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Switch2Product closes the 2021 edition with Demo Day and inaugurates the 2022 program: an unmissable opportunity to create the world to come

There were 21 projects with which the Demo Day of the 2021 edition of Switch2Product concluded this morning. Thanks to the work accomplished during the 4-month acceleration coordinated by

PoliHub

, the startups explained to some of the initiative’s leading venture capital funds and partner companies how they plan to bring their technological and scientific innovations to market.

On the same day, the 14th edition of

Switch2Product – Innovation Challenge

, whose application collection phase will close on July 15. S2P is the Innovation Program organized by PoliHub, Technology Transfer Office of Politecnico di Milano and Deloitte’s Officine Innovazione. S2P was created to support the creation of innovative startups by enhancing research activity and promoting entrepreneurship.

A UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE FUTURE

Turning the results of scientific research into a startup is perhaps the most ambitious and challenging way to demonstrate that one’s idea has the ability to actually solve a problem. And, in order to gather ideas from as many people as possible, Switch2Product targets a wide audience: students, researchers, PhD students, faculty and alumni of Politecnico di Milano, POLIMI Graduate School of Management, Poli.design, as well as alumni or students enrolled in other universities and/or affiliated research institutions.

Those selected will have experts at their side to guide them along a path of entrepreneurial empowerment. Teams will also gain access to tailored grants and acceleration tracks, but most importantly, they will be able, at the end of the track, to connect with investors and industry partners who will enable them to build a PoC and obtain targeted investment to turn the idea into a startup.

There are four application categories:
Health&Med Tech, Climate Tech & Circular Economy, Industries Transformation, New ways of working and living
.

But for this 14th edition, there is an important new feature: leveraging PoliHub’s well-established network, S2P will offer each track a path calibrated to the specifics of the target industry and the needs of each team.

THE STRENGTH OF THE TEAM: THE PARTNERS

Once again this year there are numerous companies and institutions that, aware of the value of technology transfer for the growth of the country’s economic fabric, have decided to be contaminated by innovation, actively contributing to the competition by bringing their expertise and relationships, supporting the program financially as sponsors or providing cash grants to startups deemed most promising and with which to start dialogues and collaborations.

Switch2Product also demonstrates its excellence by fielding important established partnerships, such as the one with Joule, Eni’s School for Enterprise.

Joule will be available to teams with a track that provides tools and expertise in the areas of energy transition, decarbonization, circular economy and clean tech, while the Chamber of Commerce of Milan Monza Brianza and Lodi will award technology projects, which are able to provide concrete answers to the issues of energy transition, circular economy, sustainable tourism and digital transformation both in the social, cultural and creative spheres, as well as in the workplace.

MOVYON – Autostrade per l’Italia group, will support the initiative with resources for mobility-related projects, providing its expertise in integrating technological solutions for managing complex infrastructure. Special attention will be paid to innovations aimed at reducing the impact of mobility both environmentally and socially, central goals in sustainability agendas at work.

Finally, A2A-already an investor in the Poli360 fund, linked to the Milan Polytechnic-will support projects in the areas of Energy Transition and Circular Economy, aligned with its strategic goals, to contribute to the country’s sustainable growth. This new partnership is a demonstration of the growing interest of companies and investors in Energy Transition and climate emissions reduction issues that most urgently require the development of new technologies and solutions to solve problems of planetary significance.

ACCESS TO FUNDS: INVESTOR PARTNERS

For the fourth consecutive year, the fund Poli360, dedicated to technology transfer in Italy and born from the collaboration between the 360 Capital Venture Capital fund and Politecnico di Milano, is working alongside the Politecnico to invest in the most promising projects that will emerge from the program, supporting their technology development and bringing them closer to the market.

New for the 2022 edition is a focus on the growth of new enterprises conceived within research laboratories dedicated to Environmental Sustainability, particularly in the areas of energytech, circular economy, sustainable manufacturing, smart mobility e water management through Tech4Planet, the National Technology Transfer Pole, established in collaboration with the Polytechnic of Milan together with the Polytechnic of Bari and Turin.

