Today, we are pleased to have a guest post from Alberto di Minin, Special Advisor for Innovation to the Minister of Education and Research Maria Chiara Carrozza, Assistant Professor at the Istituto di Management, Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna and Intel Business Challenge Country Associate for Italy. Below, he describes the chronological lead-up to the splash that Italian companies made today at the Intel Business Challenge.
Italian Science and Technology was recognized at the finals of Intel Business Challenge 2013.
SEM+ a spin-off company of IIT and Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna got the first prize as the most european innovative start-up of the year. Together with Tensive a spin-off from Filarete they will represent what is best of European innovation at the global round of one of the most prestigious business challenges in the world.
These are two great examples of what the Italian research system has to offer the world and I am very pleased that we went from two Italian applications two years ago to 8 finalists and 2 winners!
Scuola Sant’Anna and Intel Italia have worked together in the promotion of this business challenge and Intel supported the national finals of Start-Cup.
The finalists of the European Round of the Intel Business Challenge were announced. A Great result for Italy! 8 of the 23 finalists admitted to the selection round in Irland are Italian teams, with iRC and WIB in 2nd and 3rd place! I am very pleased with this result. This year we really focused on quality rather than quantity of applicants, and my work was indeed facilitated by a super Italian selection committee! On with the competition then… Out of these finalists 23 will make it to California.
We are proud to announce the selection of the Italian business plans that will advance to the Second Round of the European Intel Business Challenge.
These entrepreneurial groups had the opportunities to go through an online mentoring program that will help them to work on their business plans, and competed for a spot at the European Finals in Dublin in June (17th – 20th).
Approximately 100 business plans were submitted and evaluated by a group of experts, and each business plan received the evaluation of at least 3 judges.
The Italian Dream Team fought hard and intensively to deserve the attention of the selected VCs, investors, and managers Intel involved in the selection process. Given the high number of submissions received, and the good quality of the business plans, the Italian Country Associate of the Intel Business Challenge, together with Intel Corporate Affairs nominated, together with 15 winners of the first round a list of “runner ups”.
Business Plans directly selected among the PNI finals in Bari
These companies were invited for a special business lunch in Rome on April the 4th with Marcos Battisti, Managing Director for Intel Capital Western Europe.
- iRC (intelligent Remote Controller)
- Stem Sel
- WIB – Warehouse In a Box
Business Plans selected as winners of the Italian Round
These entrepreneurial groups were selected by an Italian jury to take part to the second round of the IBC Europe.
- CompAct™ Robotics
- DrSmart: bringing a Doctor into your Smartphone
- FYF – Feel Your Foot
- Metwit APIs
Runner Ups of the Italian Round
- Gluten Free Maps Europe
- Rehab Tech
I was honored to have Lieutenant Governor of California Gavin Newsom visit the Consulate today. Lt. Governor Newsom, 45, former Mayor of San Francisco, is a confessed Italophile who travels annually to Italy to appreciate the variety of culture and arts of my country.
We discussed his new book Citizenville and the opportunities to create more active and robust democratic processes in the digital age. Lt. Governor Newsom’s ideas about “taking the town square digital” were fresh and forward-looking. In this vein, the Lieutenant Governor keeps an interested eye on the new generation of leaders emerging in Italy, such as Enrico Letta, the 46-year-old new Italian Prime Minister, Luigi de Magistris, 45-year-old Mayor of Naples and Matteo Renzi, 38-year-old Mayor of Florence.
I’m pleased that Lt. Governor Newsom is a supporter of the 2013 Italian Year of Culture in the United States, and we spoke about upcoming events in the Bay such as the Fondazione Bassetti design events to take place as of Saturday June 22 in San Francisco.
For those who may have forgotten the meaning of Italian passion, the Viva L’Italia Gala event at the Fairmont Hotel this past Saturday served as an enthralling reminder. The energy and joy in the room was palpable, as guests enjoyed an ardent performance in support of Naples and bringing the Teatro di San Carlo to San Francisco this October for the Concert of the Two Bays, an epic performance of Verdi’s Requiem together with the San Francisco Opera Company on the celebrated composer’s 200th birthday. The Gala was chaired by Romana Bracco and Daniela Faggioli, with Maria Manetti Shrem as honorary chair.
