Create an innovative cyber startup: the main opportunities in Italy

(To Danilo Mancinone)

We can say with certainty that MSME (micro and small-medium enterprises) represent the "backbone" of the Italian economy. In fact, considering the only “micro” (ie those in the staff is less than 10 people and the annual turnover or total budget does not exceed 2 million) they occupy about 8 million compatriots.

Looking at the startup ecosystem, the cyber security sphere appears dynamic, prosperous and of great interest. The number of emerging realities in this field is a symptom of a path of innovation that is taking shape, as well as the progressive increase in attention to the issue of system security and information protection.

The Information Security & Privacy Observatory of the Politecnico di Milano conducted a survey during the 2018 aimed at analyzing the most innovative realities in the cyber security field, with the aim of photographing the dynamics of market development: the past year has been marked by an exponential increase in cyber crime attacks, characterized by a growing heterogeneity of methods of implementation and subjects affected.
All organizations are therefore called upon to increase investments in products and services related to security and information protection. The startups certainly play a fundamental role in the scenario outlined.

With the introduction of the 179 / 2012 law decree, known as the Growth Decree, Italy has adopted an organic regulation aimed at encouraging the creation and growth of new high-tech value companies, the so-called innovative startups. The objective of the policy is to support the development of an innovation-oriented entrepreneurial ecosystem, capable of creating new jobs and attracting human and financial capital from the world.

Companies with the innovative startup requirements (enrollment tutorials) can count on a vast complex of facilities, such as simplifications and regulatory exemptions, tax incentives, facilitations in accessing credit and risk capital, and new financing programs : measures with the potential to affect the entire life cycle of the company, from the start to the expansion and maturity phases.

Let's look at some essential features together

The innovative startup (and the cyber falls under the full definition!) Is a capital company, also set up as a cooperative, resident in Italy or in another EU member country as long as it has a production site or a branch in Italy, which meets certain requirements and has as its exclusive or prevalent corporate purpose: the development, production and marketing of innovative products or services with high technological value.

Its economic and social function is of fundamental importance for Italy, as the innovative startup in the vision of our legislator:

  • promotes sustainable growth, technological development and employment, particularly youth;
  • contributes to the development of a new entrepreneurial culture, to the creation of a more favorable environment for innovation;
  • promotes greater social mobility;
  • attracts talents, innovative companies and capital from abroad to Italy.

Given these premises, the Italian legislator has envisaged a particular favor towards innovative startups, for which a wide range of continuously evolving facilities has been prepared which includes:

  1. Free digital constitution method
  2. Exemption from chamber rights and stamp duty
  3. Exceptions to the ordinary corporate law
  4. Extension of the deadline for covering losses
  5. Derogation from the regulation on companies of convenience and systematic loss
  6. Exemption from the requirement of affixing the compliance visa for compensation of VAT credits (Value Added Tax)
  7. Discipline of work cut to measure
  8. Faculty to remunerate staff in a flexible way
  9. Remuneration through equity participation instruments (eg stock options, work for equity schemes)
  10. Tax incentives for equity investors
  11. Capital raising through equity crowfunding campaigns (in 2013, Italy was the first country in the world to regulate the equity crowdfunding market, also through the creation of a special register of authorized online portals
  12. Facilities for accessing the Guarantee Fund (a public capital fund that facilitates access to credit through the granting of guarantees on bank loans)
  13. ICE Agency: ad hoc services for the internationalization of startups
  14. Fail fast: In the event of failure, innovative startups can count on faster and less burdensome procedures than ordinary ones to complete their activities. Specifically, they are subject exclusively to the procedure for resolving the crisis from over-indebtedness and liquidation of the assets, with exemption, in particular, from the bankruptcy procedures, arrangement with creditors and compulsory administrative liquidation. Innovative startups are therefore included among the so-called "non-fallible" subjects.
  15. Transformation into an innovative SME: if successful, innovative startups that have become "mature" and continue to be characterized by a significant innovation component can be transformed into innovative SMEs. In this way, the legislator (law decree 3 / 2015) intended to extend its field of intervention to all innovative companies, regardless of their level of maturity. In fact, innovative SMEs benefit from most of the measures envisaged for innovative startups.

The latter, perhaps, will be a next step: for now it is preferable to dwell on the opportunities offered to innovative startups and, even before, on the development of a winning business idea and of the business plan!

So, if you are young and have a good idea, follow us, we will tell you how to do it ...

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