SPONSORS, SKILLS AND TRAINING

Numerous sponsor confirmed: POLIMI Graduate School of Management, which for the fourth year is participating in the challenge with teams of students enrolled in MBA and Executive MBA programs from which the team deemed most deserving will be awarded, Bugnion S.p.A., which will support startups entering the acceleration track with dedicated consulting on IP strategy, the study RP Legal & Tax, which will take care of all legal aspects with special focus on the areas of IP and venture capital, and FSI, which supports S2P through a partnership with Fondazione Politecnico di Milano.

Other partners and sponsors will join in the course of the initiative.

SWITCH2PRODUCT: A CHALLENGE FOR INNOVATION

Applications will be open until July 15. From then on, the selection process, divided into 2 steps, will begin:

1st phase – By the end of September, a committee will select the top 90 projects to participate in the “Idea Development & Pitch“, in which teams will test themselves to succeed in presenting their idea in an effective and appealing way in front of a jury composed of representatives from Politecnico di Milano, PoliHub, Deloitte and experts from the world of industry. The jury will identify the 45 finalists at the end of the presentations.

Stage 2 – Teams that passed the previous stage will participate in an exclusive 6-week pre-acceleration program. This second step is critical, as it will provide teams with additional knowledge to clearly describe their project and identify possible market outlets. This phase will end with a second presentation to the jury, at which point they will announce the winners.

Teams that make it to the final step will be eligible to receive:

  • Access, upon invitation from PoliHub, to the 4-month acceleration track dedicated to entrepreneurial and technological development through a project growth plan
  • Economic development contributions made available by the Politecnico di Milano and the Initiative Partners, divided into: Grant S2P, disbursed by the Technology Transfer Office (TTO) of the Politecnico di Milano and intended only for projects submitted by professors, researchers, doctoral students, and students pertaining to the Politecnico di Milano who have an existing working relationship with the University and Special Grant, made available by the Initiative Partners and intended for each participant who meets the eligibility criteria.

All participants will receive one-year access to PoliHub’s community and Membership services.

The idea in itself is not enough. Although good it needs concreteness. It needs to be supported, addressed and enhanced. For the past fourteen years, Switch2Product has been a landmark within the Polytechnic and business ecosystem; it is a hallmark for investors; it is a proving ground for enterprising young people and seasoned entrepreneurs.”, comments Donatella Sciuto, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the Milan Polytechnic. “In the last three years, the number of applications to S2P has grown, more than six hundred; investments have increased, almost seven million euros of early stage pre-seed and seed investments; and the number of companies that have landed on the market has multiplied (36 companies have been established). It is with this in mind, strengthened by positive signals such as those coming from this competition, that the Politecnico is focusing on the regeneration of the gasometers in the Bovisa area, with the intention of creating an ad hoc space for startups, positioned at the center of a true innovation district.”

“Switch2Product has once again demonstrated the importance of the meeting between the worlds of university research and business. This is a phenomenon that has been talked about a lot in recent months thanks to the PNRR Mission 4 initiatives, but one that Politecnico and Officine Innovazione had been betting on for some time.” says Cristiano Camponeschi, Partner at Officine Innovazione. “I also expect a lot from this edition: the themes and startups of S2P are of great relevance to us and can give us great momentum in supporting the acceleration platforms we already have active in agrifood, circular economy, health&biotech.”

“S2P increasingly confirms itself as a program of excellence,” concludes Andrea Sianesi, President PoliHub. “In recent years, PoliHub has created a machine capable of birthing deep tech startups, thanks to specially developed pathways and methodologies and the support of an impressive community of mentors, and by leveraging strong relationships with investors and industry partners. An ever-expanding network of stakeholders interested in the value of innovation is the strength of Switch2Product, the most important challenge in Italy that grows projects that know how to turn into businesses and that each year contribute to enriching the entrepreneurial fabric of the country and building its future“.

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