New Venture Challenge

The Sella New Venture Challenge is a start-up competition that will take place in the XIX NOVA Conference weekend, on Sunday morning. The purpose of the competition is to implement a practical application of topics and ideas discussed in the first days of the Conference (this year themed on “Entrepreneurship in Italy”). The SNVC format entails a competition among 5-6 pre-selected start-ups, whose founders and/or key people will pitch business ideas to a panel of judges. The latter will select a winner and award it with a € 5,000 economic prize and the possibility to receive managerial advice by NOVA officers and/or Board members in the form of short strategic memos. All finalists will be awarded with 2 free tickets for the whole conference weekend and have the possibility to network with Venture Capital and Private Equity investors that will join the event to raise finance and/or seek for managerial advice and sector-specific competences.

Main Sponsor: Sella
The Sella New Venture Challenge is named after its main sponsor – i.e. Sella. Sella agreed to contribute for the prize of the competition and will name one-two judges for the final.
Rules & Processes
Every competition needs clear rules of the game. We drafted a document to present the competition, describe its key features, outline its sequential steps to pre-select finalists and choose the winner.
How to Apply
Submitting a candidacy to join the competition is easy. You need to fill a very short form and send us a presentation for the related Start-Up. After collecting all applications, the organising team will shortlist finalists based on choice criteria described in the rules. We will be in touch with you by November 10th to share our feedback.

A committee of independent judges will choose the winner on the day of the Final. The committee will include between four and six judges, invited on the basis of their experience in the fields of entrepreneurship, innovation and investing, their capability to bring relevant relationships and sponsorships to the NOVA network and their complementarity – they should have different backgrounds to bring different viewpoints to the discussion. The following judges have already been identified.

Alberto Adorini - Head of Strategy & Business Development at Fabrick

Head of strategy and business development of Fabrick. Previously, he was founder and CEO of payleven, a digital payment and international startup founded in March 2012 and successfully sold – first exit in the Italian fintech landscape – in 2016. Adorini began his career as a student at Bocconi University where he graduated with honors in Business Administration and then worked as a consultant at McKinsey & Co. He then moved to California to obtain an MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management, where he came into contact with the world of Venture Capital.

Fabrizio Baroni - Founder & Managing Partner B4 Investimenti S.p.A.

Graduated with honors in Business Economics at the “LIUC” University of Castellanza (VA), he has over 20 years of experience in strategic and financial consulting in M&A and industrial planning (with specific expertise in the SME segment) and in the Private Equity sector. After a first experience at the General Management of the Banca della Svizzera Italiana in Lugano (Switzerland), he joined KPMG Advisory in 1998, covering, from 2007, the position of Director of the Corporate Finance Division and managing assignments, both at Italian and cross-border level, in many different sectors. In 2012 he founded B4 Investimenti SGR S.p.A. (of which he is the main shareholder), which manages - through the SICAF " B4 Holding I " and the EuVECA Fund " B4 H II " - private equity commitment for over 70 million by more than 60 Italian and foreign private investors".

Nicola Garelli - Partner & Director at The Boston Consulting Group Digital Ventures

Early stage investor, executive and non executive company director with a deeply rooted engineering background and robust experience of M&A and equity investments. He took multiple GM/MD/CEO roles in early stage ventures and also gained significant governance and board management familiarity with board roles in private and public-private companies. Before joining BCG Digital Ventures he worked as a Principal for The Boston Consulting Group, for Booz Allen & Hamilton and for Ernst & Young. He was also the Group controller for Gruppo Gavio/Ruscalla, a large infrastructure conglomerate. Nicola is a Chartered Engineer, Member of The Council for the United States and Italy in its Young Leader Program and Junior Fellow at the Aspen Institute. He is also the trustee of BCG’s The Future Makers program.

Loris Lanzellotti - Co-Founder & CEO Boost Heroes

Engineer, after some years of work experience at Salvatore Ferragamo, Accenture and Cisco Systems, Loris graduated with an MBA at New York University, Stern School of Business and an International Management Program at London Business School. Back to Italy after the MBA, Loris has been investing in startups for 10 years now, with direct experience in venture capital funds. in 2015 he co-founded Boost Heroes, a business angel fund with a quantitative investment approach and an active portfolio of 100+ investments, mainly in Italian startups. Boost Heroes is also promoter of B Heroes, an investment, advisory and communication program focusing on Italian startups, told in the homonymous television documentary series currently aired on Sky Uno. Moreover, in 2017 Loris co-founded Seedstars International, a US investment fund focusing on startups based in developing countries

Paolo Guida - Head of Investments at Blockchain Valley Ventures

Paolo heads the direct investing at BVV looking after dealfow, due diligence and investment contracts. Paolo is also actively involved in building BVV ecosystem and co-investment model. Paolo has gained entrepreneurship experience first-hand having co-founded and launched two businesses himself, and raised or helped to raise finance from private and institutional investors for various tech businesses. Paolo has worked in private equity (Privet Capital) and investment banking (Lehman Brothers) in London and previously spent almost ten years in management consulting (Gemini Consulting, Arthur D Little and Value Partners). Paolo is graduate from Bocconi University, holds and MBA from Chicago Booth.