The Prizes

/ 23.11.2018

The winners of Gaetano Marzotto Prize

The winners of the eighth edition of the Gaetano Marzotto Prize are: 

CELLPLY, a diagnostics system that provides efficacy in oncological therapies through the use of in-vitro response analyses of biopsies and drugs; and BETTERY, a liquid battery that is refillable and sustainable.


Supporting new ideas, activating new Italian companies and making them a reality in the world marketplace, and meeting the need for investments and real connections.  

This is the guiding philosophy that has informed the Finals of the eighth edition of the Gaetano Marzotto Prize which was held today at MAXXI in Rome.  This was the last chapter of a year of intense activity, which saw more than 600 participants competing, and 48 startups awarded, with total prizes worth more than 2.5 million euros and an active network of a hundred partners, many of which are international.


With a group of 50 partners coming from various sectors, from manufacturing to fintech, from education to large-scale distribution, we have supported the creation and development of new Italian businesses, for more than ten years, with millions of euros. We believe in concrete facts, as Giannino Marzotto, the creator of the prize, would say. – Cristiano Seganfreddo, Director of the Progetto Marzotto has this to say: “the Prize is, in fact, an efficacious ecosystem of innovation that is very practical and has little to deal with politics, where we recognize and support in a real way the capacity to create new businesses. With real money and not just promises. Supporting, connecting and encouraging innovation. Because young Italian entrepreneurs deserve all of this. And we want to bring them into the world marketplaces so as to continue the idea of Italy as a creative and advanced country.” 

At the awards ceremony, Diana Saraceni, President of the Business Prize Jury, called to the stage Emil Abirascid, President of the Business Prize Selection Committee, who involved more than forty researchers, institutional and university representatives, business incubators, along with representatives from the world of finance, venture capitalists, journalists and innovation experts, in a double screening process. The five finalists were CellPly di Bologna, Panoxyvir, RespectLife, Supermercato24 and Wecare, and the winner, Cellply, was awarded a 300,000 euro grant and a CUOA assistance program, with the following motivations: 


“Also for this edition, from among a panoply of very interesting and promising candidates, we have chosen a project that is still in the startup phase for the Business Prize, but also one that is connected to a high risk sector, and as such we wished to recognize and award the ambition of the team, which has shown a high level of dedication and competences. Their ambition lies not only in the development of the business itself, but also in the potential to change the futures of thousands of oncology patients in the world, and to accelerate, by faster communications of results, the development of new drugs. In other words, if the project works, and all of us expect it will, it will undoubtedly be a potential champion which will bring honour to the name of Italian scientific research and entrepreneurship.” 

The prize ceremony then saw Salvatore Majorana, President of the Jury of the Business Idea Prize, who called upon Federico Barilli, President of the Scientific and Technological Parks and Incubator Network, to effectuate a first screening of the seven finalists – Bettery, Fleep, Heraclex, Moveo Walks, OCORE, Phononic Vibes and Spex – and the winner was Bettery, which was awarded a grant of 50,000 euros by the Progetto Marzotto and an CUOA assistance program, with the following motivation: “In the search for solutions that explore a sustainable future, the Jury identified, from among the excellent proposals that reached the Finals, an idea of business that combines careful and in-depth scientific research, a solid patent history and an ambitious business model, and which creates clean energy for the transport sector, and surpasses the limits of current solid state batteries.”


The Finals also saw the awarding of various Special Prizes promoted by the Prize’s Partners, namely:  

Maria Laura Cantarelli, Public Policy Manager of Amazon Italia, announced Domoki, smart home switches based on Android technology, as the winner of the Amazon Launchpad Award; “ … for the high potential of the product and for its appeal to Amazon clients, both in Italy and abroad and for the fact that it is for a growing sector.”


Matteo Masi, Startup Account Manager AWS Italia, announced that Revotree, an IoT system which optimizes agricultural processes in a friendly way, has won the Special Amazon Web Services Prize: “… for the impact that such technology will have on final users and the environment.” 

Marco Morchio, Managing Director Accenture Strategy of Italy, Central Europe and Greece, awarded Babelee, a platform that transforms contents into video, the winner of the Accenture Special Prize: “…for its flexibility which can be applied to different industrial sectors and business functions.” 

Roberto Guida, President of Capitol One, announced Metaliquid, an Al-based video analysis system as the winner of the Capital One Special Prize / Copernico / Marzotto Venture Accelerator in the category of Business Prize to “for having created a platform which, through the combination of neural networks and deep learning technologies is able to recognize hundreds of concepts simultaneously within a video, and which allows for personalized services both in terms of on demand and live contents;” and Agricolus for the category Business Idea Prize, with its agricultural platform of precision: “thanks to the capacity to transform spatial and field data in decisions, actions and previsions, agriculture will have increased harvests, improving quality in a sustainable way, and safeguarding the environment.”

