Antonio Maglio is head of Human Knowledge at Joule, Eni's business school.
Who are the aspiring startuppers and, in general, who answers the school call? With what idea of sustainability and educational background do they come up with?
"The idea of sustainability is very clear and direct with all the implications that this entails for those who want to do business. It is certainly an excellent starting point for all aspiring startuppers who have the ambition to become part of the Joule programs. Those who participate in our programs have a technical background, but not necessarily, as the issues of sustainability and entrepreneurial initiatives in the field of energy transition and the fight against climate change are transversal and require multidisciplinary skills related to all business sectors ( fashion, food, sustainable mobility, energy) that our school has the ambition to support with its activities".
What is the preparation threshold required to join the group?
"Those who participate in the selections and are chosen for our programs must have a clear idea of the impact that their future company can have on our planet, in terms of the fight against climate change and energy transition , through the application of a circular economy model. A specific background and specific economic preparation is not necessary but, rather, a mix of skills that represents the right match with the business idea that you want to undertake and carry on. The key factor that can favor the conditions to increase the probability of success is certainly the ability of the startup founder to surround himself with people with a mix of skills (technical, managerial, financial) that is consistent with the business idea and who share the same vision and motivation in carrying out the business idea ".
At Joule you focus on verticality: why?
"The motivation is certainly the need to focus the business idea and the resources and energies of the aspiring startuppers on well-defined areas and solve the problem, understood as the need of the segment of customers already present in the market or that must emerge thanks to their own innovative idea. Therefore, above all in the initial stages, a business model that is agile and focused on well-defined areas should be preferred to validate, with the scarce resources available, as quickly as possible the product and / or service that is wants to position on the reference market".
It has been many years now since we talk about startups and yet the death rate is still very high. How Joule can help reverse this trend?
"In the last year, the number of startups has increased significantly compared to 2020, reaching over 14,000 innovative companies in our country, despite the difficulties of the pandemic currently underway. This happened thanks to a series of elements such as the presence of funds made available by Cassa Depositi e Prestiti , the arrival of funds from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan and the same reaction capacity of our entrepreneurial ecosystem, which have favored the creation of new models and solutions to get out of the difficult moment we are going through. To all this, the low scalability of innovative startups compared to other international contexts is counterbalanced for various reasons, such as the absence of a supporting ecosystem, the absence of funds of an adequate level compared to others. international contexts and also the lack of specific fundamental skills in the implementation phase of business activities. Joule , through the development of entrepreneurial skills, the presence of a network of technical partners and the integration between Human Knowledge programs, focused on individual skills and Energizer , built on the specificities of startups, can determine the reduction of the mortality rate, representing a unique element in the entrepreneurial system of our country".
Who is the real innovator today, according to Antonio Maglio?
"The innovator is a person who proposes a business idea that allows you to solve a problem through a product and / or service that is inherently innovative and sustainable . Innovation therefore cannot ignore in my opinion the dimension of the impact it can generate on our planet in terms of combating climate change and energy transition".
Are there any ongoing or ongoing projects that you can mention?
"Currently our school has active programs involving transversal projects on the Italian territory starting from Zero (Rome), VeniSIA (Venice), South-Up (Basilicata), coLABoRA (Ravenna) and the thematic and itinerant pre-incubation program Human Knowlegde LAB. All the programs listed have as their common denominator Eni, through Joule, to support the Italian business system for the development of innovative business ideas and sustainable".
A film, a book that inspires Antonio Maglio in his work?
"At this moment I think that the film The Founder is an inspiration for those who want to become part of this world, because it allows you to reflect on what it takes to be able to realize your own vision and therefore a innovative idea. While I am passionate about books such as Scaling Up which, for example, brings out how you can succeed in your entrepreneurial journey by paying particular attention to the execution phase of activity, essential for those who want to do business in any competitive context".