On Monday, February 22nd, a cohort of 13 Italian startups arrived in California – for the time being they arrived virtually; once the pandemic recedes, most probably after the summer, they will arrive in-person too.

The 13 startups were selected by the Italian Trade Agency (ITA – the Italian government agency responsible for promoting Italian companies abroad) as part of the 2nd edition of Global Startup Program (GSUP) promoted by the Italian Ministry for Foreign Affairs.

Alessandra Rinaldi, Trade Commissioner at ITA Los Angeles – kicking off the program on Monday

The aim of the programme is to foster new business opportunities for the chosen startups, and, potentially, to plan and establish their business internationally. In addition to the US, nine other countries are the focus of the GSUP programme  (Argentina, China, United Arab Emirates, France, Germany, Japan, India, Israel and the United Kingdom).

Mind the Bridge won the contract with ITA as the incubator/accelerator to partner with the Italian startups in Silicon Valley and Los Angeles. Our Scaling Managers will mentor and coach the startups on a variety of areas including pitching, protecting intellectual property rights, setting up and running a business in the US and marketing innovative products.

The programme created by Mind the Bridge consists of two parts: the first is a digital immersion programme during which the startups will be trained remotely by Silicon Valley senior experts. The market-entry part of the program, hopefully in-person, after the summer, will involve the startups in marketing activities, industry events and meeting with potential partners (ie investors and corporates).

The cohort of startups is extremely varied, from pre-seed to Series B, from the health sector, to energy, foodtech, ICT and IoT.

In opening the programme, Alessandra Rainaldi, the Italian Trade Commissioner at ITA Los Angeles, declared:
“The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) fuels renaissance in entrepreneurship, thanks to the support of the Italian Government and the whole startup ecosystem. Against the backdrop of the worst public health crisis in more than a century, the Italian Trade Agency will introduce, for the second year, a new generation of technology startups around the world through the Global Startup Program.
This second edition will involve more than 100 startups and 8 countries: USA, France, UK, Germany, China, Japan, UAE, Argentina.In the US, California is on the front line, with the 13 startups distributed between the 2 ecosystems of Los Angeles and San Francisco; the other startups will be accelerated in New York, Houston and Chicago. We are confident these entrepreneurs will delight the US mentors and investors with their passion and their creativity, a signature of their DNA Made in Italy.” 

The following startups will be part of the San Francisco batch:

Is CLEAN AIR works for the improvement of air quality in everyone’s living spheres. It is an agile company that has developed a modular solution that reduces effectively a wide range of air pollutants and provides the highest level of environmental protection in industrial and urban spaces. They plan and offer APA (Air Pollution Abatement) to the market, the innovative technological solution working for the abatement of air pollutants in industrial, productive and urban fields. APA is a technological solution unique in its genre, because it can intervene at the polluting source and work without generating any special waste.

D-Heart is the first smartphone based electrocardiograph which is pocket size, affordable, clinically reliable and tailored for the patient. D-Heart biomedical startup was founded in 2015 thanks to the work of Nicolò Briante and Niccolò Maurizi, at the time two young students in the interdisciplinary environment of the Almo Collegio Borromeo of Pavia. Maurizi is a young doctor researcher in cardiology at the University of Florence. When he was sixteen, Maurizi was hit by a myocardial infarction. He decided to become a doctor and transform his problem into an opportunity. Thanks to the help and business expertise of his roommate, Briante, they created D-Heart, the first smartphone ECG device that combines the usability required by the patient and reliability of the ECG wanted by the doctor.

Haruspex s.r.l. is an innovative cybersecurity startup that derives from more than 10 years of research in cooperation with University of Pisa. The Haruspex highly innovative technology based on a Digital Twin enables security-by-design and what-if analysis by defining the minimum set of countermeasures to neutralize cyber threats. It has received several awards such as the IBM worldwide awards and was involved to several NATO Cyber War Games. Among its customers are some of the biggest Italian infrastructure companies.

