Startup Competition

The largest international startup competition in Italy

JUNE 13·14·15, 2024 / BOLOGNAFIERE

Numbers of WMF 2023' Startup Competition
6
FINALISTS
+60.000
ATTENDEES
12
CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE
+2.000
STARTUP & INVESTORS
+89
COUNTRIES
+2MLN€
VALUE OF PRIZES

THE CONTEXT

For over 10 years WMF, Certified International Fair, has been spreading entrepreneurial culture and creating development opportunities for the Italian and international innovative ecosystem, aiming to facilitate a flow of opportunities between Italy and abroad.

Within WMF, the World Startup Fest takes place - the international reference event for startups, scaleups, and investors. In the previous edition, it recorded over 60.000 attendees from 89 countries, including more than 3.000 startups, investors, incubators, VCs, Business Angels, corporations, and international accelerators.

Among its many initiatives, WMF also organizes the largest International Startup Competition, now in its 12th edition, with the involvement of major international players in the fields of innovation and entrepreneurship. The Competition's finale will take place on the Mainstage during WMF 2024, scheduled for June 13th, 14th, and 15th, and will be globally live-streamed.

The call for the WMF 2024 Startup Competition is officially open: fill out the form below to apply with your startup!

OPPORTUNITIES

From the call for the Startup Competition, 6 finalist startups are selected to participate in the Mainstage Finale, competing for the prize pool, while another 120 startups gain access to the Startup Stage. There, they present their pitches to the audience and representatives of major incubators and accelerators.

Additionally, other selected startups from the call have the opportunity to:

  • Present to an International and Knowledgeable Audience:
    Thanks to an international audience consisting of investors, industry-leading companies, and participants from around the world.

  • Access the Startup District:
    An exhibition area dedicated to startups from all over the world.

  • Organize B2B Meetings and High-Level Networking:
    Through the WMF business community, which includes investors, venture capitalists, open innovation stakeholders, entrepreneurs, and potential business partners. Connecting during and after the event is facilitated.

  • Gain Extensive Visibility:
    Participating startups are in the spotlight of a broad audience, receiving attention from media, influencers, and industry professionals.

  • Receive Additional Awards and Recognitions:
    Accessing exclusive resources such as potential funding, acceleration programs, and strategic partnerships.

  • Attend Industry Educational stages and Panels:
    Thanks to dedicated stages on open innovation, entrepreneurs can update their business and technological skills, learn best practices, and enhance their competitiveness.

  • Join the WMF International Roadshow:
    An international project that accompanies the best Italian startups abroad, participating in major industry events.

  • Access the Global WMF Network:
    With the possibility of involvement in related initiatives in Italy and beyond.

    Winners of previous editions include TOMMI, Friendz, PatchAI, FitPrime, Isaac, Yape, light science, FlowPay, Recornea, and MyLeg, as well as Golee, AerariumChain, Yalla and Cyrkl the two winning projects of the WMF2023 Startup Competition.

SELECTION CRITERIA

The call is dedicated to startups and businesses - made up of individuals or teams - with innovative projects or ideas regarding the digital/technological sector. Innovative projects aimed at generating a positive impact on territories and society will be considered with particular interest.Applicants will be selected according to the following criteria:

  • Skills of the team, knowledge of the sector, the feasibility of the project;

  • The development stage of the product/service;

  • Degree of innovation and its defensibility;

  • Positioning in relation to competitors;

  • Consistency with market and customers’ needs and potential outreach;

  • The business potential of the idea;

  • Completeness of the documentation presented.

THE CALL: HOW IT WORKS

The Festival's Innovation Team will announce the 6 finalist startups, selected from both Italian and international participants, who will present their pitches during the Finale on the Mainstage. During the finale, hosted by Cosmano Lombardo and Diletta Leotta, the finalists will present their projects in front of a panel of investors, industry players, and incubators, as well as the Festival audience, both in the venue and online through the WebApp wmf.ibrida.io.

