of e-commerce through dropshipping, a model that allows a seller to sell a product without having it in his warehouse. The Yakkyofy software automates the management of a dropshipping shop. Despite the problems caused by the coronavirus situation in China, the company raised more than €400,000 in an equity crowdfunding campaign on Mamacrowd, and the service helped many people during the lockdown.
Roberto Tramelli: Chimpa is a Mobile Device Management system, which uses cloud-based technology to allow the management of devices connected remotely. Chimpa is a tool that became very important during lockdown, a period in which schools, parents and students had many problems adapting to distance learning. It was developed by Roberto Tramelli, IT consultant for schools, who then chose to work with the company XNOOVA to realise the software’s potential, collaborating with CEO Gianluigi Cravedi.
Fabienne Mailfait: Fabienne Mailfait is the CEO of We Wealth, a marketplace for the distribution of information and multimedia content related to wealth management and finance in general. The aim is to digitise the wealth management sector, which today is mainly based on offline relationships. This year the startup raised 1.5 million euros in a round signed by Crif, Gellify, B.Group, and others.
4. LIFE SCIENCE & MEDICAL
Michele Pironti: Michele Pironti is the managing director of AQMA, an Innovative SME in the nutraceutical industry with a turnover of over 2 million. Born from the fusion of ‘nutrition’ and ‘pharmaceutical’, Nutraceuticals is a neologism to define the use of nutrients present in food for health reasons. AQMA produces nutraceutical products that are 100% made in Italy, used for different types of therapy.
Mario Salerno: Mario Salerno is CEO of I-VASC, a startup that aims to bring a patented and minimally invasive medical device for the treatment of varicose veins to the global market. 50% of women and 30% of men in the adult population worldwide suffer from varicose veins or related diseases – I-VASC allows safe, rapid and effective chemical ablation to treat the problem.
Angela Maria Avino: Angela Maria Avino is the CEO of Dottore.it, an online platform providing a simple way to book a medical appointment – the user being able to choose between 85,000 specialists available on the site and read through other patient reviews.
Filippo Piatti: Filippo Piati is the CEO and co-founder of Artiness, a MedTech startup aiming to revolutionise the medical world using mixed reality. The company has developed an holographic 3D platform to help doctors examine a patient’s anatomy, improving the clinical results during surgical operations.
Franco Osta: Franco Osta is the CEO and co-founder of AorticLab, a MedTech startup that has reached €1.3 million this year through an equity crowdfunding campaign on Doorway, with the support of IAG and Club degli Investitori. The startup is developing a low-invasiveness method for the functional restoration of the native aortic valve affected by calcific dystrophy.
5. MOBILITY & SERVICES
Christian Padovan: Christian Padovan is the co-founder and CEO of Wash Out, an app which provides an innovative car-washing service without water, instead using ecological materials. During the health emergency, the team has decided to adapt itself by introducing vehicle sanitisation services. This summer the group Telepass acquired 70% of the company, a huge success for the three founders under 30, Christian, Andrea Galassi and Alessandro Morlin.
Filippo Agostino: Filippo Agostino is the CEO and co-founder of 2Hire, a startup founded in 2015 together with Matteo Filippi, Andrea Verdelocco and Elisabetta Mari. The company works in the mobility industry, and has developed a device and an app that permits the user to manage their vehicle remotely or to connect separate vehicle in a convoy. P101 Ventures led a €5.6 million euro investment round in the startup this year.
Nicolo Maio: Together with Luciano Delmastro, Nicola Maio is the co-founder of Truckscreenia, a startup in the Smart Mobility industry. The company produces an innovative system dedicated to advertising and public messages on motorways. Across a digital display that uses geolocalisation and AI, it manages to hyper-segment the audience and convey the advertising message to the right target.
Flavio Farroni: Flavio Farroni is CEO and co-founder of MegaRide, a startup in the smart mobility sector which focuses on the optimisation of vehicle performance. The business is a spin-off of the University of Naples Federico II in 2016, and has worked with many well known companies in the automobile world, such as Ducati, Audi Sport and Pirelli.
Sergio Pininfarina: Sergio Pininfarina is the co-founder, administrator and business director at TUC.technology, a startup that has developed a digital and structural connector to solve the problem of the organisation of space on the inside of vehicles, with a high potential for customisation according to the user’s needs. This year Sergio and his colleague Ludovico Campana presented the first application for the connector on the Volkswagen group’s electric car platform.
Salvatore Occhipinti & Salvo Salerno: Salvatore Occhipinti is CEO and co-founder of Reiwa Engine, an Integrator system in the field of robotics, AI and industrial implants. Together with co-founder Salvo Salerno, Salvatore developed SandStorm, a robot that cleans solar panels, improving their efficiency. One of SandStorm’s most important innovations is the fact that it cleans dry, saving large quantities of water. The startup has an important partnership with Enel Green Power.
