Italy, one of the most populous countries in Europe with 61 million inhabitants, doesn’t have a reputation of being a particularly entrepreneurial nation or digital hotspot. In fact, a recent index released by the European Commission ranked Italy as one of the poorest ‘digital performers’ in the EU, behind countries like Slovakia, Malta and Cyprus.

The Italian startup ecosystem is fragmented and young in many ways, and yet starting to grow at a rapid pace according to observers; there’s certainly some momentum given the growing number of VC funds, angel investment clubs, accelerators and, well, startups in the country.

At the recent Global Entrepreneurship Congress in Milan, we caught up with Massimiliano Magrini to get his thoughts on the subject.

Magrini knows a thing or two about the tech scene in Italy. With more than 15 years experience in several media, communications and technology companies (including Altavista and Google), he launched a seed fund for digital enterprises called Annapurna Ventures, before co-founding United Ventures, now one of Italy’s most prominent venture capital firms.

Magrini agrees that things seem to be ‘picking up’ over in Italy – watch the interview to learn why he believes this to be the case, what needs to be improved, and which companies to watch.

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