Specialized in Energy Diagnosis, Energy Audit and Benchmarking, Artificial Intelligence applications for monitoring and forecasting consumption and energy production. MiPU Energy Data provides services, training and technologies to help industry and cities to reduce waste and costs while respecting sustainability. MIPU Energy Data is part of MIPU Group, a group of companies whose common mission is to bring prediction to factories and cities to reduce waste, costs and difficulties and to enhance the existing with respect for sustainability and social inclusion . We are the only partner for your Energy Efficiency goals.

Through its software (SaaS), My Governance’s goal is to digitize all internal and compliance related processes of a company. Among our clients are BNL, PwC, Humanitas, Avio, Liu-Jo,  Banca PSA, Azimut Benetti. As an example, using only one of our solutions, BNL saves over Euro  2.5 million each year.

Bluenergy Group is the multi-utility born in Friuli Venezia Giulia which has been operating in the electricity and gas supply market since 2003, serving individuals, SMEs and large companies throughout Northern Italy. Present on the territory with 30 stores in Friuli Venezia Giulia, Veneto, Lombardy and Piedmont, it is able to provide solutions for all types of customers, promoting the conscious consumption of resources, in total respect for the environment.

Ernesto connects clients with more than 100,000 local professionals for home and personal services. The mission is to help two categories of users: customers looking for local professionals for home services and independent firms and professionals looking for new job opportunities to grow their business. Ernesto helps professionals and small local businesses specializing in home services to find new customers at far more convenient costs and conditions than any other player on the market.

The following startups are part of the Los Angeles batch:

Seadamp Plus is a mooring and an energy recovery system.Seadamp Plus shock absorber is designed to be inserted between two movable objects, the boat and the dock, to reduce their reciprocal motion due by the waves. Seadamp Plus ensures the damping of the oscillations, reducing the mooring loads, increasing the comfort on board and the safety of mooring. It also allows to keep the on-board batteries charged during long winter mooring periods requiring no intervention to carry out checks and top-ups.

Mash introduces a new way to experience authentic Italian gelato, prepared in an express way, without using the traditional laboratory process. The customer witnesses the preparation, which takes place in their presence. Through an alternative method of preparation, Mash can offer a short-chain product that employs quality and local raw materials. Gelato production becomes environmentally friendly. Food waste and energy use are reduced and the whole production process becomes sustainable.

Billions of people use voice messages every day. iUP wants to evolve the audio experience starting from audio messages, exploiting the inner potentiality of this form of communication. Using voice filters, musical or environmental background bases and sound effects, 2REC turns voice messages into an involving, emotional, warm and compelling means of communication, which fulfills the user desire of customization.

LaserAid® provides the first signaling system based on laser technology aimed to increase visibility in case of mobility critical conditions. LaserAid® EdgePlusTM is a fully automated system activated via special sensors and a processing algorithm, which allows to see the edges of the road even in conditions of poor visibility, like thick fog, making paths clearly visible and safe.

It’s Prodigy supports companies in their growth, scale-up and lead generation. Temporary teams are also created for their needs, to support them in market development and to cope with peak workloads. It’s Prodigy supports companies in big data, AI, IOt and also in the maintenance and development of their digital platform. – Four innovative products in the areas of big data, digital marketing and retail: Digitality, which provides a detailed analysis of a company’s degree of digitalisation Luxury GPS, which is a packaging tracking device, capable of detecting temperature, humidity and shock through a special sensor; Prodigy4Startup, a mentorship programme to help startups grow easier and faster. Data Prodigy, an innovative Business Intelligence platform, based on machine learning algorithms which is able to autonomously read company data and propose it intuitively to corporate decision-makers.

SiWeGo is a platform (web, Android, iOS) that fills the empty space of vehicles with easy, safe and real-time matching


Author: Tiberio Santomarco

After 20 years as a senior marketing and sales professional for one of Europe’s largest and most dynamic media companies, Mediaset, in 2016 Tiberio moved to San Francisco disrupting his life, career and family with 4 young kids. Following a few seminal years in Silicon Valley, playing in the open innovation arena, Tiberio currently leads the Los Angeles branch of Mind the Bridge, an innovation advisory firm. Tiberio’s current consulting work with corporates draws on previous experience delivering revenue across all media channels and platforms for Mediaset/Fininvest Group in Italy, Spain, Germany, France and other European countries. Tiberio also works with startups of all kinds, advising on the design and implementation of comprehensive marketing solution