Each team has 3 minutes to present the key elements of their idea. The jury will then have an additional 2 minutes to ask follow-up questions. At the end, both the jury and the audience will cast their votes to determine the two winners, one chosen by the jury and one chosen by the audience.

Read the instructions

THE ELEVATOR PITCH

THE 12 CHALLENGES OF THE FUTURE
The WMF encourages and supports the development of innovative entrepreneurial projects also capable of producing a positive influence on the environment and society. For this reason, the WMF Startup Competition gives the opportunities to the applying startups to specify how their business project harnesses digital tools and technologies to address one or more of the 12 Future Challenges identified by the WMF.
  • Future of Cities & Communities

  • Future of Health

  • Future of Work

  • Future of Culture & Travel

  • Future of Food & Agriculture

  • Future of Learning & Education

  • Future of Retail & Customer Experience

  • Future of Marketing

  • Future of Media & Entertainment

  • Future of Sports & Events

  • Future of Finance & Insurance

  • Future of Life On Planet Earth

During the application, startups can also indicate if and in what measure they adhere to the ESG policies (Environmental, Social, Governance) as well as the impact generated by their innovative project on 1 or many of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals indicated by the UN 2030 Agenda.

It will be possible to clarify the compliance to ESG (Environmental, Social, Governance) criteria as well as the impact generated by the innovative project on one or more of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals outlined in the UN 2030 Agenda.

Timeline
January 25
2024
Opening
April 11
2024
Closing day
June 13-15
2024
Final on the Mainstage
Want to take part in the WMF Startup Competition 2024?

Fill out the form to participate in the 2024 edition of the Startup Competition.

TEAM PROPOSER

COMPANY

PROJECT

DOCUMENTATION

Enter the telephone area code of your country
Attention: other formats will not be received correctly
(executive summary, business plan, one pager. Pdf, ppt, pptx, doc, docx only - max 10mb)

Partner and Investors of the Startup Competition

Incubatore Campano
Volano
RE2N
NextUp
Le Village
Regione Lazio
Indaco
Italian Angels
Entrepreniston
Engineering
CrowdFundMe
Roma Startup
Angels for Women
Confindustria Emilia Centro
Qonto
Oplon
OVHcloud
Startup Wise Guys
A11-Venture
AgriFood-Tech Italia
MUG
SerenDPT
Tech-Up Accelerator
D-Group
BizPlace
Fool Farm
012 Factory
Exelab
Business Angels
PlugandPlay
BacktoWork
Grownnectia
Giordano Dell'Amore
Peekaboo
Dock3
Motor Valley
WyLAB
Gellify
Dynamo Lab
Fondazione REI
Bocconi for Innovation
Codemotion
StarBoost
Cariplo Factory
Nana Bianca
United Ventures
San Marino Innovation
ART-ER
Seedble
Almacube
LUISS ENLABS
H-Farm
The Hive
LVenture Group
IBAN
UniCredit Start Lab
I3P
Digital Magics
Fondazione Golinelli
Meta
Mediaset Infinity
G2 Startups
PoliHub
Open Seed
SeedUp
Growth Capital
RDS NEXT
HubSpot
ESA - European Space Agency
Gruppo Sapio
boostheroes
Digital Coach
Amazon AWS
Zanichelli Venture
Nuvolab
Prana Ventures
Guanxi
RDS 100% Grandi Successi
TIM

