December 1 to December 6, 2013

Greenhouse, 150 Varick St., New York, NY 10013


a 5-day NY market accelerator for Italian tech startups

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Startups & Meatballs, an Italian tech showcase

We hosted an extremely impressive delegation of early-stage Italian tech startups looking to make it happen in NYC.

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On December 1, 2013, we launched VentureOutItaly, a 5-day New York market accelerator, for 16 of the most promising early-stage Italian tech companies to help them  launch their businesses into the US. 



During this program, the companies had the opportunity to meet with influential NY investors, including Vedanta Capital,  New York Angels, NYC Seed, Gotham Ventures, ff  Venture Capital, and ERA Accelerator. We also toured some of NYC's great tech companies, including: 

  • Pixable:  Our start-ups had the were able to tour and meet with the founder of Pixable, one of the most successful startups in NYC.  The company has enabled more than 6 million users to manage and enjoy their online photos.
  • AlleyNYC: We were able to visit one of the most badass work spaces on the planet.  AlleyNYC is an entrepreneurial hub where teams and individuals grow their businesses in a collaborative, supportive environment
  • Skaled:  We ventured to WeWork Labs to meet with Skaled, a sales consultancy focused on helping startups scale their businesses.  Each startup had the opportunity to speak one-on-one with their team and get their expert feedback.



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Keynote: Tech & The City

Alessandro Piol

General Partner & Co-Founder, Vedanta Capital

Alessandro Piol is General Partner and Co-founder at Vedanta Capital and has over 30 years of experience in the technology industry. Previously he was a General Partner at Invesco Private Capital, and was responsible for investments in information technology. He has been involved in numerous transactions that have led to successful IPO’s or sales. Prior to joining Invesco he has spent 10 years with AT&T Corp., where where he co-founded AT&T Ventures. Mr. Piol led the fund's investments in several new media and communications companies, including BBN Planet (GTE), Classic Sports Network (Disney/ESPN), Multex.com, Redgate Communications (AOL), and Spectrum Holobyte (Microprose). Prior to AT&T, spent several years in the software industry, developing system software and compilers. He was a Founding Director of the New York New Media Association as well as several private technology companies. Mr. Piol serves on the Entrepreneurial Advisory Board and the Board of Visitors of the Fu Foundation School of Engineering at Columbia University; and is a mentor, advisor or board member of various private companies. In addition, Alessandro has recently co-authored, with Maria Teresa Cometto, Tech and the City: The Making of New York’s Startup Community. Mr. Piol earned an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and an M.S. and B.S. in Computer Science from Columbia University.

Investor Panel

Brian S. Cohen

Chairman, New York Angels

As an angel investor and mentor to entrepreneurs, Brian now serves as Chairman of the New York Angels who has invested over $53 million into more than 70 early stage technology companies. Brian was the first investor in Pinterest and numerous other industry leading startups. As a social entrepreneur, Brian is the founding Board member of Center4, NYC’s first technology accelerator devoted to serving the non-profit community. Brian also co-founded Launch.it in May 2012, the first direct-to-customer, self-publishing PR news platform. Brian holds a Masters Degree in Science Communications from Boston University's School of Public Communications and currently serves on the Dean's Board of Directors.

Giordano Bruno Contestabile

VP, Tilting Point

Giordano Bruno Contestabile is VP of Product Management and Revenue at Tilting Point, a new generation games partner for top independent development studios. Giordano previously worked at PopCap Games (acquired in 2011 by Electronic Arts for $1.3B), most recently as Executive Producer of the Bejeweled franchise, overseeing a portfolio of products that included Bejeweled Blitz, a top 10 grossing mobile game and one of the longest running free-to-play titles globally. Giordano previously managed PopCap’s mobile gaming business, and PopCap’s business operations in Asia Pacific. An active angel investor, Giordano has invested in The RealReal, Tonx, Granify, Invino, Nomiku, Kyck and Kanvas

Owen Davis

Managing Director, NYC Seed

Owen is currently Managing Director of NYC Seed, a seed stage venture capital fund in New York City. Owen has worked in all aspects of the online world, including work with early versions of AOL and MSN. He created one of the first 200 web sites on-line and founded Thinking Media in the summer of 1995, an online marketing firm which pioneered client-side tracking of pages and advertisements, which has become the standard method for online measurement. He co-founded Sonata in 1999, a wireless company that provided location-based services and marketing to cell phones. Owen also co-founded, Petal Computing, a firm that developed software which allowed large numbers of commodity PCs to act like a single unit, useful in industries ranging from image rendering to pharmaceuticals. Owen is the author of various patents in Internet methods and technologies. He is also the author of the book Instant Java Applets, available from Ziff-Davis Press. He is an original member of the World Wide Web Artists Consortium, and served on that group's original board. He was also an original member of the Board setting online advertising and media specifications and has served as Managing Director of the Wireless Advertising Association. Owen was named various times as one of the 100 Top Internet Executives in New York by The Silicon Alley Reporter and most recently was named one of the 100 most influential people in Silicon Alley for 2008. He received his bachelor's degree from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Italian Tech Startups


Simone Panfilo, Co-Founder & CEO

LOVEThESIGN is the leading italian ecommerce for home design. We cool-hunt, quality check and sell more than 6,000 products made with love by more than 250 producers, from the top notch brand to the small artisan excellence.



Francesca Romano, CEO

Atooma is a cloud intelligence hub to provide to mobile users a context aware experience through the connection between software sensors (most popular, consumer and business mobile applications) hard sensors (smartphone accelerators, location sensors, lights sensors, anything involving the mobile functionalities) and physical world's hard sensors like
wearable devices, smart TV, connected cars, and potentially many other devices. Imagine your smartphone able to read incoming email automatically only when you are driving by voice commands for relevant contacts, or play your favorite music and disable less important email notification if you are in your walking out with your dog, or grab pictures you take only in vacation to
you cloud storage, automatically. And many other vertical use cases..



