FFE Magazine

Young entrepreneurs light up Italy's economy

by FFE EU News staff

Can’t find a job in Italy? Why not start one. Lighting up and providing creative indoor spaces are what these two new Italian start-ups are doing to fight off their financial woes in a time of crisis.

Bulbo, a recipient of the Spinner Global Grant for innovative technology, specialises in home gardening that makes use of lamps to brighten up rooms and to grow indoor plants. Tommaso Marzioni, one-fifth of the creative group behind Bulbo, said ‘We are going through a tough period in Italy in which the market in most sectors is slowing down … normal work is difficult to find and the pay is very low.

‘When you are forced to find solutions on your own, it’s then that you come up with the right thing to do.’


Bulbo lamps. Photo source: Bulbo

Marzioni, 27, teamed up with 28-year-old Lorenzo Antonioni, the designer of Bulbo’s lamps, to create a successful business model for the project. Today, Bulbo uses only proudly ‘Made in Italy’ products. Marzioni said ‘One of the important aspects for European funding is to create new ideas which involve the greatest number of suppliers in country.

‘Italy has a lot of knowledge and know-how and we wanted to associate this with a new product and innovation.’


The members of the Bulbo team. Photo source: Bulbo

The Bulbo team is looking beyond Italy to the Nordic countries to market its product. Marzioni added that ‘Today it’s very important to expand internationally. We have all had experiences working or studying in other countries and live in a society formed of many cultures and ideas.’

Meanwhile, Davide Dattoli, 22, has been reaping the success of his 2-year-old company Talent Garden. His company runs shared workspaces in cities all over Italy.

Dattoli borrowed the popular American idea to feed a growing Italian start-up sector hungry for affordable and stylish workspaces. Talent Garden’s models have been designed to suit the Italian taste. Now, his 30-man company boasts of having 450 members who pay a monthly fee of €250 for the spaces.

‘The idea came from the need to have a stimulating space and to meet interesting people,’ he said. ‘Local businesses want us to help their area, to develop and improve it; they've helped us grow quickly.’

Talent Garden is now training its eyes overseas. Dattoli said that thinking globally helps expand businesses. He said entrepreneurs must ‘always aim high’ and it all starts with a focus on a clear business plan.

Marzioni urges others like him to look beyond the crisis in the economy, saying: ‘You have to choose; take a risk when you don’t know where it’s going and do the best you can with good ideas.

‘Never think that without money you can’t do anything … there is always a way to come up with the solution.’

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