Startup Competition

Applications to the 2013 TechCrunch Italy Startup Competition are open now!


Startup Competition

You can apply by sending a pitch deck of no more than 15 slides plus a demo video of max 2 minutes to

We will review applications on a rolling basis, so it’s to your advantage to submit as soon as you are ready. Due to strong demand, we are unable to review applications more than once, so please do not submit a draft application before you are ready for final consideration.

Video demos are optional but highly encouraged. We reserve the right not to review applications without video demos based on application volume. We look forward to reviewing your application.

All Submissions are confidential unless otherwise permitted by applicants on the application form.

Applications are due by 17th July 2013. Late applications will not be considered.


To compete in the Startup Competition, at time of application submission startups must be live for less than 24 months and have received no more than 2 Million in funding.
In selecting final contestants, we will give heavy preference to companies that launch for the first time to the public and press at TechCrunch Italy. We consider new products from existing companies to be significant. Due to the limited number of competition slots on stage, companies launching new feature sets do not qualify as launch companies. The competition will take place in Rome on 26th and 27th September.


  • Fausto Boni
    Fausto Boni
  • Lorenzo Franchini
    Lorenzo Franchini
  • Marco Marinucci
    Marco Marinucci
  • Massimiliano Magrini
    Massimiliano Magrini
  • Massimo Ciociola
    Massimo Ciociola
  • Massimo Sideri
    Massimo Sideri
  • Mauro Del Rio
    Mauro Del Rio
  • Mauro Pretolani
    Mauro Pretolani
  • Mike Butcher
    Mike Butcher
  • Paolo Barberis
    Paolo Barberis
  • Riccardo Donadon
    Riccardo Donadon
  • roberto bonanzinga
    Roberto Bonanzinga

Fausto Boni

Fausto, Co-Founder and General Partner for 360° Capital Partners, has been a Venture Capitalist for the last 15 years, raising 4 successive funds for more than 400 Mio USD.

He invested and held board positions in several early stage companies including public companies: Mutuionline, Yoox , QXL, SELFTRADE and other exited in trade sales: among others Erenis, Smartjog, Euroffice, Direct and more recently Newlisi, SoJeans, Windeln and

Before becoming a Venture capitalist Fausto was with McKinsey & Company in Italy, Brazil, India, the United States and France and with L’Air Liquide in Paris and Lisbon.
Fausto holds a degree in Business Economics from Bocconi University of Milan in 1989 and received an MBA from INSEAD in 1992.

Lorenzo Franchini

Lorenzo Franchini is an angel investor with managerial and entrepreneurial background in diversified sectors. In 2007 Lorenzo co-founded the angel group Italian Angels for Growth of which he is managing director. He is still entrepreneur in the entertainment sector and he has done angel investments in 15 companies in the IT/ICT, Internet & New Media, Cleantech, Medtech and Biotech sectors in Italy, France, Spain, UK, Israel and US.

As a manager he started his career in the IVECO Group (international operations and marketing manager in UK) and then became marketing director of two start-ups in the Italian Yellow Pages and Stage Entertainment Groups. Lorenzo graduated with honour in Economics and Commerce at the University of Florence and had international executive education.

He is also part of several national and international start-up selection committees and he is frequently lecturer about angel investing in many Italian Universities.

Marco Marinucci

Angel investor and entrepreneur, Marco is the founder and managing partner of MTS, a seed venture capital fund.

Prior to that, he was responsible for Google’s partnership development in several areas of digital publishing for over 7 years.

Marco’s 20+ years professional experience spans from artificial intelligence research to startups in VoIP, Ecommerce, Elearning and Ticketing.

He’s the founder and executive director for Mind the Bridge, the non-profit organization that connects the most innovative startups with Silicon Valley’s partners and investors. He’s a contributor for Il Corriere della Sera (the leading Italian newspaper) and board member and lecturer of IE Business School (a top tier EU business school).

Massimiliano Magrini

Massimiliano has twelve years of experience in the Technology and Media sectors as Managing Director and Business Development Manager.

Since the beginning of his career he has been involved in projects whose goal has been innovation in traditional media business practices. He then became exposed to the changes that innovative technologies have been increasingly bringing to business models of the industry. Massimiliano’s focus in this area has been the General Management of successful Startups. Previously he was Country Director of Google Italy, Spain and Portugal.

He is passionate about entrepreneurship, start up of technology based new initiatives. Coaching of human resources in a multinational environment. Innovation in management practices and think outside of the box attitude. He is a thought leader in the area of Digital Technology, Innovation and Venture Capital.

Massimo Ciociola

Massimo (36) is an entrepreneur, technologist, and social music addict. He’s founder and CEO of musiXmatch an exciting startup focusing on creating the best experience around song lyrics. The most search content in the web (Google Trend)- Currently musiXmatch is the largest and official Lyrics Database in the world with more than 7 millions of lyrics and more than 20mln users worldwide using it.

