The ITA presented Start Up with Italy: starting up Italian innovation in Silicon Beach

Italian Trade Commission, Start Up with Italy, Los Angeles, Italia american, Italian Culture

Introductory remarks by Italian Trade Commissioner Carlo Bocchi


Los Angeles isn’t just the world capital of entertainment anymore. An entire ecosystem has developed around the entertainment industry, creating new opportunities for international cooperation in the digital and technological fields.
So L.A. is now following in the footsteps of the cousin in the North, San Francisco, and establishing its own Silicon area…strictly on the beach. From Santa Monica to Venice, this has rapidly become a center of attraction for over 500 start-up companies, incubators, and accelerators looking for investments, partnerships, and opportunities of business development.
The Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and the Italian Trade Agency have been working together over the last few years with the goal of creating a network of brilliant Italian entrepreneurs and potential American investors who can benefit from each other, considering this year’s $3 billions in trade between Italy and Southern California.
Within this framework, on Thursday, October 23, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce hosted a meeting in the Downtown Board Room with the participation of 11 Italian start-ups and representatives of local financial and public institutions.
Introduced by Carlos J. Valderrama, Senior VP Global Initiatives of the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and Italian Trade Commissioner Carlo Bocchi, it was the occasion to present 11 innovative projects in the topical fields of big data managing, energy saving, automation, and ICT.
Among them were SmartEye by Smart-I, an optical sensor installed on lamp posts to modify the light intensity according to the needs of the urban environment, and the robotic beach cleaner by Dronyx, both of them particularly appreciated by the attending representative of PortTech LA, the business incubator dedicated to ports and maritime industry, for their potential use in the community.
The Italian start-uppers were welcomed by Stephen Cheung, Secretary General of Foreign Affairs and Trade Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti, who reminded them of the city’s huge potential in terms of business opportunities and international trade, thanks to both its dimensions and multiculturalism.
The pitch presentations were moderated by Aldo Cocchiglia, CEO of M31 - the only Italian incubator in Silicon Valley for European high-tech companies looking to expand their business in the U.S. – and preceded by a few opening remarks. ITA Executive Director Carlo Bocchi stated that this event, following a 3-day visit to the Silicon Valley to meet Google and other IT giants, represented a starting point as well as a mentoring opportunity for the participating Italian enterprises, to become more familiar with the U.S. business approach and environment.
At the same time, as ITA International Cooperation Director in Rome Francesco Pensabene underlined, the distinguishing feature of all the selected projects is a successful combination of creativity, passion for innovation, technical skills, and business-oriented strategies that only Italian entrepreneurs can provide.
This key asset makes them extremely competitive in the U.S. market as well as eligible to benefit from Horizon 2020, the funding program developed by the EU Commission and dedicated to research and innovation.
The initiative Start Up with Italy was part of a broader plan and a series of international trade missions to be carried out in the forthcoming months also in South Asia, Latin America, and Europe with the goal of promoting advanced technology made in Italy worldwide.

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