What will remain of this Italian Tech Week, which took place in Turin on 23 and 24 September, which has been talked about a lot mainly due to the presence (in videoI by Elon Musk, who had a 45-minute dialogue with John Elkann? Let’s go in order.
Primo. ll Italy’s lag on innovation. Yoram Wingaard, founder of Dealroom, one of the world’s leading startupper databases, opened the first day by presenting data that tell us how they see us from abroad when we talk about startups. Well, actually bad: we are back, we are where France was 7 years ago, where Spain was 5 years ago. These are lost years, lost opportunities, wasted talent. Talent who often went abroad, where instead he had considerable success: as happened among the startups present at the event, to Depop, which has recently been sold for a billionaire valuation, as a unicorn; but also in Soldo or Roboze; or talents who have remained in Italy, but who have also found the capital to grow abroad, such as Casavo, D-Orbit, MusixMatch, Talent Garden, Wiseair.
According to. We are starting to reassemble. According to the estimate made by SWG for Italian Tech, this will be the first year in which the total investments in startups will exceed one billion euros: very little compared to other major European countries, but almost double the previous year; and according to Enrico Resmini, the CEO of Cdp Venture Capital, the instrument created by the government two years ago, in a year we will be two and a half billion, another doubling in short. The comeback has started and if we make the right moves in 5 years, “at the Italian Tech Week of 2026 the Elon Musk on duty could be Italian”. It sounds like a shot, I know, but Federico Marchetti said it, who created Yoox twenty years ago, when there was literally only one venture capitalist in Italy, and made it the largest digital luxury company in the world: he knows in short, what is it about.
Third. This it’s time for Italy, not just for startups. Many have said it and the Minister of Digital Transition, Vittorio Colao, has argued, reaffirming the pillars of the National Recovery and Resilience Plan. “We’ll make it?” he asked himself. “We’ll make it,” he said. We are actually already starting to do it. The digital infrastructures of the Public Administration announced by Diego Piacentini (also present at the event, but in the new role of President of Exor Seeds), start to work: PagoPA, the IO app and the Green Pass are 3 examples of a digital Public Administration which is already there.
Fourth. There are two Italies that do not speak the same language. While the government triumphantly approved the return to the office, “to the workplace”, of all public employees, on the stage of the OGRs, CEOs of large companies paraded, explaining how smart working was a positive fact and why a hybrid mode is the ideal for our future.
Fifth. Young people are finding their way. At the beginning of the pandemic, Khaby Lame was just another 20-year-old unemployed boy who had just been fired: he started making videos for TikTok, he invented a genre, today he is a content creator and is the Italian with the most followers in the world. over 110 million. Obviously not everyone can or should follow that path but it is clear that there is an old world that replicates obsolete patterns and that young people are somewhere else: we will soon realize it.
Sixth. Technology is a formidable enabler. It should be used to improve our lives. Many said so, obviously also Elon Musk, but it was when Ambra Sabatini, Martina Caironi and Monica Contrafatto went on stage that we saw it: in Tokyo they arrived first, second and third at the Paralympics, an unforgettable triumph; without technology their life would be much poorer. They added their hearts and minds to it and ran. “Do it too,” they told us.
Seventh. The captain’s advice. Giorgio Chiellini he was the last to speak. How technology is changing football. And how much humanity he puts into what he does every day. Then he accepted to become the captain of all of us for a moment and encouraged us as he did with his teammates during the European Championships: “Let’s have fun !, I told him”. Also because, as Musk said, quoting himself and Albert Einstein, “it is better to be optimistic and be wrong than to be pessimistic and be right”.
Eighth. The applause to Paolo Nespoli. The astronaut took the stage visibly ill with illness, spoke with his usual proficiency about the opportunities of the new space age and only finally hinted at his battle for life. Come on Paolo, see you next year.