Marche learning camp in Italy gave the iEER project a great view of regional startup ecosystem. It also offered the possibility to plan the future of the project together. During the workshop the representatives worked with good practices from ten different regions and moved towards local action plans.

Contamination of innovations

The camp kick-off was held at the Polytechnic University of Marche (UNIPVM). University is supporting young entrepreneurs by hosting a Contamination Lab, which is a multidisciplinary space for young businesses. The idea is to spread innovative thinking across the different fields of studies.

Principal of UNIVPM Sauro Longhi opened the event by saying: “It’s our task to provide entrepreneurial skills for the students. The future is based on these developments”.

The learning camp group was also welcomed by the lead partner Ossi Savolainen, the Regional mayor of Helsinki-Uusimaa, emphasized the important role of co-operation and sharing the innovations. He mentioned the idea and plans of Helsinki-Tallinna tunnel as an example of joint actions that try to fill the gaps between regions.

High rates of entrepreneurship

Professor Donato Iacobucci from UNIVPM presented Marche’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Marche as a region has one of the highest entrepreneurial rates in Italy. In the area there are a lot of small villages and old cultural heritage. This has an effect on the ecosystem. There are a lot of low-tech sector businesses  such as agriculture, agritourism, vineyards, enotourism and long tradition of making handicrafts like leather shoes.

The region has place-attached thinking, where people do not want to move from their home surroundings. On the other hand, there is also brain-drain to big cities like Milan. The big question is, how to develop business ecosystem considering the demographic situation? Professor Iacobucci underlined the co-operation with students and the ability to change.

Tourism and Incubators’ premises

The second day started with a tour in the old city of Jesi where students of secondary school ITGS Cuppari introduced the city’s history to the delegation. The trip ended in the beautiful Pergolesi theatre where the group was greeted by Marco Gialletti. Mr Gialletti runs a digital services company and is the Vice president of Ancona Industrial Association. He emphasized the challenges and importance of supporting entrepreneurship in the outlying areas like Jesi.

From Jesi the learning group moved to JCube incubators’ premises. JCube is a corporate innovation hub with laboratories for hardware startups. JCube boosts expertise for example in the areas of cleantech, food and additive manufacturing. During the visit the delegation got pitches for example from Goodytaly, Byetno and Visionar.

Swimming in good practices

Our hosts had organized a working cafeteria in the Hive, an empty spa building turned into startup incubator. During the afternoon we turned our attention towards action plans. The results of the iEER baselines studies and 19 good practices were presented to the group. Every region has prioritized and selected practices for local adaption. The most interested good practices included Slush event, Valencia Entrepreneurial Council, Scale Up Denmark, Aula Emprende and Marche’s Contamination lab.

Marche learning camp was the fifth and last of the series of learning camps. The next iEER event will be the peer visit to Hauts-de-France on 13th to 15th of November.

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