Before launching musiXmatch, he served as VP Mobile Services at DADA spa (Da.mi) and previously as CEO Iberia & Latin America. Joining in 2000, Massimo helped transition and develop DADA (formerly an ISP) into the leading mobile web media company launching operations in several countries like Spain, Portugal, South Africa, India, Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, US, UK, India, Indonesia, France, and he contribuited to the JV with Sony Music Inc and Dada Inc. in US.

Prior to DADA, Massimo founded Wireless Solutions spa then bought by Dada in 2003. Wireless Solutions was a leading mobile apps player licensing technology and content to the most important publishers like Disney, BBC, RCS, FOX, Gameloft, and building platform like Odigo IM Sms Gateway  or UMTS mobile deck for several mobile operators like Vodafone, Telecom Italia, Telefonica, Tim Brazil, 3 Italy, Tim Brazil, Claro

Massimo’s skills are business dev, product & business strategy and social relationship. He was a first mover on the mobile market launching in 1999 first premium ringtones model in Europe and US, which contributed to + 450 mln € to Dada’s turnover in 10 years. In addition to overall company direction, Massimo and his team were responsible for building Dada’s product market strategy, developer relations, marketing communications, company’s content & technology partnerships. Broadcast and Online Appearances/Mentions: Wired, Forbes, Techcrunch, Sky, Mashable,Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Fast Company, Billboard, Elmundo, Folha di Sao Paolo, Globo, Forbes, Tele 5, Sky Corriere della Sera.

Today Massimo encourages startupper and early stage enterpreneur continuously as a startup activist in Italy

Massimo is also the founder of the 1st italian hackaton for developers & geeks with more than 1000 hackers subscribed.

Massimo’s passion are drone, running and his family

Massimo Sideri

Massimo Sideri is a columnist of the Italian daily Corriere della Sera about tech, innovation and finance. As a journalist he received “Creatori di imprenditori” price for his work about start up. Sideri is also the Innovation editor of Marsilio Publishing and the author of Come salvarsi dal posto fisso (2007), the co-author with Francesco Caio of Banda Stretta (2011) and among the authors of the instant books published by Corriere on the death of Steve Jobs entitled Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish (2011) and Steve Jobs, one year later (2012). He has also written a journalism thriller Free Press (2010) and is publishing Tecnologismi (2013). Follow him on Twitter at @massimosideri.

Mauro Del Rio

Mauro Del Rio is Founder and Chairman of Buongiorno S.p.A.
Buongiorno was founded in 1999, went public on the Italian Stock Exchange in 2003; grew global with offices in Parma, Milan, Florence, Madrid, London, Paris, New York, San Paolo, Mexico City, Cape Town, Moscow and was purchased for approx 300mil $ by Japanese telecom behemoth NTT Docomo in 2012.

Mauro is managing director of Docomo Deutschland (the European Holding company of NTT Docomo) and independent director in Seat Pagine Gialle (Directories) and Gazzetta di Parma (publisher).

Mauro is currently the driving force of the team behind Buongiorno’s b-ventures, startup accelerator housed at the Company’s headquarter for selected Italian and European startuppers. Prior to founding Buongiorno Mauro was at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) working on internet strategy and Ote Telecomunicazioni (now Marconi Group) working on R&D and Hardware design.

Mauro holds an Engineering degree from Bologna university and a Master in IT from Cefriel-Politecnico di Milano.

Mauro is married to Lucia and has 2 kids (Chiara and Francesco); lives in Parma. His interests are running&cycling, modern art (particularly Italian photography) and contemporary rock music.

Mauro Pretolani

Mauro has been a venture capitalist and a manager in the internet and Mobile industry for over 14 years.

He is a Partner at TLcom, a venture capital firm that he participated in founding in 1999. Furthermore, he has taken over the management of two other venture capital funds formerly managed by Eontech and MyQube. He is non-executive director of Upstream technologies and IM3D. In terms of the executive positions, Mauro is currently COO of Beintoo, while in the past he has covered different roles in several portfolio companies including Chairman and CEO.

He is also an independent director of SEAT Pagine Gialle (PG.MI). Prior to his VC career, Mauro was also a Manager at Bain & Company, worked in the Marketing and Treasury departments of Procter & Gamble, and holds an MBA with distinction from Harvard Business School.

Mike Butcher

Mike Butcher (FRSA) is currently Editor of TechCrunch Europe. Mike is also involved in a project to bring European technology entrepreneurs and investors together in a club environment called TechHub (@TechHub), in London initially. A long time journalist, Mike has written for UK national newspapers and magazines including The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times, The Daily Telegraph and The New Statesman. He is a former editor of New Media Age magazine, the leading new media weekly in the UK, and the European edition of The Industry Standard magazine.

