100 days ago 12 smart brains belonging to the Italian ecosystem of innovation, got together with the ambitious mission of creating a set of measures that would allow innovative entrepreneurship to grow, as a driver for the more general and urgent growth of Italian GDP and of the increase of jobs.
Yesterday, Tuesday 13 September, the Minister for Economic Development, Corrado Passera, presented the result of the Task Force’s work: the “Startup-Report”. A set of measures and ideas to be submitted to the Italian Government and to be – hopefully – translated into governmental laws.
WHY WE LIKE IT
Aside of proposing interesting and concrete measures on how to effectively help the start-up ecosystem, the report is also doing two tremendously important things which, honesty, we didn’t expect.
First of all the report is “giving a name to things”. In the report you can find a precise definition and criteria for “innovative start-ups” and “incubators and accelerators”. Why is it doing so? The practical reason is that the report foresees some special benefits for start-ups and all related actors: giving a precise definition of who’s in and who’s out will help avoiding the all-Italian risk of having suddenly all sort of companies becoming start-ups, and all sort of service providers for companies becoming accelerators and incubators.
A second reason (and effect), is that agreeing on standard definition is the key to the raise of a proper culture about new forms of entrepreneurship and to get (young) people aware of where new jobs are coming from.
The second important element about the Startup Report is its structure: the Task Force has successfully adopted a broad view about the problems and the sources for their solutions. Measures suggested involve all actors related to innovative start-ups, creating a sort of clockwork mechanism where each member of the system improve with the others.
As an example, the measure proposing a simplified procedure for what is defined as “innovative start-up” to born (the ISrl) goes together with a simplified procedure to build an investing company (simplified SGR).
This is extremely important as is taking in to the right consideration the wide number of factors that determine the launch, growth and exit of a start-up, and finding a proposal for almost each of them.
Measures proposed in the report are many, interesting, and sometimes particularly creative. They cover the three main phases of the life of a start-up going from the launch, through maturity, to the exit.
For the launch phase measures include the bureaucratic simplification for setting up both start-ups companies and investing companies. As well as the reduction of fiscal burden and special taxation for start-ups employees, which maximise the gain of the employee and minimize the cost for the company. The report also suggests the introduction of start-up stock option, a solution that allows founders to pay their employee with shares of the company. This last measure would have a high cultural impact, as it would introduce the habit of being “involved-employees” thus working hard to reach shared goals instead of just working for someone.
The growth phase include a set of measures aimed at mobilizing capital. The report identifies 4 sources for capital, 3 of them somehow not traditional (at least inItaly): risk capital – including special venture and seed funds; industries, citizens, crowd funding and credit access.
On the other hand, the report assumes that in order to growth, there is the need of a place, thus the importance of incubators’ and accelerators’ role. The report suggests that providers of incubation space and services should be certified according to specific criteria (space; services; network; …) and receive special benefits and support very likely to start-ups companies. This reflects the logic behind the whole report: involving all actors in order to make measures really effective.
The third and last set of measures phase is of course related to the exit phase: here the report suggests to implement mechanisms in favour of a more tight relation among industries and start-ups, as well as more simple measures to facilitate start-ups listing in the stock exchange. Last but not least the report encourage a grater diffusion of the culture of failure, which is actually rare inItaly at the moment.
This nice set of proposals of the Task Force will now start its journey through Ministers desks and Roman buildings’ meetings rooms. We don’t know what will come up from this journey and we do hope that measures proposed will be actually translated into concrete and effective action.
Today though, we enjoy the fact that such important themes has been raised, defined and in-deep analysed, and we believe that the document is an important step towards the rise of the awareness on entrepreneurship, start-ups and all the passion and opportunities that comes with them.
At StartMiUp we will do anything in our power to further enhance the cultural level and the social mindset in Italy about the importance of innovation for a sustainable and inclusive growth.
“l’Italia deve diventare un Paese sempre più ospitale anzitutto per i propri giovani. […]Perché usando le loro competenze per trasformare un’idea in un progetto, e un progetto in una nuova impresa, non contribuiscano solo a produrre ricchezza, a generare crescita, a creare occupazione – ma dimostrino che l’apprensione verso il nuovo che ciascuno di noi ha si può vincere con una prospettiva di futuro condivisa.”
“Per un Paese come il nostro, ancora troppo lento e dove la mobilità sociale è minima, l’innovazione può essere la nuova chiave per l’emancipazione di tutti coloro che sono pronti a mettersi in gioco.”