The acceleration programme of the second edition of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), Leonardo's call for startups focused on the Simulation & Gamification and Cyber Security & Networking verticals, has begun. Ten startups chosen by Leonardo's selection team are participating. The startups comprise of a shortlist from 20 companies that participated in April at the Selection Day presenting to Leonardo through pitching sessions and speed tables.
For the top ten startups, the doors now open to the six-month acceleration programme, which will end in late November, with a Demo Day, which will be open to investors.
BIF 2023, which was launched in January, has been met with considerable success with a boom in applications from more than ten countries. It has been made possible by the international promotion roadshow, a novelty introduced at the 2023 edition of BIF, which allowed for the direct scouting of startups during the five presentation stages (Naples, Milan, London, Munich and Tel Aviv).
The roadshow's contribution to an increase in the internationalization of the selected proposals compared with the first edition of the BIF is evidenced by the nationalities of the seven startups directly from the call that will participate in the acceleration: two are Italian, two Israeli, one German, one Greek, and one UK-based; four are included in the Cyber Security & Networking vertical, while the remaining submitted projects within the Simulation & Gamification sector.
In addition to the increased geographic diversification of the selected startups, an additional new element that characterises BIF 2023 is the selection of three projects developed internally within the Leonardo Group. One was followed by the Telespazio team and comes from the #T-TeC 2022 - Telespazio Technology Contest (an Open Innovation competition promoted by Telespazio and Leonardo), the other two are from the Aircraft and Cyber & Security Solutions business unit. In particular, the proposal coordinated by the Cyber division is complemented by the contribution provided by the team from the Swedish startup Canary Bit, which was one of the ten selected for the acceleration programme of the 2022 edition of BIF, obtaining, at the end of the path, an investment from Leonardo.
"At the start of the acceleration phase, we were extremely satisfied with the results obtained during the second edition of BIF. These fully aligned with our strategic objectives and inspired the launch call for startups", explains Paolo Salvato, Senior Vice President Strategic Innovative Projects at Leonardo, "and the trust that the Divisions and Telespazio have given us by entrusting us with important projects confirms the value that a tool like the BIF can provide to the Group's innovation by helping to accelerate and ground new scalable digital businesses in the startup mode and within the timeframe required by the market."
The teams from the ten startups under acceleration will now have the opportunity to demonstrate and validate the technology solution on Leonardo's specific use cases by designing and developing a Proof of Concept (PoC) directly with the company’s business units. The startups will present their results during Demo Day in late November.