Tuesday, 19 October 2021 12:47

#SIOS2021Giffoni, a journey into Gen Z: the event co-produced by Giffoni and StartupItalia is won by Weshort

The Giffoni Edition Special Award went to the on-demand platform for short movies, which was chosen by a jury of giffoners from a shortlist of winning ideas


Exploring Gen Z through stories of innovation and entrepreneurship. This was the spirit of #SIOS21Giffoni, the second to last stage of the event format promoted by StartupItalia, co-produced by Giffoni and Giffoni Innovation Hub. The winner of the Giffoni Edition Special Award was the startup Weshort - In short we trust.

Weshort is an on-demand platform for short movies and was chosen by the jury from a shortlist of 5 media and entertainment startups, all competing for the Giffoni Edition Special Award and presented during Radio 105’s show “105StartUp!”, hosted by Alessandro Sansone and Annie Mazzola. The winner is now going to compete for the “Radio 105 Special Award”, which will be conferred on December 13 during the #SIOSWinter.

According to Claudio Gubitosi, founder and director of Giffoni, not only did the event bear witness to an important partnership, but it also reaffirmed the values that have been at the basis of this great Italian cultural hub for over half a century, namely professionalism, rigor and reliability: “When I founded Giffoni I was a clear-headed 18-year-old: I wanted to write a story for the young, giving them what I couldn’t have. Giffoni’s project was one of the first Italian startups”.

The event was streamed (with around 450,000 total views and peaks of 4,500 users simultaneously connected) and took place in the presence of about a hundred Gen Z representatives in Giffoni, a place of opportunities and a symbol for many generations: “This has been a special event”, said CEO of StartupItalia Filippo Satolli.  “And it has been held in a hub that has shown how innovation can be done regardless of geographical location. What’s really important is to do it while keeping a dream in your mind”.

Among success stories and entrepreneurial ideas, the meeting covered topics involving the younger generations and their commitment to a sustainable economy and respect for diversity. This is a re-evolution that is showing its effects on our lives, as demonstrated by the work carried out by sociologist Domenico De Masi, who presented the audience with a real journey into the future of the world of work: “Innovation is a priority. Today we spend 12% of our time working. In 2019, we worked 40 billion hours in Italy, producing thousands of times more than 100 years ago, when 40 million Italians spent 70 billion hours a year at work”.

Evolution is happening at all levels, as demonstrated by the Campania Region, which supports its ecosystem to make innovation and bring about development: “This is a very exciting time”, explained Valeria Fascione, Campania region’s Councilor for Research, Innovation and Startups. “Campania has the third largest number of startups in Italy and Naples ranks third among all Italian cities. We have invested 35 million euros on startups and another 7 million in entertainment and scouting activities online, in cooperation with research institutes and universities. If the figures are interesting, it is because the dynamism of our ecosystem is playing a key role. I would say to young people that they should follow their passions and talent, because opportunities for self-realization do exist”.

Southern Italy has infinite potential, as well as institutional and entrepreneurial goals: reducing the gap with the North, increasing the appeal of areas rich in possibilities and talent, providing opportunities for those who do not want to leave their place of origin. An example is the Apple Developer Academy in Naples, “which was created − said its scientific director Giorgio Ventre − to offer training parallel to the usual university path and closer to the needs of companies, hence providing the hard skills required by the market”.

A subject to be explored, as suggested by CEO of Volano Giovanni De Caro “is the still small size of the Italian startup system. Added to this is the gap suffered by the South of Italy, which attracts few players”. However, it is undeniable that we are experiencing a period of great excitement, even though Italy suffers from a gap with other markets and southern Italy is even more penalized, as explained by Francesca Ottier, Head of the Fondo Italia Venture II of CDP Venture Capital SGR. “The South only accounts for 5% of what has been invested overall this year, though the market is evolving: we need to create ad hoc tools to support the arrival of new players and attract other investors”.

