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Enel ties its future to that of startups

Enel lab will incubate six innovation projects in the clean technology field presented by Italian and Spanish startups

Enel ties its future to that of startups

Nathania Zevi

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For its 50th anniversary Enel will give itself a 15 million euro present.

This is the sum of money that Enel, the Italian energy giant, is going to invest over the next three years in the Enel lab promotion and development.

This initiative will select innovation projects in the clean technology field submitted by Italian and Spanish startups by Nov. 30. Enel and Endesa have the intention to incubate those companies in order to bring them to success providing the best environment they need to grow.

"We will select six startups and each of them will get up to 650.000 euro of subsidy for the development of its own potetial in a field that is compatible with our core business" Enel CFO Luigi Ferrais said.

"This is not simply an operation aimed at promoting young people's activity and High-Tech entrepreneurship, but rather a real "scouting" initiative," Ferraris adds "because time has come for a multinational corporation like ours to bet on clean technology through innovative projects. Our role with Enel lab is in fact purely industrial. We are no venture capital. Our help can certainly give young enterprises the chance to start in the best possible way because we provide them with structures, technical, legal and fiscal offices. The young entrepreneurs, on the other hand, will work with us on new projects in sectors such as efficiency, storage technology, renewable energies, network intelligence. We want these ideas to become ours and to incorporate them in the Enel world."

As far as startups are concerned, the Italian scenario has changed in a relevant way over the past year, with government and institutions turning their attention to innovation and digital initiatives. The Enel lab project, together with other existing in Italy, allows newly established companies to survive and grow.

Moreover, those initiatives also represent a good chance for entrepreneurs because they prevent them from being hampered by burocratic, legal and financial problems during the most delicate phase.

"It is also important to point out that, besides incubation, Enel puts its market at the selected startups' disposal. We have 60 million customers in nearly 40 countries,"  Ferraris adds.

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