growITup is Italy’s new platform for “digital” entrepreneurs to Go-Big! Not taking equity, we support Startups on their path to success helping the growth of Innovation in Italy.

It’s goals are:

  1. Attract and retain in Italy top entrepreneurial talent with a focus on building great businesses.
  2. Help create great & new world-class and successful Startups and help them to Go-Big.
  3. Scout for exceptional Talent and Technology to fuel Corporate Partners innovation needs.
  4. Spur a high potential Startup portfolio through a top-tier Corporate acceleration model and links to Investment funds.

It’s objective is to boost job opportunities through a healthy, go-big Startup Ecosystem, create a new perception of Italian Startups abroad and increase Startup investments in Italy over three years.


growITup is a way for Corporations to get in contact with the Startup Ecosystem to explore opportunities for Corporate innovation and contribute to the growth of successful Italian Startups.

growITup is a customized initiative based on the needs of Corporations looking for Innovation where growITup will scout to identify relevant Startups. Corporations have the opportunity of engaging with Startups in multiple ways, such as through mentoring, workshops, hackathons. The outcome for Corporations is easy, direct access to innovation, to do talent or technology acquisition, or to invest in Startups.

growITup is a neutral non-profit program that will seek collaboration and partnership with Corporations, Technology and Services Providers, VCs, Incubators and Accelerators.



The growITup initiative is devised to aid the development of great, world-class Italian Startups and to land Go-Big investments, providing a complementary go-to-market acceleration stage and an international network, in collaboration with the Italian Startup Ecosystem.

growITup will have a unique set up of Corporate Partners offering mentors, networks, and resources customized to the Startups’ needs. There will also be availability of space for work, meetings and events at the growITup location in central Milan. The Startups will get support devised to accelerate growth and increase opportunities for investments, partnerships and acquisitions.

To qualify: Startup with less than 5 years, incorporated and/or operated mainly from Italy, raised funds to date must be at least Seed Stage ($50K-$100K) and looking at investments above $500K.




growITup is collaborating with the ecosystem of Incubators and Accelerators to identify promising startup candidates, but it will also work directly with post-seed startups that are already beyond the ‘acceleration stage’.

Criteria-meeting applications will undergo a first screening that could involve interaction with the Startup (Skype calls or face to face meetings).

Startups passing the screening phase will be involved in selection workshops with growITup partners to connect and get a deeper understanding of opportunities and needs.

Based on the outcome of the workshops, there will be a final selection to join growITup.




growITup generates value by helping Startups to network and connect with the Italian and international Ecosystem.

Founders have the opportunity to connect with other fellow founders sharing experiences and learning from each other’s mistakes and achievements.

Startups connect with world class Mentors will help accelerate the learning curve sharing their experience mainly in product, marketing and business development.

Startups meet relevant Corporations with the opportunity to leverage commercial channels, services and resources.

Startups will become visible to top-tier local and international Investors.


growITup allows Corporations to successfully connect to Startups operating in their specific industry in order to have easy access to innovation, to do talent or technology acquisition, or to invest in Startups.



After the ‘Connect’ stage, there will be a prioritized set of activities and actions to propel the Startup to the next level. An intense engagement phase starts with the active involvement of selected mentors, corporations and other network partners to implement the action plan.

This also implies an effort from the Startup to fully engage and commit to new opportunities. Startups will enter the engagement phase and prepare to Go Big, ready for investments, partnerships and acquisitions.


Corporate partners together with other partners and mentors will engage with Startups to offer their expertise and networks to propel the Startup to the next level. This will also open up opportunities to engage the Startups directly both from a business and technology perspective.

In the engagement phase, Corporations will be able to try out the Startups’ potential. Investors will have the opportunity to get an early view on how the opportunities are developing.

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Being selected for the initative will unlock great opportunities to scale by accessing a world class network and inspirational mentors, selected Startups will have the opportunity of meeting world class Investors and Corporations to support the GoBig plan.

The ultimate success of growITup is to accomplish the GoBig plan, so a lot of support and effort will be put in the ‘Scale’ phase to make it happen.


After the engagement phase, the Startup will most probably have reached the maturity to GoBig.

Here, there will be an opportunity for Corporate Investors together with VCs to invest in Startups to scale. There will also be the opportunity for Corporations to formalize partnerships with Startups for products or services, or to acquire technology and talent.


This section will be characterised by additional tools and offerings from the Partners for the Startups, which will evolve over time.

Supports the development of the country.

Since 1991, the Foundation has modernised itself to pursue its philanthropic mission at best.

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Supports your Startup as it grows. Start. Build. Grow.

BizSpark gives Startups 3 years of free benefits: software, services, tech support and Azure cloud.

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growITup is in the central Tortona area of Milan and operates within the Open Innovation Centre created by Cariplo Factory in the ex-Ansaldo space of Via Bergognone 34.