Rome, May 3 (Labitalia) – “Today the startups registered in the special section of the Mise business register are now steadily settling over 12 thousand. In fact, as of April 1, 2021, there were 12,561, 3.4% of all newly established joint-stock companies ”. Angelo Coletta, president of InnovUp, says this in an interview with Adnkronos / Labitalia. Born from the union of Italia Startup and Apsti, the association represents the Italian ecosystem of innovation and which brings together startups, scaleups, innovative SMEs, innovation centers, science and technology parks, incubators, accelerators, enablers, investors, professional firms and corporate.
The innovative startups employ, according to the latest Mise data available as at 31 December 2019, a total workforce of 61,529 units: 16,701 employees and 44,828 members. “Compared to the 54,758 people involved at 31 December 2018 – he points out – there was an increase of 12.4% (+6,771 units). Innovative startups with at least one employee are 4,569, 41.9% of the total registered population. On average, the startups employ about 3.7 employees each “.
“About 75% of startups – he explains – deal with business services. 37% deal with software production, IT consultancy. 14% with scientific research and development. 9% with activities related to information services”.
“Another 17% – he adds – deals with services related to the world of manufacturing (manufacture of machinery and equipment or related computers / electronics) and about 3% deals with trade”. The Ministry of Economic Development, in its report at the end of 2020, has calculated that since the establishment of the special section of the Mise Business Register (in the first months of 2013), only 9% of all registered startups have ceased business, the survival rate of innovative startups is therefore very high.
“In detail – he underlines – less than 5% of the startups established in 2017 appear to have ceased their activity two years later. The mortality rate rises to about 15% for startups established for at least five years, up to over 20% for companies with at least seven years of activity behind them ”.
“It follows – he clarifies – that over 80% of the innovative companies established before 2013 (which lost the status of innovative startup due to reaching the age limit at least two years ago) are still in a state of activity”.
“The inventiveness of startups – warns Coletta – certainly did not stop with the arrival of the pandemic. By their very nature, startups are small and very flexible companies: if on the one hand this condition led to greater difficulties in terms of liquidity and cash flows, on the other hand it allowed rapid updates of business models, which guaranteed the sector stability “.
“To cope with the health and economic emergency generated by the coronavirus – he recalls – the InnovUp association has gathered together the innovative Italian companies capable of providing ‘digital’ solutions both in the emergency phase (March 2020) and in the restart (from September 2020). Over the months, more than 150 Italian startups, scaleups and innovative SMEs have activated and shared 360-degree solutions in the digital field, capable of providing services such as remote team communication, entertainment for children in pre-school age or online medical / psychological counseling, artificial intelligence solutions for corporate financial and document management, delivery of personalized meals or medicines for the weakest categories, etc. “.
“Even in terms of funding collected – adds Coletta – there has been no collapse. According to the Politecnico di Milano, in 2020 the Italian Hi-Tech startups collected 683 million euros, about 11 million less than what they collected in 2019. An extremely limited decrease if compared to the peculiarity of the historical period “.
“This opens up – says Coletta – the opportunity for this government and for our entire country to act as a driver in the innovation ecosystem, exploiting the framework proposed by the Next generation EU and the resources accessible thanks to the recovery plan”.
“The role of the public actor – he suggests – in promoting innovation cannot be limited to an infrastructural phase, but must try to be as incisive as possible in terms of strategy, research and adoption, indicating a development trajectory that mobilizes and guides investments, identify strategic areas and promote partnerships with major global players “. For the president of InnovUp, “it is therefore essential to focus on the culture of innovation, with a series of reforms and strong and targeted measures, which do not aim to favor a narrow niche in the country but which are the real engine of this rebirth and restart, as quietly requested by the European Union, but loudly by those who are already part of this ecosystem and see the potential in this sector to relaunch the future of Italy ”.
“As an association – he continues – we are working daily, as well as with startups, scaleups, incubators and associated accelerators, precisely with institutions and professional associations with the aim of promoting cases of excellence and removing regulatory obstacles, to arrive at the best context possible in which to start new business initiatives in our country “.
“The backward position – he recalls – in which Italy currently finds itself in the comparison of the most developed ecosystems (such as the United States, Israel, France and the United Kingdom) undoubtedly gives us the advantage of observing our European and world partners, to reach them. and, taking advantage of their experience, improve their models “.
“However – admits Coletta – experience and studies document how most of the resistances in undertaking the path of innovation are especially of a cultural nature. Unfortunately, the prudent attitude towards change has not received and is not receiving a sufficient push against the trend from our institutions as, for example, occurred in the recent case linked to the sentence of the Council of State which canceled the possibility, for innovative startups, to establish themselves through a completely digital procedure “.