Italy Starts 2023 Announces Winning Team
On June 21, Italy Starts 2023 selected the best Final Presentation of an entrepreneurial idea to resolve a perceived challenge to the environment. Teams of 4-7 high school students (mentees) worked under the guidance of an undergraduate student (mentor) to solve real business problems or develop business models for their business or social venture idea during the 5-week program.
Italy Starts encourages cross-cultural learning through remote and in-person teamwork. Developing the skills necessary to achieve team objectives in an intercultural context are key outcomes of the program. Students learn first-hand the importance of effective communication and collaboration. Teams formulate proposals for solutions to perceived problems regarding the environment and compete for the best idea in a 3-minute presentation. Final presentations are evaluated on the idea and the effectiveness of the illustration of the value proposition, financials, and marketing.
90 mentees from 10 Italian high schools in 8 cities were guided by 48 mentors from 6 American universities, including John Cabot University, in 4 different countries. 18 teams competed in this year’s Italy Starts edition.
Students were joined at this final online event by their teachers, parents, and friends. Professor Silvia Carnini Pulino, Director of the Frank J. Guarini School of Business and Founder of the Institute for Entrepreneurship congratulated all participants on their work. She emphasized the importance of developing an entrepreneurial mindset even more than the passion necessary to start a business. “Going through the process of thinking about a problem, brainstorming solutions, and putting together a business model to address the issue develops an entrepreneurial mindset that will serve students in many of life’s challenges,” said Professor Pulino.
300 Euro in the form of gift vouchers, is awarded to Team A “Matchy & Catchy- Shopping online has never been easier,” a startup idea to reduce waste in the clothing industry through an App that helps people purchase clothes through an Artificial Intelligence program to personalize the experience. The team was composed of students from Classes 3AE, 3BE, 3CE, and 1BO at Liceo Classico Europeo Marco Foscarini in Venice. Their mentors were Davit Farmanyan, Dayana Amirkhanyan, and Sona Avetisyan (American University of Armenia).
200 Euro in the form of gift vouchers, is awarded to Team G “Green Tracker,” a startup idea to encourage environmentally friendly consumption using an App that provides detailed information about a product by scanning the barcode. The team was composed of students from Class 4A at Liceo Scientifico Statale “Einstein,” in Cerignola. Their mentors were Ovsana Tshagharyan, (American University of Armenia), Safa Aamir (Forman Christian College Pakistan), and Davide Ebraheem (John Cabot University).
100 Euro in the form of gift vouchers, is awarded to Team H “Pick Up & Earn,” a startup idea to reduce plastic pollution by strategically placing incentive-providing plastic collection machines in populated areas. The team was composed of students from Class 3B at Liceo Scientifico Vito Volterra in Ciampino and students from Class 3I at Liceo Scientifico Statale Aristotele in Rome. Their mentors were Tommaso Fongaro (Southern Utah University) and Sona Avetisyan (American University of Armenia).
Team I “Clean Earth Products,” a startup idea to produce and sell eco-friendly cleaning products. The team was composed of students from Class 4 at Liceo Linguistico “G. Falcone” in Bergamo, students from Class 3B at Liceo Scientifico Statale “Luigi Siciliani” in Catanzaro, and Class 3LL at IIS Via Salvo D’Acquisto 69 in Velletri. Their mentors were Muhammad Abdullah Awais and Bilal Ahmad (Forman Christian College Pakistan) and Sahika Bozdag (Rutgers University).
Team C “Evergreen – Be responsible, think sustainably” a startup idea to encourage teenagers and adults to reduce their carbon emissions by using an App to calculate their daily carbon footprint and identify ways to reduce it. The team was composed of students from Class 3LL at IIS Via Salvo D’Acquisto 69 in Velletri and students from Class 4D at Liceo Classico Statale “G. Carducci” in Milan. Their Mentors were Mark Heine and Kaitlyn Kirk (San Diego State University).
New Product Development:
Team D “We Teach – Have your future in your hands” a startup idea for an App where students in need of academic tutoring find other young adults who offer this service thereby providing an opportunity for savings for the family and work experience for young people. The team was composed of students from Class 3LL at IIS Via Salvo D’Acquisto 69 in Velletri. Their mentors were Lusine Harutyunyan, Monika Martirosyan, and Syuzanna Poghosyan (American University of Armenia).
Congratulations to all participants for their work in this challenging program!
Participating high schools:
Convitto Nazionale Marco Foscarini di Venezia
IIS “Blaise Pascal,” Pomezia
IIS Via Salvo D’Acquisto 69, Velletri
Istituto Omnicomprensivo di Orte
Liceo Classico Statale “G. Carducci,” Milano
Liceo Linguistico “G. Falcone” di Bergamo
Liceo Scientifico Statale Aristotele, Roma
Liceo Scientifico Statale “Einstein”, Cerignola
Liceo Scientifico Statale “Luigi Siciliani” di Catanzaro
Liceo Scientifico Vito Volterra, Ciampino
American University of Armenia
Foreman Christian College Pakistan
John Cabot University
San Diego State University
Southern Utah University