Emanuela Gatto: Emanuela Gatto has a PhD in Chemical Science and is a researcher at the University of Tor Vergata – also, she is the founder and CEO of Splastica, a startup producing sustainable plastic that is completely biodegradable and transforms itself naturally into compost in a matter of months. The bioplastic is obtained partly from food scraps, including expired milk. The startup won Unindustria’s 2020 prize for ‘Unirsi per l’impresa’ (Uniting for Business).
Felice De Piano: Be Green Tannery is a tanning company that is establishing itself as a leader in metal-free tanning, thanks to the patent of a special formula that guarantees superior quality products. The company tans and finishes sheep and goat hides both nationally and internationally to luxury manufacturers. Felice De Piano is the director general of Be Green Tannery and focuses primarily on the reduction of environmental impact for all products of the company.
Mauro Margherita: Mauro Margherita is CEO of Turboalgor, a company that uses revolutionary technology to reduce the environmental impact of fridges. Currently the cold chain accounts for 17% of the world energy consumption – Turboalgor’s refrigerator installation innovation saves up to 23% of energy, alongside a 56% increase in fridge capacity. This year the company has signed an agreement with Intesa SanPaolo the €2 million financing.
Désirée Farletti: Reco2 is the first innovative startup that has patented a revolutionary process for the production of a new series of functional green building materials. It recovers and transforms different types of secondary raw materials into biocompatible flooring, 100% from recycled material. The idea came from Désirée Farletti, who studied mechanical engineering, and created the startup together with three other young people: his brother Tommaso Farletti, Daniele Nora and Luca Spiridigliozzi.
7. E-COMMERCE & DELIVERY
Federico Salina: Federico Salina is the CEO and co-founder of WiTailer, a startup that provides support to companies that want to improve their sales on Amazon. After an important work experience within Amazon, Federico decided to use his knowledge of e-commerce with the foundation of WiTailer together with co-founder Jana Nurmukhanova. During the lockdown, the importance of e-commerce became clear even for more traditional companies, and WiTailer now works with 120 international brands. The company raised €400,000 in 2020 to expand worldwide.
Matteo Moretti: Matteo Moretti is founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors of iManager S.r.l, an innovative startup that launched JustMary, the first legal cannabis delivery service. The products contain a legal level of Thc, the psychoactive principle present in cannabis. The company has been successful in recent years and has continued to grow during the lockdown period, with growth in 2020 of 600% compared to last year’s figures.
Martina Cusano: Martina Cusano has combined her expertise in finance with her passion for design to create Mamma 2.0, a startup that launched Mukako, the e-commerce platform that creates and markets products designed for children. The company is recognised by the “FT 1000 Europe’s Fastest Growing Companies 2020” ranking as one of the top 10 European companies with the highest turnover growth rates between 2015 and 2018.
Carlo Battaglino: Carlo Battaglino is CEO and Founder at Lirecento, a startup specialized in the sale of quality Italian-made trousers̀ tailoring. From the hands of the artisans directly to the consumer, Lirecento has built a business model without intermediaries through which it distributes trousers in fine fabrics at competitive prices. Besides the e-commerce platform, Lirecento has opened two shops in Rome and Milan.
Marco Magnocavallo: Tannico, e-commerce startup that sells wines and other alcoholic beverages, has had a year of resounding success under the guidance of Marco Magnocavallo, CEO and co-Founder. This year, Campari acquired a 49% stake in the startup, a partial exit worth 23.4 million euros. Partly thanks to the lockdown, Tannico achieved its 2020 turnover targets in the first months of the year.
8. INTERNET OF THINGS
Edoardo Parini: Edoardo Parini, CEO, founded the Deed startup in 2016, together with his brothers Emiliano and Enrico. The company is developing GET™, a 100% Made in Italy wearable wrist device that offers the functionality of a smartwatch and fitness-tracker – in fact it allows you to track your physical activity, movements, sleep cycle, make payments. Leveraging bone conduction technology, the user wearing GET™ only needs to put his finger close to his ear to listen to content and answer calls, voice notes, messages or give instructions to various voice assistants.
Gianni Alessandroni: Gianni Alessandroni is the Founder and CEO of Wise Robotics Srl, a startup that has developed an innovative system for seismic and vibrational monitoring for buildings and infrastructures called Quakebots. Using a mix of AI and IoT, the Quakebot devices register the smallest vibrations that damage a building. The devices are already present in sites of industrial or cultural importance such as the Saint Francis of Assisi’s Basilica and the EXXON MOBILE refinery in Augusta.
