Talent Lab is a path of CalabriaInnova program aimed to support the creation of innovative startups and research spinoffs by graduates, PhDs and researchers.
In 2012 Calabria was one of the last Italian regions in terms of research and innovation. Therefore Calabria Region through the CalabriaInnova project has launched the Talent Lab program.
It is an integrated program of training, advisoring and financial aid divided into 2 phases: the first phase concerns the provision of a short cycle of training on business culture and provides assistance and advice useful for the definition of the business development plan. Phase 2 provides incentives for the creation of the company. Only applicants who have passed Phase 1 by submitting a business development plan can access Phase 2. Business development plans include:
- production investment plan for the setting up and start-up of new production units;
- business innovation plan regarding industrial research and experimental development activities;
- integrated plan of real services in the following activities: marketing, production and logistics, innovation.
The stakeholders are:
1) individuals with a degree and / or represent portions groups of individuals whose majority consists of graduates.
2) Research operators and / or groups of teams made up of natural persons within which there is at least one research operator.
Startup projects must fall within the S3 areas.
Budget: 5 million euros funded by Calabria Region. 3 calls have been published and 2 calls will be published in the new three-year period. Talent Lab is part of CalabriaInnova and the human resources used are about 5 .
Evidence of success
Calabria already in 2015 has a growth rate of + 263% and is the first in the ranking in Italy for the increase in the number of innovative companies in a year. There were 3 Talent Lab calls thanks to which about 90 innovative startups were born in the areas of the S3 Calabria.
Some of the start-up funded by the TalentLab had participate to Horizon 2020 and won the Grant in SME Instrument Phase-1 (5 start-up) and granted the Seal of Excellence in SME Instrument Phase-2 (2 start-ups).
Challenges: the involvement of researchers and inventors and the ability to develop an entrepreneurial culture. It was also difficult to generate entrepreneurial culture processes with the participants or with researchers and inventors.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is especially interesting for those regions where the innovation potential of the land is still unexpressed.
Entrepreneurship training is important, which supports startups which by their nature are subject to die quickly and support themselves both as support (coaching) and financially. An intense mentorship and coaching activities have supported all the new teams to discover their entrepreneurial potentiality. This activity of assistance was useful for the definition of an Innovative Business Development Plan. This made it possible to reduce the mortality rate of the startups.