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Italian Trade Agency and L Marks Global Start Up Programme

The Italian Trade Agency (ITA) is a Governmental agency that supports the business development of Italian companies abroad, it additionally promotes the attraction of foreign investment in Italy. ITA operates through a worldwide network of 79 offices in 65 countries.

The Global Startup Programme London, Edition IV, launched in 2023 as an intensive 8-week onsite bootcamp to empower innovative Italian startups seeking entry into the UK market. Representing diverse industries and various stages of maturity, the participating startups were provided with a comprehensive support framework. The Italian Trade Agency partnered with L Marks to host nine startups at our London offices, granting each one access to our extensive investor network, facilitated one-on-one meetings with corporate partners, and offered specialised workshops to accelerate their expansion strategies.

The programme covered these key areas:

Investment: To meet and network with investors who would either directly or indirectly support the startups with capital and/or connections to the wider investment ecosystem.

Business Development: To meet and explore partnerships and commercial opportunities with relevant businesses in the UK to validate market expansion and readiness.

Skills and Tools: To gain significant upskilling through mentoring and workshops that would equip startups with UK knowledge, best practice, and technical understanding of how to expand into the UK efficiently.

Events: For participants to access and take part in a full schedule of events with the purpose of investment, business development and understanding the UK ecosystem.

Demo Day: A final showcase of all the startups, their progression and investment slides. Presentations in front of 200 investors, corporates and startup ecosystem attendees.

‘Overall, we are satisfied, because we have been able to gain a greater awareness of our product in the UK market, which was very important. Additionally, the time we had available to work with our network was useful for laying the groundwork for our presence in the UK starting from next year.’

– Startup Participant

The programme was designed to welcome innovative startups from various tech sectors and regions across Italy, showcasing readiness to explore the UK market. With support from our counterparts at the ITA London office, led by Director Giovanni Sacchi and Head of Innovation Filippo Mansani, we navigated the startup participants towards success through a structured process.

Applicants underwent initial evaluation against detailed screening criteria, assessing their product, motivation, and potential for expansion into a new territory. From this initial screening, nine companies were shortlisted and commenced the onboarding process onto the programme.

Collaboration throughout the programme was managed by L Marks, taking charge of organising all programme elements, including networking opportunities and workshops. While a structured schedule was followed, startups demonstrated proactive engagement, making efforts to connect with stakeholders and establish new relationships during their eight-week residency in the UK.

Each participant concluded with a comprehensive understanding of their approach to penetrating the UK market, comprising their go-to-market strategy, targeted stakeholders, and support mechanisms for seamless expansion. Additionally, L Marks facilitated sessions between participants and professors from the University of Cambridge and corporate innovators at institutions such as Lloyd’s of London.

The programme culminated in a Demo Day, a showcase hosted at the residence of H.E. The Ambassador of Italy to the UK, Inigo Lambertini. This event brought together the nine participating startups, along with over 200 attendees, including investors, corporate representatives, officials, and members of the local startup ecosystem.

L Marks was proud to showcase the UK ecosystem’s full potential to the Italian startups and eagerly anticipates continued collaboration with ITA and each participating company as they pursue their respective journeys.

‘The programme facilitated the opportunity to set up in the UK. We could have done it ourselves but the programme enabled us to do it faster! We are satisfied with L Marks support and direction.’ – Startup Participant


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