“There is an infrastructural delay”, said Marco Bellezza, CEO of Infratel Italy. “As for fiber and broadband, we currently cover 2,500 municipalities, which is proof of an important acceleration effort.  In addition to that, thanks to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan over 7 billion euros will be invested. Another goal is to increase digital services, especially in the South”.

Among other guests were Sydney Sibilia and The Jackal: the former is a director, screenwriter and producer from Salerno. Together with Matteo Rovere, he founded the production company Groenlandia, experimenting with the languages of cinema, advertising and television and making use of the potential of new technologies. The latter created a video production company that started as a game among classmates, and have been able to mix the rules of the media in order to invent original and successful formats. Interacting to change the world, or at least trying to do so, seems to have been the common thread linking these creative projects made in Campania. Furthermore, the importance of measurement to make business processes more efficient was discussed with Nicola Tagliaferro, Head of Sustainability Enel X. He also talked about circular economies, which are not limited to recycling and reuse and have given rise to a new figure: the circular economy manager, a communications expert who is able to interpret data and analyses, as well as to introduce innovative measures aimed at making processes circular.

The digital industry is a young one. Started a few decades ago, it has introduced changes that have been able to revolutionize entire economies. And this evolution is increasingly accelerating thanks to ideas and projects. The ability to create startups is precisely the topic that Founder of Nana Bianca Paolo Barberis discussed with the giffoners in attendance, emphasizing the role played by human and economic capital in the creation of a company and focusing on training, which “requires a new model that is not limited to schooling, but extends throughout one’s life to support evolution and change”.

Elisa Zambito Marsala, Managing Director of Intesa Sanpaolo Formazione, reflected on how training can enable business sustainability: “the historical moment we are going through has shown us different educational needs. The pandemic has accelerated the processes of digitalization in the educational field, paving the way for new didactic methods and opportunities even in a country like Italy. Education is increasingly based on smartphones and is following the principles of engagement in order to respond to lower and lower attention thresholds.

The pandemic and distance learning have inspired new ways of interacting with students: this is what happened to Sandro Marenco, professor and TikToker, who managed to establish a humorous and human dialogue with his community.

This approach has turned him into an educational “influencer”, and the ability to connect with different audiences was at the center of a panel with Simone Pepino and Lorenzo Carone, respectively Hoopygang’s CEO and Head of Influencer Relationship Management, who focused on creative industries and the field of influencer marketing: “the sector stands at 9% of the digital advertising turnover. This percentage reflects a degree of maturity achieved with transparency, measurement, creativity and content”.  As Marilena Lopez of Studio 71 Italia pointed out, “content is more crucial than ever in the relationship with the target. It is necessary to focus on originality, creativity and content that is able to generate interactions and encourage conversations”. All these features should take into account the “connections with the local community to which one belongs, in order to give life to genuinely innovative processes based on metalanguage and addressed to each and every target segment”, commented Massimo Pattano, Marketing Manager of 4w MarketPlace.

One of the leading threads of the event with Gen Z representatives was also the opportunity to go back to talking in presence. According to StartupItalia Director Anna Gaudenzi, “being able to meet with the public after so long, to talk to an audience of young people and to be immersed in an exchange of ideas is something extremely exciting. This is a rediscovered normality that has enabled us to discuss training and innovation here in the South, in order to fill that gap of attention and information and to support talents, starting from the territory, discovering the many innovative projects underway and giving them space”.

At the end of the day, founder and CEO of Giffoni Innovation Hub Luca Tesauro concluded: “Giffoni is a place of opportunities and the Multimedia Valley is a symbol of Southern Italy, a hub of creativity for young people who want to challenge themselves. This event somehow represents a new beginning, because we want to lead Giffoni towards the next fifty years”.

“I would like to thank StartupItalia”, concluded Jacopo Gubitosi, Giffoni’s managing director. “We are extremely happy to be at your side. We have shared so much today. We are all winners”.


May 09, 2022

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Category: News Giffoni Experience
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