White Paper



VeniSIA is a sustainability innovation accelerator, based in Venice and devoted to the development of business ideas and technology solutions able to face climate change and other environmental challenges. VeniSIA attracts institutions, companies and individuals who share the belief that it is the perfect background to provide ideas and solutions for those sustainable development challenges that are applicable to Venice fragile and unique environmental ecosystem, and yet scalable, to the benefit of the whole planet. VeniSIA’s ultimate purpose is not to make an accelerator in Venice but to make an accelerator out of Venice.



VeniSIA’s mission is to accelerate corporate labs and start-ups, devoted to achieve environmental SDGs and to unlock their market potential through disruptive technology and strategy innovation. Venice will thus turn into the first 100% sustainable city.

Ph. Credit Marco Zanta


VeniSIA’s vision is to become the most important start-up accelerator for the next generation of entrepreneurs, addressing the climate change and other related environmental global problems.


New residents

VeniSIA’s ambition is to repopulate the city through a new generation of residents, smart workers and students, participating in the acceleration program and living in Venice on the long-term, turning them from temporary tourists into permanent futurists.

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Space-time rationale

The butterfly effect framework

A butterfly effect framework explains that an environmental SDGs-driven start-up accelerator must be located in Venice because of a dual space-time rationale, where space refers to the development of local solutions to win global challenges and time refers to the transformation of tradition into innovation.

“Venice is above, beyond, out of all reach”

Charles Dickens

Venice has always been open to the world, inclusive, resilient to a fragile environment, industrious, a living laboratory of art and culture, of craftsmanship and innovation. Living in Venice is a unique experience of life transformation, able to attract anyone: researchers, start-uppers, VCs, policymakers, artists, philanthropists from anywhere.

"Every time I describe a city, I am saying something about Venice"

Italo Calvino

Venice is able to transfer local values to a global level: it has such an intense unique personality that it can be turned into a universal stage. To launch a start-up in Venice means to think local-act global and exploit new business ideas and technology solutions worldwide in order to cope with sustainability challenges.

"I go to where I come from"

Nato Frascà

Since its origins, Venice has been coping with its fragile environment and thus became a universal example of resilience and adaptation. Such a city, which has managed to preserve its memories and timeless beauty, must still be a leader in multiculturalism and innovation.

"Back to unique origins, into a universal future"

Carlo Bagnoli

Today Venice is in danger, due to severe flooding, over-tourism and depopulation, and the global duty is to guarantee its future. VeniSIA’s ambition is to become an important shaper of the future. Venice has been at the origin of the future of yesterday and of today, and it will be at the origin of the future of tomorrow.


Do you have any questions? Here are some answers.

What is VeniSIA?

VeniSIA stays for Venice Sustainability Innovation Accelerator.
VeniSIA is a not-for-profit corporate accelerator focused on sustainability. It supports start-ups, with the ambition of exponential growth and market development via strategic collaboration with established companies.

Where is VeniSIA?

VeniSIA’s main office is located in Venice, at Strategy Innovation's headquarters, at the San Giobbe Economic Campus of Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Its registered office is located at Ca' Dolfin (Calle Larga Ca' Foscari Dorsoduro 3859/A, 30123 Venezia). VeniSIA aims to be a multi-location accelerator spread across the historic centre of Venice.

Why in Venice?

VeniSIA leverages a strong ecosystem to design and execute a complex system strategy, so that innovation success with key partners sets in motion a chain of success that is transmitted to the other partners in the ecosystem, for the ultimate benefit of the ecosystem as a whole. VeniSIA’s ecosystem consists of the Academic Ecosystem (Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, Sustainability research centers, Strategy Innovation Ecosystem), the Institutional Ecosystem (EU, Italian Government, Region of Veneto, City of Venice) and the Innovation Ecosystem (accelerator’s network).

How does VeniSIA work?

VeniSIA copes with Venice sustainable development challenges through an acceleration process where:

  1. established companies identify their main sustainable development challenges;
  2. corporate labs/start-ups develop consistent business ideas and technology solutions;
  3. master’s students get internships within the corporate labs;
  4. additional independent smart workers join Venice for a unique living and working experience.
Successful sustainability innovation projects are supported in the promotion to international investors and VCs to unlock their commercial opportunities.

What are the benefits driven by VeniSIA?

Companies benefit from VeniSIA because they get:

  1. a certain increase of their brand awareness;
  2. a probable solution of their main sustainable development challenges;
  3. a possible commercialization of the solutions.
People and planet benefit from VeniSIA because it allows:
  1. a certain avoidance of Venice destiny of a deserted flooded Disneyland;
  2. a probable exploitation worldwide of the successful new business ideas and technology solutions to climate change and other environmental challenges.

