Friday 10 October 2014

All roads lead to Rome (and Rome leads to Silicon Valley)

The Innovator's Week and Maker Faire took place in Rome last week, sending repercussions throughout Italy and even further around Europe. For 7 selected companies the weekend had an even bigger impact - the Mind the Bridge boot camp took place - an intensive two day mentorship and evaluation programme focused on addressing the US market and settling into the Silicon Valley

The Innovation Week was a series of startup events with various prominent speakers and panelists, offering a wealth of insights and networking opportunities. The Maker Faire was a collossal exhibition, teaming with robots, drones, buzzing 3D printers and various innovative gadgets, giving us a taste of what the future could be like if we unleash our creative sides and foster an ecosystem that encourages innovation.

But these fantastic events are not the reason why we went to Rome, and neither were the Colosseum or the Sistine Chapel - we came for a boot camp weekend with Mind the Bridge foundation, an organization founded by team of ex-googlers-turned-investors, focused on helping European tech startups get a foothold in the US market and attract investment from the Silicon Valley. Lexicum was selected long with 6 other teams (Chromville, Kiwi Local, Nextome, Poikos, Snapback, Wi-Go) among hundreds of applicants for an intense coaching and evaluation session, a first step towards eventual investment and setting up shop in the US.

The event was hosted at the magnificent premises of Dnsee, an invigorating mix of old and new, of tradition and innovation. Reinforcing the formidable coaching team from Mind the Bridge were prominent mentors: Simon Schaefer of The Factory, Alberto Acito of Blackberry, Marco Salvadori of Cisco, among others, sharing their personal journeys and providing advice during 1 on 1 sessions. After such a focused experience, in such a creative environment, we can safely say that the 7 companies who came to Rome are not the same

Here is some more info about the other participants who are all awesome and provided us with great inspiration - we encourage you to give their products a try if they solve a problem that's relevant to you:

  • wi-GO - Since 2012, IS2you is fighting to make live better. Our passion is born out of the fact that not everyone in the world is looked after. This creates a heartbeat within IS2you. A heartbeat that leaves through our technology. A heartbeat that inspired us to create the wi-GO, an autonomous device, driven by the power of changing people’s lives, which can help them carry objects in an independent, dynamic and safe way.
  • Snapback - Snapback is an Italian startup based in Rome, focused on developing new, intuitive and revolutionary ways to interact with smart devices. It provides a natural and powerful user experience by reinterpreting the available technology as a user-centered environment. Hence, explores new ways of communicating with our devices by enforcing simple hand, voice, and air gestures and minimising touch and sight interactions.
  • Poikos - Poikos empowers anyone to obtain a 3D scan with 100+ accurate measurements, using only the onboard camera in their smartphone, tablet or PC. This 3D scan is then used to create an ideal future version of oneself as a target to aim towards, and enables easy tracking of body changes over time.
  • Kiwi Local - Kiwi Local is an Italian startup focused on developing white label proximity social networks for associations and brands. We enable organizations to improve their CRM and monetize their communities. At the same time, community members can find like-minded people nearby and share their ideas and projects with the whole community.
  • Nextome - Everyone knows about GPS navigators and that GPS signals don’t work indoors. Thanks to this opportunity we have invented Nextome: Nextome is the most accurate (submeter accuracy) indoor positioning & navigation system for smartphones that allows users to locate and access services associated with their location reusing the existing iBeacons infrastructure. It's accurate (submeter accuracy), low cost, runs on off the shelf smartphones, works also without internet, the technology is patent pending in Europe and Italy. It's the TOM TOM for indoors.

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