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 support companies in leveraging Deep Tech as a new approach to problems to build solutions to the world’s biggest sustainability challenges. Venice will thus become the first 100% sustainable city.
VeniSIA’s vision is to create the first European most comprehensive ecosystem with a relentless focus on human capital to nurture sustainability and leverage a Deep Tech approach to innovation.
VeniSIA’s ambition is thus to leveragea Deep Tech approach to deal with sustainability challenges, repopulating the city with new talented residents.
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”
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"
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"
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"
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.
VeniSIA stands for Venice Sustainability Innovation Accelerator.
VeniSIA is a not-for-profit innovation ecosystem born in 2020 within Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, that focuses on sustainability. By applying the Deep Tech approach and implementing the vision of prof. Carlo Bagnoli, Founder & Scientific Director of VeniSIA, it supports startups that aspire to achieve exponential growth and market development through strategic collaboration with established companies and the Deep Tech approach.
VeniSIA’s main office is located in Venice at the headquarters of Strategy Innovation, situated at the San Giobbe Economic Campus of Ca' Foscari University of Venice, in Italy. Its registered office is located at Ca' Dolfin (Calle Larga Ca' Foscari Dorsoduro 3859/A, 30123 Venezia). Additionally, VeniSIA boasts a hub for innovative startups that are eager to establish a presence in Venice: the Ex Herion. This hub is managed by the Venice City Council and is located on Giudecca Island.
VeniSIA aims to be a multi-location accelerator, expanding throughout the historic center of Venice.
VeniSIA leverages a strong ecosystem to develop and implement a comprehensive system strategy aimed at helping startups. By achieving innovation success with key partners, it sets in motion a chain of success that is transmitted to other partners within the ecosystem, ultimately benefiting the ecosystem as a whole. VeniSIA's ecosystem comprises various stakeholders:
- the Academic Ecosystem: Ca’ Foscari University of Venice (alongside the other 8 Universities of North-Est Italy), Sustainability research centers, and the Strategy Innovation Ecosystem;
- the Institutional Ecosystem: EU, Italian Government, Region of Veneto, and City of Venice;
- the Innovation Ecosystem: the accelerator’s network
VeniSIA addresses the sustainable development challenges (SDGs) of Venice through an acceleration process that leverages the Deep Tech approach. It involves the following steps:
- Established companies identify their primary sustainable development challenges.
- Corporate labs and startups develop cohesive innovative business ideas and technological solutions.
- Master's students secure internships within the corporate labs.
- Additional independent smart workers relocate to Venice, which offers a distinctive living and working experience.
Companies and startups benefit from VeniSIA in several ways:
- They experience a significant increase in brand awareness.
- They have the potential to find solutions for their primary sustainable development challenges.
- They can explore the possibility of commercializing these innovative solutions.
- Mitigating the potential fate of Venice becoming a deserted, flooded Disneyland in Italy.
Venice is confronting significant sustainable development challenges, including issues like flooding, over-tourism, depopulation, and other similar environmental and social problems that affect extraordinary cities. The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) serve as an urgent call to action for individuals, nations, and companies, requiring the implementation of new production models and the exploration of innovative business ideas and technological solutions.
On a international level, VeniSIA aims to tackle 7 global sustainability challenges:
- Sustainable mobility;
- Environment protection;
- Renewable energy;
- Sustainable fashion;
- Circular economy;
VeniSIA actively supports startups and companies in harnessing the potential of Deep Tech as a novel approach to developing solutions for the world's most significant sustainability challenges. In particular, VeniSIA has developed the following programs:
- Co-Innovation Program on Climate Change & Circular Economy: The VeniSIA Co-Innovation Program on Climate Change & Circular Economy scouts business ideas and technology solutions for Corporate Partners, and it develops innovative POCs (Proof of Concepts) to meet the sustainability challenges faced by the Partners.
- Open Innovation: VeniSIA Open Innovation Program for SMEs assesses the sustainability challenges of local companies and selects the best business ideas and technology solutions from all over the world to solve them.
- ARGO: VeniSIA is the local operator of ARGO, the Accelerator on Tourism & Travel Tech of CDP National Accelerators Network, aiming to foster sustainability in tourism and hospitality while turning Venice into the benchmark for algorithmic tourism.
- Startup Studio: VeniSIA's Startup Studio creates and accelerates innovative companies & startups, to promote environmental and social sustainability and develop smart products.
The historic center of Venice, built on water, is witnessing a gradual decline in its resident population due to soaring rents and living costs, which are byproducts of overtourism and commercial activities.
In addition to promoting environmental innovation and delivering social and economic benefits, VeniSIA plays a crucial role in retaining residents in the city, stemming the population decline and adding cultural value. Despite its small size, Venice grapples with several sustainability development challenges that have necessitated the formulation of environmental SDGs and associated targets.
VeniSIA is one the leading ecosystem for sustainable innovation, with a primary focus on addressing climate change and other challenges associated with environmental, economic, and social sustainability. It strives to develop a diverse range of ideas and solutions that can be tested in Venice, ultimately aiming to generate positive outcomes and foster the growth of start-ups.
VeniSIA is an ecosystem for sustainable innovation with the ambitious goal of uniting global efforts to address climate change and other challenges concerning environmental, economic, and social sustainability. Its ultimate objective is to transform Venice into the oldest city of the future®.
VeniSIA aims to leverage a Deep Tech approach in tackling sustainability challenges and implementing commercial and industrial programs for the next generation of entrepreneurs. The objective is to attract new talented residents to Venice for long-term stays, transforming them from temporary tourists to permanent futurists.
VeniSIA provides support to national companies and startups, both corporates and SMEs, in designing and/or implementing sustainability projects. This is achieved through a combination of matching them with suitable startups and establishing dedicated corporate labs** in **Venice.
VeniSIA also aids in identifying and engaging the most qualified national researchers and startup founders, who are then connected with world-changing corporations or visionary SMEs in Venice's corporate labs. Additionally, VeniSIA offers a comprehensive internship program to top students, enabling them to contribute to sustainability innovation projects within the corporate labs and startups.
Furthermore, VeniSIA collaborates with global donors who are eager to participate and drive real change worldwide, starting from Venice. These passionate donors explore additional means of support, such as housing and services, while actively engaging with VeniSIA and its promising startups throughout the journey.
In its endeavors, VeniSIA actively engages with institutions such as the EU, the Italian Government, the Region of Veneto, and the City of Venice. Concrete programs focused on research, development, innovation, energy sustainability, and environmental quality are implemented in collaboration with these institutions.
If you are a company:
- Participate in VeniSIA’s Co-Innovation program as an investor.
- Participate in VeniSIA’s Co-Innovation program with startups.
If you are a donor or a sponsor:
- 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 startup or researcher:
- Respond to call to action events and provide technology solutions to given problems of Venice’s environment.
- Contribute to augmenting the number of residents in Venice during your internship with VeniSIA’s program or startups.
- Provide public support to VeniSIA’s activities.
- Provide support to the startups. Most welcome mentors are Venetians living abroad and retired top managers keen on giving back for the future of Venice.