Some members of the Startup Competition's jury

Daniele Alberti

Daniele Alberti

Serial entrepreneur
StarBoost 
Anna Amati

Anna Amati

Co-Founder & General Partner
EUREKA! Venture
Alessandro Asaro

Alessandro Asaro

Head of Communication and Digital Marketing
PoliHub
Kamen Bankovski

Kamen Bankovski

Founder
Vitosha Venture Partners
Daniele Beneduce

Daniele Beneduce

Deal Flow Manager
SeedUp
Massimo Canducci

Massimo Canducci

Chief Innovation Officer
Engineering
Rinaldo Canzi

Rinaldo Canzi

Investment Manager
Fondazione Social Venture GDA
Sebastian Caputo

Sebastian Caputo

Project Manager & CEO
012Factory
Emanuele Caronia

Emanuele Caronia

Serial Entrepreneur & Investor
Exelab
Alberto Carrai

Alberto Carrai

Chief Internetional Business Developement
Able Tech
Fabio Carrera

Fabio Carrera

CEO
SerenDPT - H3
Michele Castorina

Michele Castorina

ESA
Vittorio Cavani

Vittorio Cavani

Partner and Board Member - NextUp
Massimo Ciaglia

Massimo Ciaglia

CEO
Grownnectia
Giorgio Ciron

Giorgio Ciron

Director
Innovup
Jonathan Clarke

Jonathan Clarke

Startup Program Leader
OVHcloud
Silvia Costantino

Silvia Costantino

Program Analyst & Operations
B4I Bocconi for Innovation
Andrea Dal Piaz

Andrea Dal Piaz

Responsabile
Dock3 - The Starup Lab
Lorenzo D'Amelio

Lorenzo D'Amelio

CEO
Merakyn | Startup Advisor
Federico Davini

Federico Davini

Partner e investment board
A11 Venture
Giovanni De Caro

Giovanni De Caro

Strategic and financial advisor
Volano Group
Francesco De Grazia

Francesco De Grazia

Service Manager
FoolFarm
Simone Demelas

Simone Demelas

Director
Founder Boost Italy
Gijs Den Hartog

Gijs Den Hartog

Partner
Capital Mills
Francesco Di Blasio

Francesco Di Blasio

Deal Flow Manager
BIZPLACE
Maria Laura Di Carlo

Maria Laura Di Carlo

Innovation and Start up Advisor
Le Village
Jacopo Drudi

Jacopo Drudi

Investment Manager
United Ventures
Selvaggia Fagioli

Selvaggia Fagioli

Business Angel
A4W
Lorenzo Ferrara

Lorenzo Ferrara

President & Coordinator
Business Angels Network "BAN Firenze"
Davide Filiaggi

Davide Filiaggi

Operations Manager Hubble Acceleration Program
Nana Bianca
Donata Folesani

Donata Folesani

Responsabile dell'Unità Finanza per l'innovazione
ART-ER
Dima Foremnyi

Dima Foremnyi

General Partner
3X Capital
Adam Formanek

Adam Formanek

Startup Coach & Program Manager
BHT Berlin
Eugenia Forte

Eugenia Forte

Senior Program Manager of Takeoff Accelerator
Takeoff Plugnplay
Francesco Fullone

Francesco Fullone

Director
Founder Institute Italy
Gianluca Galgano

Gianluca Galgano

EY Italy Head of Startup and Venture Capital
EY
Martin Garaj

Martin Garaj

VC Associate
J&T Ventures
Dror Gill

Dror Gill

Founder & CEO
Gamdala
Michele Giordani

Michele Giordani

Managing Partner & Founder
Gellify
Alberto Giusti

Alberto Giusti

Entrepreneur & Strategy Consultant
Guanxi
Petra Gordan

Petra Gordan

Managing Partner
Impulse Ventures
Mariano Guzzetta

Mariano Guzzetta

Manager in Innovation e Open Innovation
EY
Pasquale Brancaccio

Pasquale Brancaccio

General Manager
Incubatore Campano
Itai Green

Itai Green

Founder & CEO
Innovate Israel
Giorgio Guidi

Giorgio Guidi

Founder & CEO
The Hive CoWorking & Incubator
Antti Heikkilä

Antti Heikkilä

CEO
Acceler8 Venture Builder
Peter Helesic

Peter Helesic

Managing Partner
Danube Angels
Piero Ingrosso

Piero Ingrosso

VP| Head of Innovation and Communication
AlmaVicoo | Legacoop Bologna
Francesco Inguscio

