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What is Start Cup Toscana?

The Start Cup is an initiative aimed at providing a solid incentive for the growth of new start-up businesses. Originally limited to the province of Pisa, the Start Cup Tuscany has expanded to a regional level since 2006, representing the preliminary phase of a national competition called the "National Innovation Award".
StartCup Toscana

The Start Cup initiative aims to stimulate the growth of new start-up businesses by offering them concrete support. Originally limited to the province of Pisa, the Start Cup Tuscany has progressively expanded, becoming a regional competition and subsequently the initial phase of a national competition called the "National Innovation Award". This rewards the most innovative business ideas, involving over 30 Italian universities and evaluating more than 2000 projects since 2003.

The final of the Start Cup Tuscany takes place at one of the Tuscan universities or university high schools, including the University of Florence, the University of Pisa, the University of Siena, the University for Foreigners of Siena, the Scuola Superiore Sant 'Anna, the IMT School of Advanced Studies Lucca and the Scuola Normale Superiore.

The initiative was financed and sponsored by the Tuscany Region and is part of Giovanisì, the regional project for the autonomy of young people.

The selection of the winning ideas takes place through the evaluation of the documentation presented, including the project sheet, the declaration of relationship between the business idea and the relevant institution, the executive summary and the business plan. Additionally, the final audition is considered during the final event in Pitch mode. Proposers must specify the technological or market scope of the project, including Life Science - Med Tech, ICT, Cleantech & Energy and Industrial. The winning ideas of the regional editions participate in the National Innovation Award (PNI).

The evaluation of business ideas during the Start Cup Toscana takes place through a jury made up of national experts in the financial, entrepreneurial and innovation world. The evaluation criteria include the value of the technological or knowledge content, the feasibility, the development potential and ambition of the project, the adequacy of the management team's skills, the attractiveness of the reference market and the quality of the documentation presented.

Who can partecipate?

The initiative is aimed at individuals who have developed entrepreneurial ideas based on scientific and technological research activities and who:

they aspire to set up a business have set up a company as of 1 October 2022

have established a company from 1 January to 30 September 2022, but with a declaration of commencement of activity (as per the date of commencement of operational activity specified in the Chamber of Commerce certificate) starting from 1 October 2022.

In the first case - a company not yet established - the executive summary and the business plan presented to participate in the competition must demonstrate a concrete proximity to the start-up of the company.

To receive the cash prize, the winning groups, if they have not already done so, will have to set up a joint-stock company, possibly in a cooperative form.

This company must be registered in the Company Register within 8 months from the date of the award ceremony. Ref. Articles 4 and 6 Start Cup Tuscany 2023 Regulations.