May 27, 2022

Venture Capital Watch: Interview with Sebastiano Peluso

For our series of interviews with players of the venture capital industry, we asked Sebastiano Peluso (Director Innovation Desk at Italian Trade Agency, Founder at Realitycs, 3040 Regeneration, Discovery Italy, Smartourism) about Global Start Up Program.

1) What is the Global Start Up Program?

The Global Start Up Program, now in its third edition, offers participants a period of acceleration abroad with some of the most prominent international players. The program supports the internationalization of startup projects by providing connection with mentors, investors, talents, and business partners through collaboration with local accelerators and incubators.

Selected companies will have the opportunity to interact with local stakeholders to improve their professional development skills and meet potential foreign investors, under the condition that startup participants undertake to maintain the know-how or resources acquired during this process in Italy for a certain period of time.

The program involves nine focus countries worldwide, and typically approximately 50% of the Italian startup cohort is assigned to different accelerator partnerships activated by the ITA network of offices in the United States.

2) Which countries can the Italian startups select?

Following is the list of the countries: China, South Korea, UAE, France, Germany, Japan, UK, Singapore, United States.

3) Which industries are addressed by the program?

After careful consideration, ITA will select more than 100 startups in the following fields:

  • ICT – artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, fintech, blockchain, big data, e-commerce, augmented and virtual reality, videogames, services, infrastructure, and telecommunication components;
  • Robotics and Industry 4.0;
  • Aerospace;
  • Automotive – with an emphasis on future mobility (electric and connected vehicles and related services);
  • Life Sciences – medical and biotech equipment and applications;
  • Smart Agriculture and Foodtech;
  • Green Transition and Circular Economy – low carbon technologies, sustainable materials, renewable energies, clean technologies;
  • Smart Cities and Home Automation – critical infrastructure, urban design, IoT, citizen services, digital design.

4) What are the selection criteria?

Startups admitted to the program are evaluated according to the following criteria by ITA headquarters:

  • Internationalization strategy;
  • Value proposition, competitive advantage, marketability of product/service, current presence in foreign markets, seed capital received, and possession of intellectual property;
  • opinion of the accelerator or the incubator;
  • commitment of the founder or, alternatively, a (C-level) manager to take an active role in phase two abroad; commitment to refrain from transferring its intellectual property rights abroad within a specific period of time; female founders and C-level (executive or managerial level) staff are encouraged to apply.

5) Where can additional information be found?

Visit to learn more or contact

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Welcome to the Portolano Cavallo Startup and Venture Capital blog, focusing on key legal issues and market trends affecting startups and the venture capital industry.
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Our enthusiastic and passionate team of professionals will provide newsinsight, and multidisciplinary commentary on the hottest and most recent provisions of law and investment and market and contractual trends in the startup and venture capital sector with an eye not only to the Italian market but to the entire European and international ecosystem.

This blog will be a place for sharing information and experiences related to the launch of new innovative businesses, discussing the different characteristics of investment rounds in the seed, early stage, and growth phases, and looking at trends in venture capital transactions.

The main purpose of this blog is to contribute to the growth of the Italian venture capital ecosystem by helping the Italian community develop domestic and international connections.

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