Congratulations to Winners of Italy Starts, JCU’s Entrepreneurship Mentoring Program

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Congratulations to Rome high school students Luigi Mihau Dinu, Gabriel Fusco, Daniele Taglioni, and Samuel Marini from Liceo Seneca­, who won the second edition of John Cabot University’s Italy Starts on April 2, 2019. Their Mentors were Anna Wessel and Megan Fors, visiting students from JCU partner university Saint Mary’s College.

JCU Italy Starts Program

JCU Italy Starts Program

Aimed at third and fourth-year students enrolled in Italian high schools, Italy Starts was created by the JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship as part of the MIUR Alternanza Scuola Lavoro. Participating JCU/partner university students (Mentors) volunteer to be connected to Italian high school students (Mentees) to solve real business problems or develop business models for their business or social venture idea.

Over five weeks 16 students from 3 local Italian high schools (Liceo Scientifico Statale “Isacco Newton”, IIS Via Albergotti 35, and Scuola San Giuseppe al Casaletto) worked on turning their ideas into real projects. They worked in teams with invaluable mentorship by JCU students and visiting JCU students from Loyola University Maryland, Marquette University, Rutgers University, Saint Mary’s College and Texas Christian University, and were in turn overseen by JCU Vice President and Dean of Academics Mary Merva and Professor Silvia Pulino (JCU), Director of the Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Safety Tracker wristbandThe winning idea was SafetyTracker Wristband, a simple, yet effective bracelet design used by parents to monitor and track their children in case of emergency. The lightweight and durable material make it perfect for curious children.

Other great ideas developed by groups included an app for an Interactive Museum, an app to order a chef to cook a meal in your home, and one to identify available study areas in libraries around town.

The Italy Starts jury was composed of Silvia Pulino, Ph.D., (Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Director of JCU’s Institute for Entrepreneurship) and Dean Mary Merva, Ph.D., CFA, (Professor of Economics, Vice President and Dean of Academic Affairs)

The winning team and their mentors each received Entrepreneurship theory books in Italian generously donated by Istituto Acton.

The overall objective of the Italy Starts program is to encourage cross-cultural learning between undergraduate students who have had some training in entrepreneurship or business, and Italian high school students, within the broad spectrum of entrepreneurship-focused mentoring.

Learn more about the Italy Starts program.