ZERO’s call for startups kicks off
ZERO’s call for startups kicks off

The call for startups is now open for ZERO, the Cleantech accelerator of the Cassa Depositi e Prestiti National Accelerator Network, created by CDP and launched by CDP Venture Capital Sgr – Fondo Nazionale Innovazione, Eni, LVenture Group and ELIS, with the support of the Corporate Partners Acea, Maire Tecnimont and Microsoft Italia.

LVenture Group and ELIS, join their competences in the field of Venture Capital and Open Innovation to accelerate the development of the new Italian green entrepreneurship in a Hub for Cleantech that will be located in the Joule spaces of Eni at Polo Ostiense in Rome.

LVenture Group, a publicly traded venture capital holding company among the most active pre-seed investors in Europe, will co-invest in the selected green startups by accelerating their growth with its LUISS EnLabs accelerator program – born from a joint venture with Luiss University – which has created over 100 innovative startups since 2013.

Luigi Capello, CEO LVenture Group said: “The green transition and sustainability are the central assets of the Next Generation EU plan. We are convinced that the future of our country passes through the creation of new national champions in this sector, able to establish themselves internationally thanks to Italian talent and know-how. We are proud to be able to contribute to this challenging goal with our financial resources and the methodology of excellence of our Acceleration Program. CDP’s initiative and our collaboration with Eni and all the Corporate Partners draws an ideal chain for the development and growth of startups in a Pole dedicated to innovation, the fulcrum of the new sustainable entrepreneurship“.

ELIS, a consortium company with a consolidated network of large companies, SMEs and university research centers, will co-invest in startups and promote co-innovation projects by encouraging, together with LVenture Group, the matching between the best selected startups and their network of over 100 corporations.

Pietro Cum, CEO of ELIS stated: “We believe that talent needs opportunities, in order to turn into a sustainable project able to impact society and contribute to the common good. Our work, for over 50 years, is precisely to create a link between innovation and sustainability, with the aim of training people to work. Startups represent a fundamental interlocutor for us, because they are the result of the dream of one or more people and are the bearers of energy, skills and passion. But for that dream to become real, it needs to be developed organically on the market, also through dialogue with large companies. Our commitment, already today, is to connect large and small companies by generating co-innovation relationships. The ZERO accelerator represents, in this sense, a formidable tool that will allow us, alongside the partners involved, to continue on the path of sustainable investment in young people and ideas”.

ZERO will select 30 new early-stage startups over the next 3 years with solutions in the field of “clean technologies” to meet the global challenge of reducing polluting emissions (Net-Zero), developing projects for the green transition of our country. The areas of interest range from circular economy to waste prevention and reduction, from new energy sources to energy storage and transport, from CO2 capture, storage and reuse to emissions reduction. During the program the startups will be immersed in an industry driven environment with the aim of receiving support regarding the technology and the target market. In addition to technical and business objectives, each startup will be required to track and demonstrate the achievement of certain impact goals.

Both software and hardware startups with, respectively, a working MVP or a working prototype and a defined roadmap for mass production can apply for the first edition of the program, which will last 5 months, by going directly online by June 18 to the website: zeroacceleratorcleantech.com.

Startups will be able to learn more about the program with ZERO’s partners during three digital events scheduled for April 27, May 5 and June 9, applying to present their cleantech solutions and take the opportunity to measure themselves against the selection process.

ZERO has an initial endowment of €4.6 million. CDP Venture Capital Sgr, LVenture Group and ELIS will co-invest in the selected startups, which will be able to receive up to €80,000 in cash in the pre-seed phase, with the possibility of important follow-on to support the growth of the best accelerated companies.

The development of startups will also be supported, in a perspective of Open Innovation and contamination, by the Corporate Partners Acea, Maire Tecnimont and Microsoft Italy, which will provide technologies, training and their experience in the field of energy transition and environmental sustainability.

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