We were honored to be graced by the presence of Democratic leader — and first Italian American Speaker of the House — Nancy Pelosi, the esteemed Mayor of Naples Luigi de Magistris, Superintendent of the Teatro di San Carlo Rosanna Purchia, Director General of the Italian Ministry of Culture Salvatore Nastasi, Santa Clara Supervisor Dave Cortese and Former President of the Board of Supervisors of San Francisco Angela Alioto, among many other distinguished icons of Italian and American business, culture and government.
Patently unforgettable were the operatic arias and Italian and Neapolitan songs performed by tenor Francesco Demuro and Maestro Nicola Luisotti, musical director of the San Francisco Opera. Some guests had tears in their eyes. Their show finished to thunderous applause in the ballroom. You can enjoy the video below for a taste of the sublime artistry at play. Remarkable!
Memorable was the impassioned speech by Naples Mayor Luigi de Magistris as he described the reforms he’s carrying out in Naples - a city that has seen difficult times, that is in the middle of important changes and that wants to show its welcoming face for Americans and the world as an open and tolerant metropolis, a center for the young, full of life, arts and culture: a dazzling Mediterranean capital that exudes passion for life and embraces complexity.
Thanks to strong attendance at the event and the spirited auction that was held, we took a giant step in the direction of bringing Naples’s Teatro di San Carlo to San Francisco in October. We still need your support to turn this dream into a reality. Please continue to stay engaged with our exciting calendar of events during the 2013 Year of Italian Culture in the United States. You can still donate here.
[First Photo Credit to Nicolas Marinelli]
[Video Credit to David Eastis]
Check out today’s article in the Corriere’s Media and Tech section!
The Enrico Rava Tribe played to an enthusiastic house last night at Yoshi’s, the famed Bay Area jazz club with locations in both Oakland and San Francisco. Mr. Rava played a sonorous trumpet and was backed by his tribe, which includes Gianluca Petrella on trombone, Giovanni Guidi on piano, Gabriele Evangelista on bass and Fabrizio Sferra on drums.
Rava has collaborated with some of jazz’s most creative figures, from Steve Lacy and Roswell Rudd to Carla Bley and Lee Konitz. Deeply influenced by Miles Davis, he favors a spare, harmonically transparent sound informed by bebop, operatic arias, free jazz and beyond. Well known as an ECM recording artist, in recent years he’s released a series of albums with fellow trumpeter Paulo Fresu exploring the legacies of Miles, Bix Beiderbecke, Louis Armstrong, and Chet Baker. His latest project is Tribe, a European aggregation showcasing some of the most inventive young improvisers on the continent. Among Tribe’s impressive lineup is the young Gianluca Petrella, who has a substantial recording profile and won back-to-back Best Trombonist honors in the DownBeat Emerging Artist category, 2006 and 2007.
For a taste of the Tribe, check out this sizzling video from Mantova Jazz 2012.
Lead by technologist Francesco Rovetta, the philanthropic trek to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro known as KiliTechTrek successfully summited the 5895 meter peak this past weekend. Standing in Tanzania, Kilimanjaro is the tallest mountain in Africa and the highest free-standing peak in the world. KiliTechTrek is part of the Summit Stories campaign to climb the seven continents’ highest peaks and raise money for local children’s charities.
Composed of largely Italian technologists, the band of seven trekkers have raised for over $13,000 — and matching corporate contributions — to support the Amani Children’s Home in nearby Moshi. For the last ten years, Amani has been taking in street children from the surrounding area and offering them a home of love, leaning and expression where they can grow and create productive, healthy lives. “Amani” means peace in Swahili.
Over 6 days, KiliTechTrek followed the Rongai route up the side of the stratovolcano and, in Silicon Valley fashion, reported their progress on social media platforms. In addition, the crew stayed powered up by harnessing portable solar panels from Utah-based Goal Zero, transmitted high definition pictures to their phones with Eye-Fi wireless SD cards, recorded their biometics with the Runtastic app and even collected payments for Amani on the fly with PayPal Here.
Donations are still being collected for Amani through the end of the month. To support KiliTechTrek’s fundraising endeavors, please click here and help the children around Kilmanjaro realize their special potential.
We last left our guest post series with John Fugazi, the magnanimous Italian benefactor of the Italian community in San Francisco. Today, Nickolas Marinelli, the Northern California Editor for L’Italo-Americano, continues the Fugazi story and tells how he kept his promise to the community.
Local news was rarely seen on the front page of L’ITALIA, the daily Italian newspaper of San Francisco’s Italian Colony. The front page was usually reserved for news of la patria, the home country. But on January 21, 1911, the front-page headline was a declaration that John F. Fugazi, il papa della colonia, would keep his promise no matter what the cost.