Francesco Inguscio

CEO & Rainmaker
Rainmakers
Caragh Kennedy

Caragh Kennedy

Business Development Manager
Hubspot for Startups
Peter Kruger

Peter Kruger

Presidente
AgriFood Italia
Loris Lanzellotti

Loris Lanzellotti

CEO
Enrtrepreniston
Eric Larsen

Eric Larsen

Senior Deal Flow Manager
LVENTURE
Adriano La Vopa

Adriano La Vopa

Co-Founder
Ain't A Game
Michele Lia

Michele Lia

Portofolio Manager
B-heroes
Laura Loprieno

Laura Loprieno

CEO
Dynamo
Michele Lorubio

Michele Lorubio

Startup program specialist
Almacube
Ivan	Maltsev

Ivan Maltsev

General Partner
3X Capital
Alex Marchesini

Alex Marchesini

CEO
Planet Smart City
Vanessa Mazzei

Vanessa Mazzei

Project Leader
G-Factor, Fondazione Golinelli
Massimiliano Montefusco

Massimiliano Montefusco

General Manager
RDS
Negar Mokkaram

Negar Mokkaram

Business Analyst & Startup Scouting
I3P
Adib Mouchanan

Adib Mouchanan

Responsabile Partner
HubSpot in Italia
Luiza Nowacka

Luiza Nowacka

CVC Investment Specialist
Alior Bank
Andrea Parmeggiani

Andrea Parmeggiani

Director
Fondazione Rei - Tech Up Accelerator
Francesca Picasso

Francesca Picasso

Project Manager of Football Data Analyst course
Wylab
Adriana Piccitto

Adriana Piccitto

Associate
Indaco SGR
Enrico Poli

Enrico Poli

Director
Zanichelli Venture
Valentina Primo

Valentina Primo

Founder & CEO
Startup Without Borders
Wyktoria Przybylska

Wyktoria Przybylska

Startup Advisor
Bill Reichert

Bill Reichert

Entrepreneur & Venture Capitalist, Partner
Pegasus Tech Ventures
Sabrina Ricci

Sabrina Ricci

AI Ecosystem Manager Φ-lab
ESA
Enzo Rimedio

Enzo Rimedio

Digital PR Manager
Digital Coach
Gabriele Ronchini

Gabriele Ronchini

Founder and CEO, Portfolio Development
Digital Magics
Gilad Rosenzweig

Gilad Rosenzweig

Executive Director
MITdesignX
Luca Ruggeri

Luca Ruggeri

Consigliere e responsabile dell'Open Innovation Club
Associazione Roma Startup
Vittoria San Pietro

Vittoria San Pietro

Responsabile Innovazione Startup Mug
Emill Banca Credito Cooperativo
Leonardo Saroni

