Business Exchange and Student Training (BEST)
A change for the BEST
Innovation inspires and permeates our work: that’s why we are proud to support a high-profile, innovative cultural exchange program called BEST. The program is promoted in cooperation with INVITALIA, the Fulbright Commission, who manages the application processes, and a Steering Committee that manages and ensures that young entrepreneurs have access to the Italian and US ecosystem to launch and grow their start up.
BEST stands for Business Exchange and Student Training; the program provides young Italian citizens holding a Degree or a PhD with grants for the intensive Entrepreneurship and Management courses offered by the Startup School of the prestigious California-based Mind the Bridge organization. Over a period of six months, participants develop their start-up idea by exploring best US cultural and business practices in the Silicon Valley, having then access to a mentoring program offered by INVITALIA to develop their business idea.
Enel Foundation is an active supporter of the program, whose ultimate goal is to stimulate economic competition and the creation of a high-tech entrepreneurial culture in Italy. By fostering innovation, BEST contributes to finding solutions for a sustainable development, moving towards a global access to energy, higher renewables penetration and new technologies for the community.
The training focuses on the Silicon Valley experience and methods for business development, start-up creation, corporate operations and legal issues. Education, training on the job and mentoring equip the attending students with a comprehensive starter-kit of knowledge, confidence and leadership – key tools to tackle market and entrepreneurial challenges, fostering the launch of healthy, successful start-ups.
The results are impressive: since the program’s inception in 2007, the 89 Italian selected applicants have set up 37 start-ups in Italy, with over 320 jobs created. The activities range from biotechnologies to innovative health care solutions, from environmental sustainability to software applications. The BEST Program website provides an in-depth look at some of the most peculiar start-ups’ case histories, such as advanced CRM tools, cosmic debris cleanup, biofuels, and more.
Applications are open to all Italians under 35 years of age holding a Bachelor/Master degree or a PhD until March 31, 2020. For more information on the application process and criteria please visit the website, or apply here.