Italians in Dublin

The list of startups taking part in the Web Summit at the end of October is not yet complete, but there are already 16 from Italy

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It promises to be an impressive event bringing together the international stars of technology and innovation: inventors, designers, project managers and company CEOs who have changed the world and are looking for others who wish to follow suit. «Eager to meet potential partners, investors and journalists, among others. What do you have to say about yourself?», is a translation of what it says on the homepage. There will be a total of seven thousand guests and 350 speakers, including Matt Mullenweg of WordPress, Kevin Rose of Google Ventures, Di-Ann Eisnor of Waze, and Danae Ringelmann of Indiegogo, past whom will be run 200 startup projects (picked out of four thousand). Web Summit 2013, one of the top European events for technological startups, is due to be held in Dublin on October 30 and 31: there will be 16 projects from Italy, accounting for 8% of the total and a great improvement on the previous year, when there were just 6. The definitive list of selected startups will be published in a few weeks’ time. In the meantime, those already given the green light include Mangatar by Raffaelle Gaito, Betalize by Luca Lanzanò, Buzzoole by Gennaro Variale and Fabrizio Perrone, and the boys behind Bad Seed.

Mangatar produces social and mobile videogames relating to the world of manga. They have been on the market for a year and a half. At the end of 2012, they received their first investment from dPixel; then they won the Pni award for startup of the year; and a few weeks ago they released a new videogame called Dengen Chronicles. A highly emotional Raffaelle Gaito, the founder of Mangatar, said: «Web Summit is the greatest tech, web and innovation conference in Europe. It is an event with awe-inspiring media coverage and which has attracted start-ups of a very high calibre. The Web Summit board interviewed us via Skype last week. They were interested mainly in the type of startup, the numbers and financing, and what draws us in particular to the event: for example, whether we want to meet investors or to seek media coverage».

The founder of Mangatar believes what persuaded them «was the fact that we have gained all that there is to gain in Italy, and that we have had a new game online for several weeks and already have paying users. It also helped that I showed them the press release, to convince them that we are worthy of media coverage».

Luca Lanzanò, the CEO and founder of Betalize, received the good news last week. Betalize is a beta tester: a service that allows you to put your pitch to a public prepared to offer criticism and advice, and to potential supporters of your project. Basically, it is a way of testing your idea, product or service. «The Web Summit? It’s an event of international scope», he told Startupitalia, «offering Italian startups a valuable chance to form relations and meet important people». Luca believes the strength of Betalize that allowed it to pass the selection process lies in «the business model of our project and our key expertise, however imperfect, and the skills we have acquired».

Also in Dublin will be Buzzoole, a platform that uses an algorithm to improve your presence online. «We have been operational with an online version since March, and we already have seven thousand users», said Fabrizio Perrone, the founder. «We also went to Next Berlin and gained a not inconsiderable amount of media coverage». In Ireland, Buzzoole is aiming for «an important launch. We want to prepare ourselves for the Web Summit with an update to the platform that will not fail to seize attention».