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Innovation Becomes Business, with Startups Leading the Way in BiUniCrowd Crowdfunding

With the fifth call of BiUniCrowd, the opportunity was also given to submit projects that did not have a thematic tie to one of the partners of the crowdfunding program. In this case, support is provided directly by the University. BiUniCrowd is an alternative finance program of the University of Milan-Bicocca that promotes the development of innovative projects and business ideas.

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Empowering children’s and youth’s skills and competencies, building a sustainable future from a circular economy perspective: these are the goals of the innovative projects selected as part of the fifth call of the Bicocca University Crowdfunding program.

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Crowdfunding with Produzioni dal Basso

For the proposing teams, the training phase aimed at the setup and management of crowdfunding activities now begins, at the end of which a fundraising campaign lasting up to 60 days will be launched for each project on Produzioni dal Basso, Italy’s first crowdfunding and social innovation platform.

The three crowdfunding campaigns will be launched in the spring. For each project, the maximum collection goal is 10 thousand euros.

The formula chosen, as in previous editions, is reward-based crowdfunding, i.e. campaigns based on rewards/recognitions that are given to anyone who offers a contribution. Once 50% of the goal is reached, the remainder is co-funded by the project partner company (by the University in the case of Finanz Road Tour).

The projects

Called “RARE,” the project focuses on developing new sustainable strategies for the recovery of rare earths from end-of-life electrical and electronic equipment. The goal is to incorporate processes that today are particularly complex and energy-intensive in a circular-economy context through the use of raw materials that are mainly by-products of other production processes.

The project, a candidate for startup status, has met with the approval of EIT RawMaterials, a European consortium dealing with non-fossil raw materials to support the energy transition.

Another project selected is “MOOVY,” a tangible user interface designed to facilitate the learning of language and cognitive skills for preschool and school-age children. The multidisciplinary team of designers designed a real, effective, and fun board game with the help of a web app aimed at speech therapists.

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The project was included among the finalists of Startcup Lombardia 2022 and is the winner of Switch2Product 2022. The proposed innovative idea was chosen by NTR Biosensors, an innovative startup that develops and integrates wearable solutions for patients and researches solutions in the medtech field.

With the fifth call of #BiUniCrowd, the opportunity was also given to submit projects that did not have a thematic tie to one of the partners of the crowdfunding program. In this case, support is provided directly by the University.

Among the ten applications received, that of “Finanz Road Tour” was chosen, a program that aims to bridge the serious gap that Italy accuses in what concerns the financial skills of its population: Italy is, in fact, second to last place among the 26 countries surveyed by the OECD. The goal is to involve students in 100 schools in financial education activities over three years.

The Finanz team was recently named startup of the month by the Le Village by Crédit Agricole innovation center.

What is BiUniCrowd

BiUniCrowd is an alternative finance program of the University of Milan-Bicocca that promotes the development of innovative projects and business ideas proposed by students, alumni, faculty, researchers, PhD students, and employees of the University.

The teams are assisted both in the project presentation phase and in the subsequent phase of fine-tuning the crowdfunding campaign with workshops and training meetings held in collaboration with Produzioni dal Basso, the association Street Is Culture, and other partners.

Because of its effectiveness, the Bicocca University Crowdfunding program has been listed by the European Union as a best practice in knowledge enhancement.

“The fifth #BiUniCrowd call also highlighted solid innovative ideas with great potential impact. This year,” stresses Salvatore Torrisi, pro-rector for Research Enhancement, “all the projects that will be accompanied to the crowdfunding campaign are proposed by PhD students and alumni, confirming the contribution that young people in our community can make to the social and economic growth of the country.

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(Featured image by jarmoluk via Pixabay)

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Jeremy Whannell loves writing about the great outdoors, business ventures and tech giants, cryptocurrencies, marijuana stocks, and other investment topics. His proficiency in internet culture rivals his obsession with artificial intelligence and gaming developments. A biker and nature enthusiast, he prefers working and writing out in the wild over an afternoon in a coffee shop.