Leonardo Saroni

Operational Partner
Prana Ventures
Alessandro Sartorelli

Alessandro Sartorelli

Senior Innovation Consultant
H-Farm
Luca Schettino

Luca Schettino

Jr Venture Builder
PoliHub
Alessandra Scotti

Alessandra Scotti

Institutional Relations & Scouting Manager
Liftt
Tomasz Serwan

Tomasz Serwan

Head
RBL VC
Drazen Simicevic

Drazen Simicevic

CEE Sr Strategic Partnerships Manager
Vienna Business Agency
Federico Smanio

Federico Smanio

CEO| Program Director
Wylab |WeSportUp
Andrea Solimene

Andrea Solimene

CEO & CoFounder
Seedble
Giusy Stanziola

Giusy Stanziola

Vice President
Unicredit Start Lab | Founders* Club
Ivan	Stoyka

Ivan Stoyka

Investment Analyst
3X Capital
Giovanni Strocchi

Giovanni Strocchi

Senior screening committee member
IAG
Camila Tellez

Camila Tellez

Operations Manager
Motor Valley Accelerator
Anna Testa

Anna Testa

Product Sales Specialist Digitalization Italy
CISCO
Emanuele Torlonia

Emanuele Torlonia

Managing Partner&Investor
Eden Venutres
Alberico Tremigliozzi

Alberico Tremigliozzi

Founder & CEO
Re2N
Carlo Tursi

Carlo Tursi

Independent advisor and angel investor, CEO
UrbanV
Francesca Valobra

Francesca Valobra

Sales & Business Developer
Back to Work
Douglas Wong

Douglas Wong

Founder
Blackfire
Petro Yanytsky

Petro Yanytsky

Sr Investment Analyst
3X Capital
Taras Yavorskyy

Taras Yavorskyy

General Partner
3X Capital
Enrico Zanotti

Enrico Zanotti

Direttore del Comitato Tecnico Scientifico
San Marino Innovation
Danila Zammitti

Danila Zammitti

Open innovation program manager
Cariplo Factory
Lorenzo Zatini

Lorenzo Zatini

Ecosystem Marketing Manager
Qonto
Emanuele Zingale

Emanuele Zingale

Head open innovation program
TIM
Ilaria Navoni

Ilaria Navoni

Startup Program Manager Southern Europe
OVH
Martina Muggiri

Martina Muggiri

Startup Acceleration Program Manager
SOCIAL FARE
Claudia Del Monte

Claudia Del Monte

Investment Analyst
SOCIAL FARE
Michela Michilli

Michela Michilli

Responsabile ESA Bic Lazio & Trasferimento Tecnologico
LAZIO INNOVA
Alessandro Zerbetto

Alessandro Zerbetto

Senior Analyst - Ecosystem Partnership & Open Innovation
FONDAZIONE LINKS
Luca Iaia

Luca Iaia

Premio Cambiamenti CNA
CNA
Francesco Cracolici

Francesco Cracolici

Venture Partner at EBRD & Crossfund, Ceo at Nomadic Minds
Cross Fund
Mariafebronia Sciacca

Mariafebronia Sciacca

Startup Generation & Development
23iT
Matteo Cera

Matteo Cera

Senior Venture Partner
Pioneer Fund
Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi

Farhad Alessandro Mohammadi

CEO of Mamazen
Board Member of Studiohub
Anna Maria Siccardi

Anna Maria Siccardi

Partner
Club degli Investitori Torino
Julien Nicholas

Julien Nicholas

Head of International
Euratechnologies
Epi Ludvik

Epi Ludvik

Founder and CEO
Crowd Sourcing Week - Bold Awards

Watch the promo for the Startup Competitions

Watch the winning pitches

Play
Yalla wins the Jury Prize.

Yalla wins the Jury Prize.

Play
Cyrkl wins the Audience Award.

Cyrkl wins the Audience Award.

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
Golee wins the Jury Prize.

Golee wins the Jury Prize.

Play
Aerariumchain wins the Audience Award.

Aerariumchain wins the Audience Award.

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
The Final of the Startup Competition

The Final of the Startup Competition

Play
Yape wins the Audience Award at the WFM2020-June Startup Competition.

Yape wins the Audience Award at the WFM2020-June Startup Competition.

Play
All the pitches from the WMF final Online

All the pitches from the WMF final Online

Play
Ventur wins the Audience Award at the Startup Competition of WMF 2019.

Ventur wins the Audience Award at the Startup Competition of WMF 2019.

Play
PatchAI™ wins the Jury Prize at the Startup Competition of WMF 2019.

PatchAI™ wins the Jury Prize at the Startup Competition of WMF 2019.

Play
"Fitprime wins the Jury and Audience Awards at the Startup Competition of WMF 2018."

"Fitprime wins the Jury and Audience Awards at the Startup Competition of WMF 2018."

Play
Watly wins the Jury Prize at the Startup Competition of WMF 2017.

Watly wins the Jury Prize at the Startup Competition of WMF 2017.

Play
Tommi wins the Aruba Award at the Startup Competition of WMF 2017.

Tommi wins the Aruba Award at the Startup Competition of WMF 2017.

Play
Just Knock wins the Startup Competition at WMF 2016.

Just Knock wins the Startup Competition at WMF 2016.

Play
Friendz wins the Startup Competition at WMF 2015

Friendz wins the Startup Competition at WMF 2015

Moments from the Startup Competiton