That promise had been made back in 1908 when Fugazi had pledged to build a community center in North Beach. Casa Coloniale, as it would be called, would house the offices of all the organizations that served the Colony and would even provide office space for the Italian Consulate. On the ground floor there would be a grand auditorium for social and cultural events of the Colony.
But three years had transpired and nothing had happened. Then a cartoon appeared in L’ITALIA’s Sunday supplement, La Vita Italiana. It showed a caricature of Fugazi floating above North Beach, being kept aloft by large balloons. The balloons were also carrying away the promised building, which was labeled, “Casa Coloniale Fu—gazi,” an Italian pun inferring that the project was dead. Under Fugazi could be seen a vacant lot with a graveyard cross on it and an epitaph reading, “here lies the colonial house.”
Fugazi was furious. His word had never been questioned before, and now at the age of 72, he wasn’t about to allow his hard-earned reputation and his legacy to be destroyed by a cartoon. He responded by writing a letter to L’ITALIA’s publisher Ettore Patrizi.
The next morning, the front-page headline read, “FUGAZI KEEPS HIS PROMISE” and Fugazi’s letter was re-printed word-for-word. In his letter, Fugazi announced that his wife would transfer title of the lot she owned at 678 Green Street—valued at fifteen thousand dollars—and that he would pledge “fifty to sixty thousand dollars” for the construction of the building. L’ITALIA even reproduced his signature.
L’ITALIA declared Fugazi to be a man of his word, and a committee comprised of the leaders of the various Italian organizations was established. An attorney was hired to incorporate the new organization, and the promised funds were transferred. On March 3, 1911, L’ITALIA proudly declared, “La Casa Coloniale Fugazi è un fatto compiuto!” As we would say today, it was a done deal.
When Fugazi heard that some of the organizations that were to occupy the building didn’t have sufficient funds for their share of the building’s upkeep, he created a special trust fund, and promptly donated another twenty thousand dollars. That brought his total contribution to almost $100,000 at a time when the average per capita income was a mere $700 a year.
The Casa Coloniale opened and was dedicated on Fugazi’s seventy-fifth birthday. Fugazi’s promise had been fulfilled, and he was awarded a knighthood by the King of Italy—the third in his lifetime. Commendatore John F. Fugazi had been permanently enshrined in the pantheon of pioneer benefactors of San Francisco’s Italian Colony.
A successful ratification of a Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is possible in the next few years: an agreement that would effectively liberalize a third of global trade and further strengthen the political and economic cooperation between the two largest trading blocks on the planet.
In Europe, the incentive is one of growth. Though the Eurozone crisis has stabilized, large amounts of public debt and slow growth have created a political imperative to bolster economic output. Beyond austerity, the European Union can embrace aggressive economic liberalization to keep fanned the fires of economic growth.
Beyond purely economic benefits — some analysts suggest $250 billion would be added to the GDP of the expanded trade block in 5 years — the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership also offers the EU and US a chance to further unite their vision of a world favoring open markets, free peoples and the rule of law.
Some observers believe both parties to the pact risk stalling the process by over-attentiveness to their own industries. In America, there is talk of protecting financial services and the airlines; in the EU, politicians are seeking to make exceptions of certain agriculture, public services and audio-visual content. Moreover, both sides sometimes feel hopeless in the face of differing regulatory regimes which complicate liberalization.
Still, the benefits of the Trans-Atlantic Pact far outweigh the headache of tackling regulatory complexities and vested economic interests. If successful, the expanded trading block will offer consumers lower prices, laborers more jobs, business more opportunity and politicians a unified politico-economic front on which the US and EU can continue to lead the world into the 21st century.
Leave it to the capable engineers at Ferrari to design a stunning hybrid sports car that not only reduces fuel consumption by 40% but also delivers the strongest engine of any Ferrari — ever. Indeed, the new LaFerrari claims a blistering output of 963 horsepower which is controlled by a dual-clutch 7-speed transmission and delivered to the rear wheels, in classic sports car style.
The LaFerrari will fling you to above 60 mph in less than 3 seconds, 125 mph in under 7 seconds and 190 mph in less than 15 seconds. From there you can accelerate to over 220 mph. At its test track, Ferrari has clocked the LaFerrari at faster time than any road legal car it has ever sold.
Get a load of this…