Leonardo launches the second edition of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), the startup accelerator created in partnership with LVenture Group

Rome,  24 January 2023 10:59

  • The second international call of the Leonardo accelerator is about to start to select, in a 3-year period, 30 startups; in 2023, startups are invited to propose innovative solutions in the simulation and gamification and networking & cybersecurity sectors.
  • Online applications are open until March 24th and a roadshow for the promotion of the second call is ready to start: the selected startups will attend a 6-month acceleration program at Leonardo’s BIF spaces at the LVenture Group Hub
  • During the acceleration phase, startups will be able to develop a Proof of Concept (PoC) directly with the different business units of Leonardo

The second edition of the Business Innovation Factory (BIF), Leonardo’s startup accelerator created in partnership with LVenture Group is about to start. After the great success of the first edition, the accelerator stood out within the Italian innovation ecosystem as an excellence centre for the development of high-potential technological solutions. 

The second call is open to national and international university startups and spin-offs – also in the constitution phase – and it focuses on two specific verticals. The first one is the simulation and gamification area which is about the development of solutions for the simulation of realistic scenarios and digital twin to improve analysis, planning and management of critical missions, solutions of serious gaming for applications of remote simultaneous training and solutions to improve support and involvement of clients in using and managing Leonardo’s platforms.
The second vertical, networking & cybersecurity, includes IoT cybersecurity solutions and infrastructures of communications based on software, Zero-Trust Security applications, data protection and cryptography, Active Defence, quantum communication and quantum computing.

Startups will be able to apply directly online on the www.leonardoaccelerator.com website by filling out the dedicated form until March 24th. During the application period, there is going to be a roadshow for the promotion of the second call of BIF that will stop over in Naples, Milan, Tel Aviv, London and Munich. The acceleration program focuses on the pre-seed/seed phase in line with the call requirements and a Minimum Viable Product (MVP) that can be demonstrated. Startups in acceleration will be able to demonstrate their ability and maturity in confirming the technological solution on specific Leonardo’s use cases by planning and developing a Proof of Concept (PoC) directly with Leonardo’s business units.

The selected startups will participate in the six-month acceleration program in the Business Innovation Factory spaces at the Hub of LVenture Group in Rome, one of the leading innovation hubs in Europe. The program, carried out by LVenture Group, will share the vertical skills of its team in the main strategic areas for business growth with the startups, according to their unique Full-Stack approach: 360° support from acceleration to exit.

The second edition of Business Innovation Factory is part of the three-year course of the accelerator that aims to select up to ten startups per year, for a total of 30, that can develop innovative solutions to contribute to widening the offer of digital services of Leonardo that is between the worldwide leaders for Aerospace, Defense and Security. The launch of the Business Innovation Factory is part of Leonardo's approach to innovation that is based, according to the Be Tomorrow 2030 strategic growth plan, on interaction and collaboration between different internal and external players, to encourage the sharing of ideas and knowledge, fueling opportunities for new essential technological solutions.

The first edition of BIF – focused on servitization and autonomous systems verticals – obtained great success: more than 170 applications and 41% of them were foreign. The analysis of the projects from the dedicated Leonardo’s team supported by LVenture Group led to defining a short list composed of twenty startups that include the best ten startups accepted by the first BIF’s 5-month acceleration program which concluded in October 2022 with the demo day displaying the results achieved by the entrepreneurs. Two of them – the Swedish Canary Bit (servitization area), which develops solutions of confidential computing for the safe management of B2B data exchange, and the Italian Volta Structural Energy (autonomous systems area), which produces structural ion aluminium batteries – got an investment from Leonardo.


Leonardo, a global high-technology company, is among the top world players in Aerospace, Defense and Security and Italy’s main industrial company. Organized into five business divisions, Leonardo has a significant industrial presence in Italy, the United Kingdom, Poland and the USA, where it also operates through subsidiaries that include Leonardo DRS (defense electronics), and joint ventures and partnerships: ATR, MBDA, Telespazio, Thales Alenia Space and Avio. Leonardo competes in the most important international markets by leveraging its areas of technological and product leadership (Helicopters, Aircraft, Aerostructures, Electronics, Cyber & Security Solutions and Space). Listed on the Milan Stock Exchange (LDO), in 2021 Leonardo recorded consolidated revenues of €14.1 billion and invested €1.8 billion in Research and Development. The company has been part of the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices (DJSI) since 2010 and has been confirmed among the global sustainability leaders in 2022. Leonardo is also included in the MIB ESG index.

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LVenture Group is a holding company listed on the Italian Stock Exchange (Euronext Milan), operating in the field of Venture Capital. It invests, since the seed stage, in high-potential companies with international perspectives that are active in digital technologies sectors supporting them during their growth until their exit. Today the investment portfolio includes 100+ startups that collected €148M (24M invested directly by the company). LVenture Group contributed to create more than 1.800 jobs with a high added value.

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Luca Zanon 
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