One year after its inception, few simple numbers draw the picture of Build It Up's overall success: 290 Members (40 of which operational); over 60 business ideas received; 2 start-up projects under development; 2 start ups launched, 3 conferences and 2 business ideas competitions organized; 13 established partners, split between technical, institutional and network.
Build It Up (www.builditup.it) is a non-profit association stemmed from the synergy between college students and experts in the field of entrepreneurship and economics. The association has two main objectives: first, supporting young entrepreneurs from the idea-generation to the business-plan-creation phase; second, fostering the entrepreneurial spirit among young generations by organizing workshops, business ideas competitions and presentations.
"After analyzing the Italian entrepreneurial environment - says Marcello Tedeschi, Build It Up President & Co-Founder - we realized that too often young "wannabe" entrepreneurs, although having fantastic ideas, do not have the funds to pursue these ideas, do not know how to pitch them to investors or simply have no clue where to start from; thus, most of the time they end up setting their ideas aside, for good. We have created a non-profit organization designed by students for students, with the aim of giving birth to new ventures run by young people to create a bridge between universities and the business community. Our goal is not pursuing something abstract, indeed we want to give everyone free tools and concrete steps to follow for implementing their ideas".
The paramount goal of supporting the creation of new enterprises is realized through a strategic challenge of the idea aimed at verifying its feasibility and chances of success and at testing the assumptions underlying the economic forecasts. Then, upon the entrepreneur's will, the idea is brought in front of potential investors willing to provide early-stage financing. The activity is carried out by teams of students selected among Build It Up operational members; they provide their know-how free of charge and this is an amazing boost to down-and-out budding entrepreneurs. In addition to the core activity of project development, Build It Up also carries out training activities in collaboration with other youth organizations and major universities to spur non-business students' interest in entreprenuership.
Build It Up project is ambitious and faces many challenges some of which are inherently embedded in the Italian entrepreneurial environment, that leaves little room for new generations. Nevertheless, the encouraging numbers, the enthusiasm of Build It Up's followers and the passion of its members lead one to hope in the future