For all the splendor that is Italia, it often flies below the European tech radar. Perhaps the focus of Italian VC hasn’t been quite as present as in other countries? Maybe they just haven’t gotten enough press? Either way, CDP Venture Capital, the venture arm of the Italian investment bank CDP (Cassa Depositi e Prestiti) is out to set the landscape on fire, and has announced a (another) new fund, this time €5 million aimed at cybersecurity startups, in partnership with Estonian favourites, Startup Wise Guys.
Dubbed the CyberXcelerator, the programme will kick off in Cosenza in the Calabrian Arc (it’s the foot part of the boot), and is slated to run over three years. This latest partnership, however, is part of CDP’s bigger picture of building a nationwide network of accelerators to support the fostering of the Italian entrepreneurial scene.
CDP manages a National Innovation Fund (Fondo Nazionale Innovazione) which was created to boost Italian venture capital investment to €3 billion by 2022. Startup accelerators represent one of eight different funds managed under the FNI (marked at a total of €125 million), and accelerators have already been launched in mobility, sustainability, as well as health and wellness.
CDP’s fourth accelerator has chosen Startup Wise Guys to head its cybersecurity-focused accelerator, namely due to their having run continental Europe’s only full-time, on-site cybersecurity accelerator, through which the Estonians have invested more than €500,000 in 20 cyber startups to date.
I'm convinced their name has nothing to do with it.
“We are investing together on a topic of strategic national interest, and we are doing it in a region that is full of talent and where this type of investment can make a big difference,” said comments Wise Guy Farid Singh.
The programme is slated to run over three years with investments pouring into at least 30 startups. Cohorts will be comprised of three batches of eight to twelve startups each and will experience a hybrid, five-month program that will mix in-person and remote programming. Selected startups will receive a ticket for €78,000 as cash and program investments, with Startup Wise Guys having up to a 9% equity stake.
Startups interesting in participating may apply at cyberxcelerator.com.