Nicola Farronato, CEO

B-sm@rk is an Italian/Irish startup focusing on insight-driven marketing. We have developed MySmark technology as a new tool for research-digital-media to have in all digital marketing strategies. We aim to help brands to instantly understand consumers and tailor their brand propositions, leveraging brand experience and brand value. MySmark service captures realtime actionable insights and instantly build marketing & sales campaigns on top. MySmark is a powerful market research & adtech tool to leverage: #emotionalengagement #authenticity #empathy

Corporate blog: b-smark.com
Product: mysmark.com

Boutique On Click

Silvia Sturla Avogadri, Co-Founder

Boutique on click is a online shopping center, an elegant and very highly-curated market place of hand-selected Italian retailers and designers, presenting to a savvy consumer who’s looking for unique Made in Italy products. Boutique on click provides a turn-key e-commerce and marketing vehicle for specialty shops and designers who do not have their own e-commerce, and also to those that do. Boutique on click uses its powers of aggregation to market to and connect thousands of affluent shoppers to wonderful and exclusive shops.Tirelessly scouring the country in search of the most talented designers and unique products, our goal is to bring the most comprehensive collection of extraordinary shops, passionate purveyors and wonderful things. We give the chance to emerging Italian designers and small fashion and design companies to have their e-commerce at low costs.


Zucano Technologies

Marco Turchini, CEO & Founder

Zucano wants to provide travel behavior data and analytics to travel operators looking for better understanding clients of a 1.2 trillion market.
Through easing the process of social discovery, Zucano "learn" people travel behavior while helping them (9bn flying in 2020) to exploit journey time for social interaction."



Alberto Pepe, CEO & Co-Founder

Did you ever wish that writing a scholarly article was as easy as writing a blog post? Authorea is an online collaborative word processor for science and scholarship. Authors can write, share, cite, comment, export, and track changes, in one place, on the web. Authorea facilitates the writing of research articles, grant proposal, scientific blog posts, and other technical documents among many (many!) people. A collaboration at CERN of 300+ people (!) recently wrote a collaborative physics paper on Authorea. If we can make collaboration happen for CERN, we can make it happen for you.



Alessandro Bruzzi, Founder

Hairdressr is the online booking service for the best/exclusive hairstylists. Haidressr provides an all-in-one service with optimized software, dedicated hardware and internet connectivity.



Lorenzo Di Ciaccio, CEO

Pedius is a communication system helping hearing impaired people making normal phone calls, using voice recognition and speech synthesis technologies. Through our Mobile Application a user can start a call towards any desired phone number. By writing the first chat message, users seamlessly start a phone call, and an artificial voice reads messages to their destination. In real time the vocal answer is converted to text and sent back to caller.



Carlo De Micheli, CEO

With the growing usage of 3G and 4G networks, battery hungry apps, and increased processing power of modern smartphones, battery life is a daily issue. People have to carry power adapters or portable batteries. Charging stations are sometimes available, but one has to either pay and close his phone in a locker or stand next to the station the whole time. Savesquared offers a new user-friendly solution to the problem of using portable batteries.



Luca Perfetto, Founder & CEO

Freeppie is a revolutionary social travel network that connects users and operators in a platform that generates mutual benefits. Users share their travel experiences using their social networks profiles transforming the content into viral and creating advertising for operators. They are stimulated and rewarded with points that can be used to get discounted and free travel services like room nights or dinners and activities. Operators can fully interact real time with the social community and can sell with no commissions, generating extra revenue and stimulating the market by posting discounts or free services that will generate authentic social media coverage.



Michele Aquila, Co-founder & CEO, Manuele Sarfatti, Co-founder & CTO

Your Twitter stories in a book! Tweetbook is a platform that allows to record Twitter #conversations and to publish them into an ebook.



Alessandra Renis, Co-Founder & COO, Ruggero Frigoli, Co-Founder & CEO

Tonki is a cool and eco-friendly frame. It's made of one single sheet of cardboard die-cut with a unique design. We print your pictures directly on Tonki's 1 sq. foot front side and then we ship it to your home. Just like Tonki itself, the packaging is eco-friendly cardboard with colorful instructions for an easy assembly - the funniest part of it all! You can hang Tonki to a wall or lay it around.



Marco Visibelli, CEO

Kuldat is the world’s first business exploration platform. Our platform empowers managers to quickly test and iterate the best possible ways to increase revenues or cut company costs.


My Genomics

Lorenzo Cardelli, CEO

Everyone is different and needs personalization when choosing food, sports, prevention and therapy. We do it scientifically, sequencing DNA and interpreting its results.



Fabio Busatto, CEO

Couponing for adult entertainment.



Antonio Leonforte, CEO

Fhoster is a technology venture delivering information systems on-demand (in the cloud) via an model-driven development platform.


Event Partners

Italian Business & Investment Initiative

The Italian Business & Investment Initiative ® (IB&II) is focused on mobilizing Italian leaders in business and government to improve the Italian economy through vital investments in potential growth industries, such as high-tech sector. IB&II key partners are BAIA, INNOGEST, Intesa Start Up Initiative and Mind the Bridge. IB&II ® is also an investor in Mind the Seed Fund managed by Mind the Bridge.

US Department of State

Digital Economy Forum

US Department of State’s Digital Economy Forum collaborates with American and overseas partners to encourage tech entrepreneurship globally.

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