Unipol Group Joins Startup Europe Partnership

Once again an Italian company: Second corporate member in SEP announced at SEP Matching Event in Madrid.

Unipol Group Joins Startup Europe Partnership

First Insurance group joins EU initiative launched January 23rd in Davos with BBVA, Orange, Telefónica and Telecom Italia to support the growth of European companies to compete globally

Milano, 2 July 2014 – Unipol Group confirmed its entrance into the Startup Europe Partnership and its support for the global growth of European companies. Announced last Thursday in Madrid at the second Startup Europe Partnership Matching Event, organized with the support of Startup the Fusion, the Unipol Group aims to play a central role in Europe’s economic future. Unipol is  the first Insurance group and the second Italian company to join the initiative launched on January 23rd. 2014

Unipol’s entry into SEP follows Telecom Italia’s commitment to taking the “startup challenge” with the goal of assessing opportunities for possible procurement, investments and acquisitions.

“I am delighted that Unipol has joined the Startup Europe Partnership to help European startups scale-up and succeed internationally,” said Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the European Commission. “The European startup landscape isn’t just about young micro-companies. It is also about large corporations, the public sector, academia and startups working together in a win-win for all.”

Unipol Group will support startups with Unipol Ideas, a business incubator for social innovation and an open innovation platform that promotes collaboration between the resources and expertise Unipol Group has acquired in over 50 years in business.  The call for ideas will close on July 10, 12AM. Only the 10 best teams will be selected for a 2-month acceleration program plus 4 months of learning support, led by a team of social innovation and business development experts.

Joining the SEP is an opportunity for Unipol to foster the European entrepreneurial ecosystem as well as devise the insurance way to open innovation. Moreover, the Platform is part of Unipol’s innovation journey, which entails the Unipol Ideas startup accelerator and the establishment of an R&D function.

Unipol’s participation adds great value to the European programme led by Mind the Bridge Foundation, with the support of Nesta (the UK’s innovation foundation) and Factory Berlin, whose partners include Telefónica, Orange, BBVA (Founding), and Telecom Italia (SEP Corporate Member), with the institutional support of the European Investment Fund/European Investment Bank Group, Cambridge University, IE Business School, and Alexander von Humboldt Institute for Internet and Society.

“With Unipol Group we get a very important player that will give additional critical mass and diversity to our program,” said Alberto Onetti, Mind the Bridge Foundation President responsible for Startup Europe Partnership. “Another great Italian company supporting our mission confirms that in Italy there are those who want to play an active role in the innovation processes taking place in Europe.”

SEP Matching Event

Last Thursday in Madrid, the second SEP Matching Event took place, organized with the support of Startup the Fusion. During the event executives from SEP’s corporate members – Orange, Telefònica, BBVA and Telecom Italia – met selected European scaleups selected by SEP through its pan-european network of investors and accelerators.

Under the umbrella of the EU Startup Europe initiative, SEP is the first open platform to support the growth and sustainability of European startups able to compete and raise funds internationally. It is one of the six actions for web entrepreneurs defined in the Commission Communication, “Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan” (European Commission, January 2012), and conceived to realise recommendations included in the Startup Manifesto. It’s based mainly on three action lines (Matching, Sharing and Mapping).

The next SEP confirmed Matching events are scheduled in Venice, on July 8 (Sharing Event in collaboration with Digital Venice) and London, on November 21st, in collaboration with “Silicon Valley Comes to UK”.

For more information, please contact:

Serena Orizi – PR and Communications
Startup Europe Partnership/Mind The Bridge Foundation
(+39) 3204205558

Nicoletta Tranquillo – Ufficio Sostenibilità
Unipol Gruppo Finanziario

Stefano Nanni – Responsabile Research and Development Operations
Unipol Gruppo Finanziario