Startup Competition Rules

1. Timeline and Duration

The Call for the Startup Competition 2024 is officially open.


  • Opening: January 25, 2024

  • Closing: April 11, 2024

  • Final: June 13-15, 2024

Organizers reserve the right to extend the deadline. To apply, it is necessary to fill out the form on the initiative's page and submit all the required attachments.

2. Promoter

The promoter of the initiative is the company Search On Media Group S.r.l., Legal and Operational Headquarters: Via Ugo Bassi, 7 - 40121 Bologna, VAT Number 02418200800 - Share Capital €10,000 Tel: 051 09 51 294 - Email:, which organizes WMF - We Make Future.

3. The Goal of the initiative

The WMF wants to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship, enhancing economic growth and social development. The Startup Competition is therefore aimed at promoting innovative digital projects that have social and environmental impact and giving concrete support to innovative startups.

4. How to participate

Send your request by filling out the form with the requested information and documents:





Within the third step of the form, future challenges are outlined, and each startup is required to specify the challenge they aim to address with their innovative project.

For each of the 12 challenges of the future, the following are provided purely for illustrative purposes (non-exhaustive list) possible areas and reference technologies:

  • Future of Cities & Communities - Smart City, Smart Community, IOT, Mobility, Energy prosumer market, Energy storage, efficiency & management, Renewables & alternative fuels, Platform economy, Big Data & Analytics, Environmental sensors, Digital twins, Smart home & Buildings

  • Future of Health - Digital health, Well being, Telemedicine, Healthcare supply, Patient Engagement, Medical devices, Fitness apps, Remote monitoring, Biotech, Ageing, Omics

  • Future of Work - New ways of working, Digital HR, Change management, Diversity & inclusion, Intranet, Intrapeneurship, Meta* for work, Tools for digital nomads, Design & Project/Task management, Voice&Video, Data protection

  • Future of Culture & Travel - Artificial Intelligence for the tourism sector, Mobile Apps, QR Codes, IOT & Big Data, Augmented Reality, Smart luggage, Sharing & rentals, Booking & search, Revenue Management, Channel managers

  • Future of Food & Agriculture - Climate smart agriculture, Smart or vertical farming, Smart Aquaculture, Autonomous Vehicles & Drones, Precision farming, Optimization of supply chain, Big Data & Analytics, 3D food printing, Ingredient innovation, Cell-based nutrition, Delivery

  • Future of Marketing - Advertising & Promotion, Content&Experience, Social&Relationships, Commerce&sales, Data, Management, Display& Programmatic Advertising, Search&Social Advertising, Content Advertising, Video Advertising, PR, Proximity Marketing, Sales automation, Affiliate marketing, Ecommerce Platforms e Carts, iPaaS, Cloud management, Vendor Analysis, Business Intelligence& Data Science

  • Future of Learning & Education - EdTech, AR, VR, AI, Robotics, Learning Management Systems, Learning analytics, Classroom engagement, Online to Offline, Learn from anywhere

  • Future of Media & Entertainment - Subscription on-demand, Connected home, AI, Curated Content, Streaming, Gesture control, VR/AR/XR, Infotainment, 4K, Contextual media, video intelligence, Consumer engagement via new medium

  • Future of Retail & Customer Experience - Sustainable Materials & Production, Digital Marketing, Customer Engagement, Efficiency of Supply Chain, Phygital Stores, SaaS marketplaces, In store marketing & analytics, Cashierless checkout, Bots & chatbots, Fraud prevention solutions, Last mile delivery, Guest wi-fi

  • Future of Sports & Events - Tech for events, eSports, Digital fitness, Fan engagement, Player engagement, Data for events, Team& Coach success, Ticketing, Broadcasting & Streaming)

  • Future of Finance & Insurance - Payments, Financial inclusion, Buy Now Pay Later, Blockchain & Crypto-currencies, Identity & Authentication, Insurtech, Cybersecurity, NFT, Complementary currencies, Crowdfunding, POS, Lending, Online banking, Real Estate & mortgage

  • Future of Planet Earth - Climate Change & Decarbonization, Space tech - downstream; Water consumption and sanitation, Waste to resource, Reuse of products, IOT based & AI powered smart waste management, Bio based materials, Remanufacturing, Traceability, Bees preservation, Circular economy

Please follow our guidelines for your Pitch.

5 . The Competition

The 6 finalist startups will be selected, and the announcement will take place before the event. The finalists will present their projects on the Mainstage of WMF2024 through a 3-minute pitch.

Following the presentation, the jury will have the opportunity to ask questions to the finalist teams in the subsequent minutes. The winning startup will be determined through the votes of the participants in the room, who will express their preference through an online voting system on the website

Participants must evaluate based on the following criteria:

1. Team skills, industry knowledge, project feasibility

2. Product/service development stage

3. Degree of innovation and defensibility

4. Competitive context and positioning

5. Alignment with market and customer needs, and the size of the market

6. Business potential of the idea

7. Project impact on future challenges

6. Prizes

The finalists of the Startup Competition will be evaluated by a technical jury of experts and a jury formed by the audience, each of which will award one of the prizes offered by the partners of the Startup Competition.

The remaining prizes will be awarded by the partners themselves, at their discretion, based on the following evaluation criteria:

1. Clarity of the pitch presentation

2. Team skills, industry knowledge, project feasibility

3. Product/service development stage

4. Degree of innovation and defensibility

5. Competitive context and positioning

6. Alignment with market and customer needs, and the size of the market

7. Business potential of the idea

8. Completeness of the presented documentation

9. Project impact on future challenges

The awarding of the prize represents recognition of personal merit or encouragement in the interest of the community. Winners will receive a prize in the form of products/services related to digital marketing and project compliance consultancy. The prize is not convertible into cash under any circumstances. The value of the prizes is provided in services offered by the Initiative's Partners. The promoter shall not be held responsible for the awarding of prizes by the aforementioned partners.


The promoter reserves the right to get in touch with the winners and any third parties indicated through the contact information in their possession.

8. Exclusion from the discipline under DPR 430/01

By Article 6 of DPR 430/01 "Regulation concerning the organic revision of the discipline of contests and prize operations, as well as local fate events under Article 19, paragraph 4, of Law no. 449 of December 27, 1997," this initiative is not considered a contest and/or prize operation as it is announced for the submission of projects or studies in the commercial or industrial field, where the awarding of the prize to the author represents recognition of personal merit or encouragement in the interest of the community.

9. Responsibilities

The promoter cannot be held responsible for the conduct of the initiative and/or the awarding of prizes. In any case, the participant agrees to indemnify and hold the promoter harmless from any and all adverse consequences, costs, and damages – including sanctions from competent authorities – that may arise or may be asserted against them as a result of their actions or violation of the regulations. If, for any reason, the initiative cannot be carried out as planned, the promoter reserves the right, at its complete discretion, to modify or cancel the initiative, without any liability on the part of the promoter, and without any prior notice. For participation in the initiative, there is no need to make any purchases and/or sales of products marketed by the promoter and/or related to WMF. Participation in the initiative is free of charge.

10. Applicable rules

The initiative and these regulations are governed by Italian law.

Bologna, 20/01/2024