Looking Back at our Global Startup Program Edition 2 with the Italian Trade Agency

ERA Global


February 21, 2022

Last fall marked the successful end of the second edition of the Global Startup Program, an acceleration program sponsored by the Italian Trade Agency. In Winter 2019, ERA Global hosted the companies for the first edition in New York City. The second edition took place online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the participants fully committed to the program and attended eighteen workshops on business, fundraising, and operations in the US. 

In addition to workshops, the founders participated in pitch practice sessions and tracked their KPIs on a weekly basis. Participants met with investor guests and venture partners, who shared individualized feedback and advice. During these sessions, the teams made great progress in communicating their business to pique the interest of US investors. 

With the program’s strong emphasis on perfecting pitches, the startups refined their pitches and stories. One founder shared at the end of the eight weeks that he now had a “new style of pitching,” which was unfamiliar to him before the program. 

According to the industry and specific needs of each company, the ERA Global team paired each company with a lead mentor who worked with them on their go-to-market strategy, pitch decks, and first customer acquisition according to each company’s needs. The lead mentors play an integral role in startups’ progress. As described by one founder, she and her lead mentor “just clicked… what she did to better understand [the] business was really important. She kept searching and digging [during our lead mentor meetings], and we made a lot of progress. My [investor] pitch was completely changed by the end.”

After all their hard work and many learnings, the seven companies rounded off the eight-week program with a final pitch event. During the welcoming remarks, the Consul General of Italy in New York, Fabrizio Di Michele, and ITA US Director Antonino Laspina opened the event to commend the participants on their hard work and accomplishments in approaching the US market. At the conclusion of the pitches, the audience met with the companies in small group sessions.

All in all, the companies made the most of the program by connecting with mentors, actively participating in the workshops, and polishing their pitches and US go-to-market strategies. The ERA Global team eagerly awaits the startups to hit the ground running when they set foot in the US.

To learn more about the seven companies, see below. 

B2Book is a B2B apartment distribution system connecting the global vacation apartments to all the B2B travel operators through API integrations, with more than 100,000 apartments on its platform.
Cardo AI is an end-to-end data management, reporting, and analytics platform operating in private credit markets.

Defendo developed a patent-pending technology that embeds IOT modules in hybrid smartwatches, allowing it to be connected to multiple sensors that send different alerts in real-time. 

GardenStuff manufactures unique smart home-gardening products enhanced with the Italian design to allow the integration of plants in the respect of the plants’ needs. GardenStuff’s IoT technology analyzes the environment and understands which plants can grow.

InspiredRing combines Fine Jewelry with IIoT, microtech RFID chips, and blockchain to address the problems in the hard luxury industry: fakes, consumer onboarding regardless of the channel, multi-parties distribution and supply chain tracking, and control of the after-market.

Maccaturo is a traditional Italian meal-kit as a gift basket, with starred chef-designed recipes based on culinary traditions that transform corporate gifts into an experiential and high-engaging vehicle to connect companies with employees or clients.

MyLime is a blockchain-based tracking platform that manages exclusive assets through a digital passport where information and related multimedia are gathered along its lifecycle by the authorized parties.