Massimiliano Bellino: Massimiliano Bellino is CEO of Next Industries, a startup that has designed The Tactigon, a wearable device that uses AI technology to recognise and analyse the movements of the user. The device can be used in most contexts including robotics, VR, AR, and videogames, thanks to an elevated programmability.
Vittoria di Mauro: Vittorio di Mauro is CEO and co-founder of ConnectLab, a startup that operates in the mobile IoT sector. The company has developed DOTS, a GPS system to link, monitor and protect people and personal belongings. The DOTS system uses a smart device and an app that uses IoT and cloud technology and to guarantee better quality security for the user.
Luca Brayda: Luca Brayda is CEO and founder of Acoesis, an innovative startup originating from research from the Italian Institute of Technology (IIT) developing Glasssense, a pair of smart glasses which help the user hear better. The idea is to enhance the voice of the person that you are looking in noisy environments – the product will help people with hearing problems even when the speaker is wearing a mask or is at a distance. This year, the startup raised €900,000 in an investment round, the goal being to release the product by the end of the year.
Lorenzo Uggeri: Lorenzo Uggeri is CEO and co-founder of Kooness.com, an innovative startup that is structured like a digital marketplace for the sale and acquisition of works of art. The mission of the CEO is to be at the cutting edge of digitalisation in the art world, or even the democratisation, seeing as the platform gives more people the opportunity to enter into a world usually closed.
Michele Callegari and Niccolò Bencini: Michele Callegari and Niccolò Bencini are the co-founder of Barberino’s, a Made in Italy success story. The company is an innovative barber and startup that is revolutionizing the barber profession in Italy, recreating the experience and atmosphere of the old Italian barber shops for a new generation. In the last 4 years the company has grown a lot: it has multiplied its turnover by 582%, hired over 30 young people, and opened 6 shops. The equity crowdfunding campaign on Mamacrowd raised €1.25 million during the lockdown, and the reopening of the business was a success.
Davide Zanon: Davide Zanon is CEO, CMO and Founder of Meeters, a startup that organizes meetings and experiences for people who want to discover the most beautiful places in Italy and meet new people, connecting those with similar interests and living in the same city. There are several activities available in 370 destinations and the platform already has 20,000 users.
Alessandro Seina: Despite the fact that it has been a difficult year for companies in the tourism and travel sector, Alessandro Seina’s scaleup has managed to make progress. The company, formerly known as Bagbnb, has been relaunched under the new name RadicalStorage, and will offer other services beyond the luggage storage service, with the aim of becoming the reference point for those arriving and departing from a city.
Marcello Violini: Marcello Violini is CEO and Co-Founder of Teyuto, an Italian startup that focuses on monetizing premium video for professionals. The company experienced strong growth during the healthcare emergency, with a 125% increase in video channel openings.
Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula: Ignazio Rocco di Torrepadula is CEO and Founder of Credimi, a company in the Fintech sector that acts as an invoice financing and lending platform for companies. It offers digital factoring services and financing guaranteed at 90% by the State, and aims to assist companies affected by the health crisis, helping them to restore liquidity, launch e-commerce platforms and restart companies.
Laura Maffi: Laura Maffi is founder and CEO of Trusters, an innovative and pioneering company in the world of crowdfunding lending applied to real estate. Trusters was founded in 2018 by Laura and her cousin Andrea Maffi, and is the first Italian Real Estate Lending Crowdfunding platform. It boasts of being simple, accessible and fast – it has over 3,000 registered users on its portal and 51 funded projects.
Marcello Scalmati: Marcello Scalmati is CEO of CashMe, a startup that helps businesses optimise their home flows by obtaining liquidity from pending invoices. The startup is configured as an online platform where SMEs can monetise commercial invoices without delay – eliminating the need to use the banking system. CashMe has been a very useful tool for companies facing liquidity problems during the health crisis.
Marko Maras: Marko Maras is CEO and Founder of Fido, a digital credit & risk scoring platform that has made a round of 1.1 million euros, underwritten by IAG and some private investors. Marko Maras developed the platform together with co-founder Paolo Mardegan, implementing artificial intelligence to use alternative data sources and risk scoring models to better profile online clients.
Marco De Guzzis: Marco De Guzzis is the new CEO of Sardex S.p.A. an innovative SME in the FinTech sector, which has developed the first commercial credit circuit and allows companies to finance each other at zero interest. It is a development engine for the economy and the community that provides payment and credit instruments parallel and complementary to traditional ones. This year Sardex raised €5.8 million in a round led by CDP Venture Capital SGR.
The BizPlace Team congratulates all these entrepreneurs.