BARI-Bari climbs the ranking positions for number of innovative startups, fifth Italian city, preceded by Milan, Rome, Naples and Turin, and among the top 10 technological ones. On this front, the whole region is playing its part with 643 innovative startups registered in the special section of the Business Register as of 19 July 2023, the eighth region across the country (where there are 13,862 units). Most of these startups - observe Intesa Sanpaolo's Studies and Research office - are specialized in advanced services, mainly software production and IT consultancy, R&D activities, data processing, hosting, web portals. Their presence has accelerated and is also accelerating the digitization processes, determining, also in this case, an excellent placement of the region as regards the Desi Index (Digital economy and society index) elaborated by the Polytechnic of Milan: Puglia is the first region in the South with 45.9 points, just below the Italian average of 50. They were born, here as elsewhere, by the classic good idea, innovative more often the result of talent mainly if not exclusively young people born in Puglia, who often emigrated to the North to refine themselves and acquire experience , then come back down and put it into practice.
Start-ups and innovative companies spread throughout the territory and in all sectors
Examples abound, from the 3D printers of the Bari-based Roboze for products for Ferrari or the US army, to the bionic hands developed by 3 engineers from Soleto (Lecce), to the Befreest from Taranto, which has developed an intelligent nose capable of sensing the amount of CO2 present in enclosed public spaces, offices and schools and reacting according to the risk threshold with a signal; to Farmalabor's custom-made drugs. And then the leading startups that participated, thanks to the support of the Region, in Smau San Francisco last May, involved in the Innovit - Italian Innovation and Culture Hub event. Like the Bari-based Profiter active in the pharmaceutical sector (solutions to optimize warehouses, reduce the number of stockouts); Salento Weave (machine learning algorithms to align individual careers and corporate goals); the Taranto-based Asymmetrica (solutions to the typical problems of urban contexts through a technology based on machine learning); the Bari-based Mindesk (3D glasses for creating and modeling objects); the Salento Audioboost (text content transformed into podcasts and videos); Alkimia Energie from Bari (integrated solutions for the development of renewable energy sources); Lecce-based HT Materials Science Italy, creator of MAXWELL, a coolant that improves the energy efficiency of air conditioning and cooling systems); the Brindisi Green Independence (sea water and dirty water transformed into distilled and drinkable water).
Female startups, a boom, second region in the South
There is no gender distinction in the birth of innovative startups. On the contrary. According to the data processed by InfoCamere for the Observatory on female entrepreneurship of Unioncamere, in September 2022, there are 103 innovative startups managed by women in Puglia and they represent 5.15% of the national total of female startups (2 thousand in all) and 14.8% of the total innovative startups in Puglia. Compared to the same month of 2019, before the pandemic, Apulian women's businesses increased by 45.6% (47 more businesses in absolute terms). A growth that places Puglia in fifth place in Italy after Lombardy, Lazio, Campania and Tuscany.
The role of the Region
To facilitate the birth of new startups in Puglia, in line with the regional industrial policy, there have long been TecnoNidi and Nidi, measures managed by Puglia Sviluppo (in-house and regional financial company), as an intermediate and financial body.
The first measure - according to data from Puglia Sviluppo - contributed to the formation of new startups, generating the presentation of 412 projects for a value of over 98 million euros. The second has favored the establishment of micro-enterprises with aid aimed precisely at the entrepreneurial initiatives of young people, women and people with difficulty accessing the world of work: more than 4,400 applications for total investments close to 300 million euros. The two measures are generating employment for more than 10,000 new units.