When we talk about innovation for a better world, we must remember the mother of all battles: climate change. The world has 10 years to cut global greenhouse gas emissions in half and prevent global warming from rising by more than 1.5 °C.
This is an awareness that is spreading in innovative ecosystems, Italy included, thanks to the patient work of the universities that produce technologies, those with the most long-term strategic vision, and the founders, venture capital, and investors most sensitive to environmental issues.
One of the most important Italian events to take stock of investments, technologies, and startups operating in the Climate Tech sector is IT’S Climate (ITalian Start-up Climate), an event aimed at fostering the exchange of knowledge between Italian climate change innovators and investors, which was held in recent days at the Milan Luiss Hub. A long working session organized by MITO Technology, a VC operator specializing in sustainability and, indeed, Climate Change, and COREangels Climate, a vertical investment vehicle in climate technologies.
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IT’S Climate was an opportunity to share an expanded vision of climate technologies in the Italian landscape
The commitment to support the development of the ecosystem of innovators on Climate Change and environmental sustainability has seen Luiss University play a leading role for years now. The University has been committed to sustainability and ClimateTech since 2009, the year in which the Techgarage Association was founded, which, among its very first initiatives organized, precisely, a contest among vertical start-ups on clean and Greentech.
In addition to the commitment to the third mission, through Luiss Enlabs, which runs the Zero accelerator, from the next academic year a chair in “Climate Change” funded by AXA ITALIA will be established at Luiss. On the subject, moreover, additional chairs sponsored by “enlightened” companies are being set up that will make it possible to combine teaching on innovative topics but also research. The goal is to create a real laboratory focused on the “Social Science perspective on Climate Change,” focusing on public policies, regulatory aspects, impacts on markets, and behaviors of business decision-makers, investors, and consumers on Climate Change.
IT’S Climate was an opportunity to share an expanded vision of climate technologies in the Italian landscape, laying the groundwork for the development of a real “community” of innovators on this fundamental issue for the future.
Some of the most relevant realities of the Italian ecosystem were present at the event, including four of the main startups working on environmental sustainability: 3BEE, TAU Group, Blu Brake, and WSense.
IT’S Climate: the numbers
The event IT’s Climate was attended by about 100 people including founders, investors, and climate professionals from different countries. Many numbers were shared. Italian funding for climate change technology in Italy is very encouraging, especially in the pre-seed and seed stages. And 2023 will see significant growth in investment, doubling from $96 million in 2022 to about $197 million by year-end.
There are currently 350 Climate Tech startups active in Italy, representing 2.5 percent of the total number of startups in the country (about 14,000). Italian climate tech startups managed to raise a total of 642.2 million euros between 2010 and the first quarter of 2023.
In terms of geographic distribution, Lombardy leads with 82 startups (23.4 percent), followed by Lazio with 45 (12.9 percent) and Piedmont with 41 (11.7 percent). Milan is the most represented city with 58 startups, followed by Rome (38) and Turin (34). These cities are the main hubs of the Italian climate technology ecosystem, hosting 37.1 percent of the total number of startups in the climate technology sector.
Agriculture, Forestry, and Food and Energy are the leading sectors in terms of startup density, with 81 and 80, respectively. Manufacturing and Industry follow with 58 startups, while Transportation and Mobility ranks fourth with 42 startups.
There has probably never been a better time to launch a company committed to Climate Tech. Entrepreneurs and investors are experiencing a confluence of favorable conditions that create an unprecedented context for making a substantial and meaningful impact on climate change.
The Italian climate startup ecosystem is expected to grow significantly in the coming years. This growth is likely to be driven by an expanding startup base, increased venture capital investment, and the maturity of the Italian industrial sector, particularly in the energy, agriculture, and transportation sectors.
“Launching IT’S Climate symbolizes the coming together of two of our main areas of investment and passions: technology and protecting our planet. We are honored by the presence of prominent founders who have agreed to share their experiences with the participants,” comments Leonardo Massa, Investment Manager at MITO Technology.
“This event is not only an opportunity to fully understand the situation of startups in the Climate Tech sector but also an opportunity to exchange interactions, create connections, and contribute to the formation of an Italian ecosystem with the common ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and fight climate change.”
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First published in StartupItalia. A third-party contributor translated and adapted the article from the original. In case of discrepancy, the original will prevail.
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