Italy Starts 2019 Announces Winner: MannequinME!

Congratulations to Rome high school students Quinto Hambasan, Elisabetta Salatino and Federica Michis from Istituto d’Istruzione Superiore “Via Salvo D’Acquisto 69”, who won the third edition of John Cabot University’s Italy Starts on June 25, 2019.

Italy Starts 2019 Participants

Italy Starts 2019 Participants

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 business problems or develop models for their social venture idea.

“With Italy Starts, mentees become entrepreneurs, and mentors become leaders and motivators. Together, they build new friendships and an experience to remember” said Professor Silvia Pulino, Director of JCU Institute for Entrepreneurship.

Over the course of five weeks students from local Italian high schools worked on turning their ideas into projects, with invaluable mentorship by Villanova University students. The program was overseen by JCU Dean of Academics Mary Merva, Professors Silvia Pulino (JCU), Costanza Cicero (Institute for Entrepreneurship) and David Shaffer (Villanova).

The winning idea was MannequinME, an app that helps you find the perfect outfit for any occasion. It creates a realistic mannequin based on the customer’s specifications and allows them to dress it up choosing from a plethora of famous brands.

The Italy Starts jury was composed of three John Cabot University faculty members: Professor of Information Systems Daniele Pica and Professors of Marketing Alessandro Signorini and Tobias Schildfat.

The winning team and their mentors each received Defending the Free Market: The Moral Case for a Free Economy by Robert Sirico, a thought-provoking book on how free economy actually promotes charity, selflessness, and kindness.

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.

(Costanza Cicero)