What are the problems VeniSIA wants to face?

Venice is facing vital sustainable development challenges, such as drowning, over-tourism, depopulation, and other extraordinary cities share similar environmental and social problems. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call to action for people and countries but also for companies that have to implement new production models and test new business ideas and technology solutions.
Companies can be:

  1. sustainability Supporters, if sustainability is a CRM goal to be developed;
  2. sustainability Providers, if sustainability is their core business to be developed;
  3. sustainability Seekers, if sustainability is a strategic opportunity to be exploited.

What are the solutions powered by VeniSIA?

Venice historic center, built on water, is progressively losing residents as a result of high rents and living costs induced as a byproduct of overtourism and business.
Beyond environmental innovation and social and economic benefits, VeniSIA contributes to keep residents in the city, stopping the bleeding and bringing a cultural value added. Therefore, despite its small size, Venice suffers from many of the sustainability development problems that led to the scheduling of (not only) environmental SDGs and associated targets.
VeniSIA is the most important start-up accelerator addressing the environmental SDGs and unlocking the economic opportunities they offer; it develops a range of ideas and solutions that can be tested in Venice, in order to obtain positive results and eventually lead to a start-up.

What is VeniSIA’s ultimate ambition?

VeniSIA is a corporate accelerator and its ambition is to collect all global efforts to achieve the SDGs, mainly related to climate change and other environmental problems, with the ultimate aim to turn Venice into the oldest city of the future.
Thus, VeniSIA’s ultimate ambition is to make Venice a successful example for the whole world in terms of human capacity to fix its mistakes, and not to be an accelerator only in Venice but to be an accelerator even out of Venice.

On which SDGs is VeniSIA focused?

VeniSIA is focused on SDGs number:

  • 7.Affordable and Clean Energy: where the goal by 2030 is to ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services; to double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency; to enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology; and to expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries.
  • 11.Sustainable Cities and Communities: where the goal by 2030 is to ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums; to provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all; to enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization; to strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage; to reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities; and to adopt and implement integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters.
  • 12.Responsible Consumption and Production: where the goal by 2030 is to achieve the sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources; to halve per capita global food waste at the retail and consumer levels and reduce food losses along production and supply chains; to achieve the environmentally sound management of chemicals and all wastes throughout their life cycle; to substantially reduce waste generation through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse; and to encourage companies to adopt sustainable practices and to integrate sustainability information into their reporting cycle.
  • 13.Climate Action: where the goal by 2030 is to strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries; to integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies and planning; and to improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning.
  • 14.Life below Water: where the goal by 2030 is to prevent and significantly reduce marine pollution of all kinds, in particular from land-based activities; to sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts; to effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans; and to increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology.
  • 15.Life on Land: where the goal by 2030 is to ensure the conservation, restoration and sustainable use of terrestrial and inland freshwater ecosystems; to combat desertification, restore degraded land and soil, including land affected by desertification, drought and floods; to reduce the degradation of natural habitats, halt the loss of biodiversity and protect and prevent the extinction of threatened species.
To whom is VeniSIA addressed?

VeniSIA supports national companies (corporates and SMEs) to design and/or implement a sustainability project through both the matching with a consistent start-up and the activation of a devoted corporate lab in Venice.
VeniSIA supports national most qualified researchers and start-uppers to be identified and engaged by worldchanging corporations or visionary SMEs in their corporate labs in Venice. VeniSIA involves the best students offering a qualified internship program where they can be integrated within the corporate labs/start-ups, in order to support the sustainability innovation projects. VeniSIA involves worldwide donors willing to cooperate for a real change around the world, starting from Venice. Passionate donors explore additional support, like housing and services, and interact with VeniSIA and its promising start-ups along the journey.
VeniSIA engages institutions, such as the EU, the Italian Government, the Region of Veneto and the City of Venice, with concrete programs focused on research, development and innovation and on energy sustainability and environmental quality.

What can I do for VeniSIA?

If you are a company, you can participate in the project as an investor. Express interest and plan a corporate lab or a collaboration with start-up, covering the project’s costs (including VeniSIA services).
If you are a donor or a sponsor, you can explore other forms of collaboration with VeniSIA and Fondazione Università Ca’ Foscari (e.g.: location, housing). Support VeniSIA by making a donation or agreeing to provide services.
If you are a start-up or a researcher, you can respond to call to action events and provide technology solutions to given problems of Venice environment.
If you are a student, you can contribute to augment the number of Venice residents during your internship.
If you are a supporter, you can provide public support to the launch of VeniSIA.
If you are a mentor, you can provide support to the start-ups. Most welcome mentors are Venetians living abroad and retired top managers keen on giving back for the future of Venice.