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Where tech entrepreneurship and academia merge

In a world driven by innovation, the collaboration between academic forces and the tech industry is now more vital than ever, that's why TechChill Milano and Bocconi University have come together once again to create a unique platform for innovation, creativity and entrepreneurship.


At the heart of this collaboration is B4i - Bocconi for Innovation. B4i is a Bocconi University initiative, which identifies the most innovative ideas and startups with the greatest potential and provides them with the essentials they need to thrive.

B4i have supported the creation and acceleration of over 133 startups, 424 entrepreneurs, who have gone on to raise more than 15M EUR.

The two main programs B4i has are:

  1. Pre-Acceleration Program - From Idea to Minimum Viable Product: This program helps turn disruptive concepts into viable businesses, nurturing them through the crucial early stages of development.

  2. Acceleration Program - From Prototype to Product-Market Fit: Accelerated startups follow a 4-month journey with direct support from the B4i team, mentorship, dedicated services, and financial support of €30,000.

But that's not all—B4i also operates on a six-month call-to-action cycle, offering invaluable resources like Legal Clinics and fostering a thriving Startup Community.

At the center of the action

Bocconi University is in the center of Milan. The city is not only the financial capital of Milan, but also, by extension, the startup capital. Over 50% of VC funding in Italy goes to startups that are located in the northern regions.

Milan has over 150 coworking spaces, 12 fablabs where individuals can build prototypes (and is first in Europe for amount of fablabs), and over 5,000 foreign-owned companies generating a turnover of over $221B from Milan. As of Q3 of 2023, the city is home to 2,669 startups – the highest amount of startups in one city, totaling over 19% of all of Italy's innovative businesses.

These factors, combined with an innovations-centric university with robust acceleration programs, lead to an environment ripe for development, disruption, and growth.

Bringing added value to the innovation space

In addition to the programmes offered at Bocconi for Innovation, B4i is a shining example of driving forward the innovation space through consistently searching for and implementing additional initiatives to bring value to the community.

TechChill Milano

For the second year, B4i has partnered with TechChill to offer an international-scale startup event to inject a global perspective into the local startup ecosystem. By offering its premises and providing a supporting hand, B4i places itself at the epicenter of the new-wave of international innovation – a wave that the Italian startup ecosystem is eager to ride.

The event gives local startups an opportunity to shine in an international environment, as the event brings over 100 international investors, 40+ media representatives, and 100+ speakers with extensive experience to the city. Startups have the opportunity to pitch investors, gain on-stage experience, and demonstrate their product in the Startup Expo, as well as participate in the countless workshops and masterclasses organized by TechChill.

MUSA innovation ecosystem

While B4i is already a game-changer in fostering startup development and innovation, it goes even further. It acts as a critical bridge between academic research institutions and startups, facilitating the technology and knowledge transfer.

In order to uplift the tech transfer, in particular for the Deep Tech sector, starting from the Lombardy Region, the 4 main universities of Milan have joined a unique project to collaborate on several levels. This project is MUSA - Multilayered Urban Sustainability Action and it involves collaboration between the Bocconi University, Politecnico di Milano, Università degli Studi di Milano, the proposing institution University of Milan-Bicocca, and numerous public and private partners.

Over the next three years, this project will receive a total investment of €116 million, with €110 million provided by the National Recovery and Resilience Plan (PNRR) and the Next Generation EU initiative. MUSA is more than just a project; it's an Innovation Ecosystem, with a mission to catalyze innovative activities in all sectors linked with the concept of sustainability.

A bright future for Italian startups

When you combine a rapidly-developing ecosystem with all of the ingredients to grow, a bright future is inevitable. With already having attracted over 2.3B EUR in VC funding over the past decade by Italian startup, we can expect to see a continuation, and acceleration, of this trend.

Stay updated with the latest news and developments on B4i's communication channels, such as newsletters and social media. The journey to a more innovative and sustainable future starts here, at the intersection of education and technology, where ideas flourish and dreams take flight. Subscribe here for B4i newsletter | Connect on Linkedin | Tweet with them here


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