Enrico Mercadante, Lead Digital Transformation Cisco Italia, announced Blimp as the winner of the Cisco Special Prize, a platform that can visualize the number of people and vehicles in a determined environment in real time, “for the potential complementary nature of the solution with selected CISCO Analytics technologies, which when combined with the solution developed by the team could lead to a better level of innovation and precision; for the solution that is applicable in different areas that interest us, of Digitalization of the city and that of retail, so as to improve the Customer Experience and relationships with clients, users and citizens.”

Vincenzo Tartuferi, Direttore Generale Telco & Utilities ENGINEERING Ingegneria Informatica awarded the ENGINEERING Ingegneria Informatica Special Prize to the startup Rainlot, a device which can calculate in advance the movement of storm fronts with a precision of up to 95%: “the idea was selected for its totally innovative use of 3 and 4G technologies (and with a look towards 5G), by creating the basis for development of projects that are in line with other Engineering activities already underway, in preventing and managing environmental risks through economically viable solutions and with a high social value.” 

Donato Iacovone, EY Managing Partner Italy, Spain and Portugal, announced the young startup Genuino as the winner of the EY Special Prize. This is a platform developed to bring tracked and certified products into stores via Blockchain: “because it promotes values of authenticity and sustainability of Made in Italy products, through safeguarding of the brand name; the use of Blockchain technology to guarantee transparency and inalterability of data; the applicability of market crossing, from fashion to food to consumer goods.”  

Sergio Buonanno, CEO Invitalia Ventures announced the already awarded startup Metaliquid as the winner of the Invitalia Special Prize “…for having developed an extremely innovative technological product  by applying Al to analyses and elaboration of videos, in response to the various market demands and trends.”

Enrico Borgarello, Director of Italcementi Innovation | HeidelbergCement Group, singled out the startup Particulate Matter, developer of an innovative material that captures atmospheric particulates and which was awarded the Italcementi | HeidelbergCement Group Special Prize, created by the entry of the multinational this year into the network, with the following motivation: “for its strong attention to sustainability, which improves quality of air and represents a potential concrete activation of the principles of a circular economy, through the use of recycled materials and byproducts of production processes.”   

Tommaso Tammone, Senior Customer Success Manager Microsoft Italia, announced Smart Domotics as the winner of the Microsoft Special Prize. It represents home automation in service to Energy Efficiency 4.0: “to their applications in the great reality of home automation; to specialize in a segment that is not offered to consumers by large international players or of realities of industrial automation on a very large scale; for its market approach through installer channels; for being a simple product, the ideal candidate to sustain Microsoft technologies of the latest generation.” 

Fabio Bocchiola, Country Manager Repower Italia, awarded the Repower Special Prize to Userbot, a Customer Service technology that uses artificial intelligence in the service of man: … “for having developed a particular high-performing solution in terms of integration with CRM systems and moreso with digital business channels  generally, to improve relational experiences.” 

There were two recognitions on behalf of Unicredit, which saw Osvaldo Venturi, Head of Corporate Region Centro Unicredit, award the Unicredit Start Lab Special Prize to Fili Pari in the Business Idea Prize category, for its development of innovative materials in the textiles sector; “…for the innovation of the product and for the Made in Italy orientation which the project has, for its environmental impact with the adoption of this technology will have on the Fashion sector and for end-user consumers, as well as for its team made up entirely of women;” and Giusy Stanziola, Director of UniCredit Start Lab, for the Business Prize category to already awarded Cellply: “for being yet another example of Italian excellences in Life Sciences, and for its obvious social value which the development of a very accurate personalized oncological therapy platform will have on patients.” 


To wind up the ceremony, together with Ferdinando Businaro, Managing Director of the Progetto Marzotto, Margherita Marzotto, the Progetto Marzotto’s President, declared: “our aim is clear: to keep looking ahead and to help those who propose innovative ideas, to give them a hand. Many of the winning projects are surprising for the determination of those involved to do business and to improve the conditions of human lives: research, innovation, technology, sustainable development … in the service of man, to contrast his destructive instincts. There is much need!!”

And Matteo Marzotto, Vice-President of the Progetto Marzotto had this to say: “Thanks to the prize, year after year, we have helped to create an incredible network of partners willing to cooperate in creating a future. New businesses and startups, consisting of thousands of brilliant young minds, are, today, among the major impetuses of our country’s economy. By investing in technology and innovation, Italy and our businesses, can lead the way in the revolution of Industry 4.0, for open innovation, such as through services with a high digital content.” And he continued: “Thanks to the courage of these young entrepreneurs, the Prize has become the platform for Italian innovation. Not to forget the network of international partners that allow us implement very real support towards all realities that have potential, in order to grow and flourish in the international marketplace as well. As an entrepreneurs, I can only suggest continuing to bet on our youth, the driving force for our country’s future.”  


Santa Margherita Gruppo Vinicolo and Babelee


Video Ceremony Gaetano Marzotto Award, Roma