Rome Business School completes its RBS4Entrepreneurship cycle with 42 startup ideas, 5 accelerated projects and 2 startups in commercialization phase
The RBS4Entrepreneurship has reached 1 year, with the Pitch Day and the presentations of the incubation program teams. LampoVet won the RBS4Entrepreneurship first round 2022, thanks to his members’ innovative idea: a startup dedicated to dogs’ skin and nutrition, being the only digital platform in Italy. What’s next for them? The incubation winning team is currently following the last 5-weeks sprint, totally tailor-made for the further development of the project. Startup projects presented to investors are in negotiation phase for possible funding opportunities. Two of the incubated startups, Lampovet e Showup, have already received a few leads and are positively developing commercial channels. They’re now prioritizing customer acquisition optimization and fundraising activities, and currently working in looking for potential investors and preparing the proper documentation.
During the 6 months Incubation program, the teams have been learning through specific #6 VentureLabs, supported with #36 mentorships, as well as being connected with the ecosystem and learning from “the doers”, through #6 thematic roundtables they’ve got to know how to analyze their market, how to structure a go-to-market strategy, how to fundraise and to make a pitch, among others.
During the first 6 months, more than 20 Italian and international entrepreneurs came to the Rome Business School campus to share their experiences with the projects, such as Roberto Macina, former CEO at Qurami, a startup then acquired by uFirst, now managing partner at WDA, one of the first Venture Builder in Italy. Other entrepreneurs such as Monica Archibugi, former CEO at Le Cicogne, today part of Orienta group and Manuel Corona, CEO at Shampora, that in 2020 closed a 3M round.
The network we involved in the program counts on different players also from the finance and investment world such as BlueOcean finance, LVenture group, Intesa San Paolo, among others.
What is the RBS4Entrepreneurship program?
Through RBS4Entrepreneurship Rome Business School wanted to give a structured path to those with an interest in the startup world and entrepreneurship. Students are invited to participate to talks and workshops, meet successful startuppers, and acquire the necessary tools to launch a startup: from market analysis to creating a pitch and finding investors. The program helps students find a team or an idea to work on, so they can have a truly hands-on experience. Teams can be composed of students, alumni and external collaborators.
All teams can then submit their projects, out of all submissions, only 10 projects make it to the selection day, and out of the 10, 5 winning teams will join the RBS Incubation Program where, thanks to the aid of tailored coaching, exclusive meetings with entrepreneurs and specific workshops, they will get their idea to the MVP (Minimum Viable Product) stage.
Now we’re currently running the 2nd edition for our incubation program and soon we’ll launch the 3rd edition for the open program, implementing it with more activities and building new partnership to create even more value to our students.
Susanna Ercolani, key actor of the RBSEntrepreneurship Program stated: “the best part of my role is to support the teams from 0 and seeing their progresses day by day. Entrepreneurship is not an easy path and doing it require a lot of commitment and the right approach. We teach them how to approach this world and the methodology to follow, they do the rest. I can still remember the first days in which some of the participants of the program came to me totally lost just with a problem in mind or the idea of a project, being passionate about an industry or knowing it from the inside. Seeing how many times they changed their mind and their project from the beginning has no price. They’ve shown the ability that each entrepreneur should have: the adaptability. Working closely with them is priceless, and see the energy of young aspiring entrepreneurs is something everybody should live.”
But let’s start from the beginning: when everything started. Students from April 2021 intake, have been welcomed from the career service office, proposing them great activities and different paths: one of this was the Entrepreneurship one. It’s now sure that entrepreneurial skills are key not only to build your startup but to give a mindset and a set of tools that the students can use as an entrepreneur, as a manager, as a consultant or for every job. The students have been attending several activities.
- Students got the chance during the program to meet startup founders, entrepreneurs, investors and ecosystem partners that, though their activities and stories, had shared with them their experience.
- Students have also been trained in specific topics startup-related and got the possibility to form teams through an event with the aim to find co-founders, one of the most difficult part of doing startup.
- RBS has open its doors also to external participant, with the aim of creating heterogeneous teams. Not only composed by business school students, but also to mix the competences with harder tech skills or others.
The program’s main steps
During the first phase, the students stared developing their project, with the support of mentors, in order to present a pitchdeck to apply for the incubation program. A pitchdeck is a document that can present a startup idea in all its aspects: from the problem to the solution, from the market size to the final call-to-action; students have challenged themselves with finding a problem worth solving and trying to validate it.
Out of the challenge, RBS incubation program have received more than 40 applications from as many different countries. BS have been pre-screening all the projects and have selected the best 10 to be invited in the Selection Day: a live pitch session in front of the jury to be admitted to the following incubation program. We have been supported from a great evaluation committee that supported us in the decision on the projects to be brought to the next phase: Antonio Ragusa, Dean of Rome Business School; Raffaele Mannella, Program Director of the Master in Entrepreneurship & Innovation; Luca Tesauro, Founder & CEO of Giffoni Innovation Hub; Francesco Salvatore, Head of Open Innovation and Business Design; Carmen Martos Molinas, Head of Career Services & Entrepreneurship of EAE Business School; Andrea Pietrini, Founder and Chairman of YOURgroup; Anindya Saha, Founder of Nero Ventures; Marco Rosci, Founder of Epicode school; Simona Sinesi, Founder of Never Give Up.
The output of the event have been the selection of 5 different projects + 1 special mention: LampoVet, Tasia, Show Up, Break the silence, ETalk! Kuhula hel.
From Incubation to Pitch Day
The selected teams have been supported during a 6-month period of incubation, in which they have been studying and knowing their target customer, validating their problem and trying to build a solution based on their feedback: having a totally lean approach, as the startup world teaches us. The aim of the program has been to step from the idea stage to the MVP: building a minimum viable product, able to get relevant feedbacks from the market. The final result has been the Pitch day, the final event in which they got their first pitch in public: in front of the evaluation committee members, as well as other ecosystem partners and contributors that have been part of the program. Each team have been given 5 minutes to pitch, followed by 5 minutes of Q&A session to depend some aspects, and to get curiosity or questions from the audience online and Oncampus.
The winner of the incubation program has been LampoVet: the team has shown great commitment for the project and has been achieving real results, obtaining their first customers during the program.
LampoVet is an innovative and unique digital platform created to connect patients (dogs with skin and nutrition issues) to specialist veterinary dermatologists and nutritionists across Italy. Lampovet aims to become the reference reality for veterinary dermatology and nutrition video-consultations in Italy, their ambition is to promote education in veterinary dermatology and nutrition among patients and veterinary doctors and support the most vulnerable ones (dog shelters, stray dogs, people with law income and with a dog). Lampovet is all in one solution including booking, follow up, pet notes, reminders and future appointments. Lampovet guarantees rapid access to specialist care for anyone across Italy, being the only digital platform in Italy dedicated to skin and nutrition of dogs.
Fabrizio D’Abate, Team Leader LampoVet and student from the Professional Master in eHealth Management said: “In my opinion students should join the rbs4entrepreneurship program as this will add extra skills to what they learn through the Master, through it they can apply what you learned to solve an actual problem… which in my case was a startup. Moreover, one of the most relevant things of the program is the opportunity to develop soft skills to become a better manager. When I started I didn’t have the soft skills that a manager needs. The entrepreneurship program did teach me how to develop such skills. Furthermore, we were exposed to important companies from around the world and we had a very good insight of market aspects from different realities in different fields.”
And, he concluded: “When you have an idea you don’t know where to start from. You have an idea in your mind but you need to make that happen. The RBS4Entrepreneurship program is a unique opportunity for any student to develop skills and competencies to make their idea an actual tangible business reality.”