Founders Factory and Fastweb launch Italian venture studio & accelerator to support the country’s startup ecosystem

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Press release 24/01/2023
The joint venture will build, fund and launch early-stage tech startups. Applications to join the programme are now open.

Founders Factory, the global company builder and early-stage investor, and Fastweb, one of Italy’s leading telecommunications companies, have today announced the launch of a new venture studio and accelerator to help the development of entrepreneurs in Italy.

The joint venture - operating out of Milan - will build, fund, launch and scale more than 30 Italian and international innovative digital businesses over the next five years. It will provide startups with a launchpad into Italy’s thriving tech ecosystem and beyond - providing selected entrepreneurs and startups access to capital, Founders Factory’s global network and world-class operational support. Fastweb will facilitate access to its technological and commercial scale and give entrepreneurs a route to local and international markets.

The collaboration will build and invest in technology startups mainly operating in the fields of smart home, cybersecurity, healthcare, edutech and industry 4.0 through a new venture studio and an accelerator programme. The startup accelerator will focus on assisting pre-seed and seed stage startups to scale and expand while the venture studio will design and launch new tech startups.

Innovation has always been part of Fastweb’s DNA and the joint venture with Founders Factory represents a relevant step within Fastweb's broader strategy that promotes the digital transformation of the country through high performance networks and cutting edge products and services with the aim of creating a more connected, inclusive and sustainable future for citizens, families, businesses and public administration.

The partnership with Fastweb marks Founders Factory’s expansion into Italy, furthering its presence in Europe’s key tech ecosystems. With more than €2 billion venture capital investment flowing into the region in this year alone Italy is becoming increasingly positioned to compete with the more mature European markets. The new Italian programme builds on Founders Factory’s venture building success across Europe and the rest of the world, which to date has created over 80 startups from scratch and supported the scaling of over 200 startups through its accelerator.

Founders Factory Italy will be chaired by Fabio Troiani, former co-founder and CEO at consultancy group BIP.

Henry Lane Fox, Founders Factory CEO, said “2022 has been the year that Italy has amped up its challenge to take the European startup crown. Further investment into the region and easier access to infrastructure is needed to help a new generation of entrepreneurial talent to succeed. Our newly-established presence in Italy will allow ambitious entrepreneurs, from Italy and Southern Europe, to benefit from our wealth of knowledge and expertise of how to build great businesses and from our partners' infrastructure and services, starting with Fastweb as our launch partner.”

Alberto Calcagno, Fastweb CEO, said: "Innovation is at the heart of our strategy "You are future" which aims to build a more connected, inclusive and eco-sustainable future for all. Through the joint venture with Founders Factory, we are committed to bringing the latest and most advanced technology products and services to our customers with the goal to drive the continued advancement of the industry and to make Italy a destination of choice for startups looking to launch new businesses”.

Fabio Troiani, FF Italy Chairman, added: “Throughout my 30 years of consulting I have often dealt with the issue of how big corporates can learn to innovate from small, agile innovative startups. Up to now, I have witnessed more failures than successes. Founders Factory’s unique formula conjugates the speed and creativity of the startup movement with the solidity of big corporate management and business cases.  For those built and launched by Founders Factory Italy, it gives innovation and credibility while corporates benefit from innovation and capital returns. A unique blend to guarantee success in innovation.”

Founders Factory Italy is now accepting applications from entrepreneurs, apply here.