In March 2023, IN-HABIT launched its Bridge for Billions Incubation Programme in Lucca, which is now well underway. But how was the selection process carried out, who was selected, and what does the programme actually involve?
The Selection Process
Applications for the incubation programme in Lucca were due on Sunday the 19th of February 2023, with the selection process carried out after this, following the process below:
Matching Entrepreneurs with Mentors
After being selected, candidates were invited to one of two online onboarding sessions: one for entrepreneurs, the other for mentors. In each of these sessions, the Incubation Manager explained all the stages of the programme in detail, how the platform works, and set the expectations for the matching process. After this, the matching officially began.
During the matching process, mentors reviewed the profiles of all the entrepreneurs in the platform and sent out meeting invites to those they found most suited to their expertise. Each mentor was able to send out up to four invites to ensure everyone had a fair chance of finding their perfect match. This meeting process lasted for two weeks, giving everyone time to meet and decide who they would like to work with, after which both mentors and entrepreneurs had to rank their “preferred” match in the platform.
Following this, Bridge for Billions reviewed and analysed all the match information. The final matches were assigned by taking into account the individuals’ ranking preferences along with other data such as sector, area of expertise, and fairness. After being set and peer-reviewed, the pairings were announced.
It was a real difficulty finding entrepreneurs and mentors in such a specific field as the human-animal bond. As such, to mitigate this risk, the decision was taken to extend the call for participants from just Lucca to Pisa and the surrounding areas as well. However, the majority of the entrepreneurs involved in the programme are from Lucca because of the efforts of the incubation managers to get in contact with as many partners and allies as possible.
The Lucca programme is currently in its incubation stage. As such, all the entrepreneurs are meeting with their mentors weekly to discuss and review the content of each module on the platform. A new module is made available approximately every two weeks, giving participants enough time to research, study, and discuss their questions before completing the module and moving on to the next one.
The modules include:
Entrepreneurs and mentors will work together within the incubation platform until July-August. During this time, they will receive weekly to monthly updates, networking sessions, content reviews, and opportunities to meet other entrepreneurs, peers, and IN-HABIT partners.
When the end of the incubation stage approaches, Bridge For Billions will evaluate the participants’ performance and progress in order to decide which ones to invite to the exploitation meeting being organised for September.
Businesses and Mentors Involved in the Programme
Businesses: Corresponding mentors:
VETRUST Stefano Tarchi
Justfortails Alessandro Messineo
Il Bardotto Vittorio Bartolini
progetto11asd Federica Paolini
Joppys Lorenzo Valeriani
Do Re Miao Stefania Giannicolo
Pet videos Giuseppe Scandone
Socializzando a cavallo Alessandro Canalicchio
Care@home Procolo Casella
Fat Cat leaves Matteo Baronti
La Casa Gialla al Frascone Paola Torti
Naturopatia per gli animali Andrea Frosinini
ARKA-Enjoy Nature Beatrice Bettini
UPPERBUS Andrea Riberti
To find out more about the Bridge for Billions Incubation Programme in Lucca, visit this page.
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