Startup Survey in Italy: a glance at the human side of the startup phenomenon

Submitted by Lucia Seel on 26 June 2018

More news reached us from the Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Directorate-General for Industrial Policy, Competitiveness and SMEs: Mattia Corbetta, Policy Advisor on Innovation and Startups shared with us the report on the results of the first census survey on Italian startuppers, "Startup Survey".

The primary aim of this initiative, which was carried out in collaboration with the Italian National Institute of Statistics, was to expand the evidence base on these companies with elements that are not easily grasped through Business Register data. In other words, the aim was to go beyond the "firm side" of the story and shed light on the humans behind the startups.

For instance the wish was there to put to the test some of the most common stereotypes surrounding startuppers. To name one: are they mostly college freshmen and self-made IT geniuses? The short answer is "no": most startuppers hold a university degree, sometimes even a PhD, and often have solid professional experience.

Adopting a "sociological" approach, the survey reveals the personal story and mindset of startup founders: from their socio-economical background and their education to their motivations and preferred source(s) of financing. Moreover, the survey investigated the level of knowledge of the benefits offered by the Startup Act and their perceived impact on entrepreneurial activity and was open to free-form policy suggestions.

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