Since 1996 he has launched or re-launched numerous media web sites and in 2000 he was nominated as NetMedia’s European Internet Journalist of the Year. In 2004 he was voted “One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade” by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. In July 2008 he was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club. In August 2008 TechCrunch Europe was awarded the best “Web 2.0 and business blog” in the UK, by the readers of Computer Weekly magazine. In 2009 it was named as one of the Top 10 blogs out of the UK.

Also in 2009 he was named one of the Top 10 bloggers on Twitter in the UK. In October 2009 he was named one of the Top 50 most influential Britons in technology by The Daily Telegraph. In April 2010 he was named as one of Britain’s Top 100 “digital power-brokers” by Wired UK magazine. In April 2010 TechCrunch Europe was shortlisted in the Specialist Digital Publisher category of the prestigious UK-based Association of Online Publishers’ Digital Publishing Awards.

In November 2010 he was named as one of London’s most influential people in New Media and “king of dotcom commentators” by The Evening Standard Newspaper. In February he was listed as one of the Top 100 most influential people on Twitter in the UK. He has spoken at the prestigious Monaco Media Forum and Le Web, among many other conferences.

Mike is a regular commentator on the technology business, appearing on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Bloomberg.

Paolo Barberis

Paolo Barberis, founder of Dada, was born in La Spezia in 1967. He studied architecture in Italy and Germany. After graduation and a Specialization in Interface Design at the Domus Academy in 1994, When he was 27, along with some fellow students of Florence, creates Dada, an acronym for Design Architecture Digital Analog.

Paolo makes the company grow with the same visionary spirit that characterizes him today, able to anticipate the needs of the user approaching Internet.

Paolo encouraged the development of Internet in Italy by driving the users to the discovery of “the Net”. Starting from the simple dialup connectivity in 1995, over the years he has offered them new ways of living and understand Internet, all geared to make it a place of presence and natural aggregation. In 1999 he creates superEva (, the place “myth” of the Italian Web sensing, as a pioneer, the enormous potential of the Net as a community.

In 2000 Paolo takes Dada to the Milan Stock Exchange. For the general public he creates innovation, within Dada, with products and services dedicated to Digital Music, Mobile Applications, Mobile Services and Social Community. For companies and business customers, through the business unit, he settles Dada among the most successful and growing companies in Europe in the field of Domains, Professional Hosting, virtual and dedicated Server, and advanced online Advertising solutions.

In ’98 he was among the founders of the Italian section of IAB (Internet Advertising Bureau) and in ’99 of the Italian chapter of ISOC (Internet Society). Between innovation, design, pragmatism, speed, team spirit and a strong passion above all, Paolo has led Dada to be one of the leading company with offices in Florence, Milan, Bergamo, New York, Barcelona, Paris, London, Worcester, Beijing, Rio de Janeiro and a team of over 700 people, mostly under 35.

Today Paolo follows NanaBianca, that is taking shape in Florence.

Riccardo Donadon

Riccardo Donadon was born in Treviso. Halfway through 1995 he accepted the challenge to create a work crew whose purpose was to tell the world the story of the Benetton sports teams via the internet. A few months later the first Italian virtual mall Mall Italy Lab ( was set up.

In 1999 it was signed over to Infostrada and is still present in the commercial area of the Italian portal September 1998 marked a turning point: Riccardo Donadon left Verde Sport and founded E-TREE (

In 2001, when the company reached a 26-billion lire turnover and employed 160 people, it was sold in its entirety to the Etnoteam group. In September 2003 Donadon left E-TREE and in January 2005 Donadon founded H-FARM, the first private Italian incubator, with the aim of transforming innovative ideas into successful startups. In the first 7 years H-FARM has invested 13,5 € millions in 37 startups, creating over 260 workplaces and achieving some important exits. 10 € millions of investments are expected for the next 3 years.

In 2012 Riccardo Donadon was called by Corrado Passera, Ministry of Economic Development of the Italian Republic, to join a specialists’ Task Force in order to enhance the regulatory framework of the branch and introduce measures for the development of start-up companies.

In 2012 the association Italia Startup (whose Chairman is Riccardo Donadon) was created to bring together all those personalities who strongly believe in the Italian recovery.
In January 2013 Riccardo joined the Advisory Board of Unicredit.

Roberto Bonanzinga

Prior to joining Balderton, Roberto spent 15 years working with entrepreneurs in the US and in Europe acting as a non-executive director/adviser to numerous companies including Jaiku (acquired by Google NASDAQ:GOOG), Jambaz, Mobango, Pageflakes (acquired by Live Universe), Piczo, and Woome.

Roberto’s past operational experience includes sr. Management roles at Viatel, Netscalibur, Topica, Fabrik (acquired by Critical Path) and Information Access Company (acquired by Thomson Corporation NYSE:TOC).