Innovation District

Ecomondo, with a perspective of growing the physical and digital presence of innovative projects, consolidates its role as an incubator by reconfirming the Start-Up&Scale-Up area, with the aim of creating new business opportunities and promoting dialogue between the business world and young entrepreneurial realities.

Both a physical and virtual exhibition area, entirely reserved for innovative Start-Up and young Italian and international companies that offer technologies, services and solutions in the green and circular economy sectors for the ecological transition and new models of circular and regenerative economy.

Start-Up&ScaleUp is a project of the Innovation District with Green Jobs and Lorenzo Cagnoni Award for Green Innovation.

In 2023, the 3 most innovative start-ups received the Lorenzo Cagnoni Prize for Green Innovation.









  • To offer new entrepreneurial realities wide national and international visibility to create exchanges and share ideas: the perfect environment where tradition and innovation meet.

  • Create meeting opportunities between the companies present at the event and Start-Ups that by aptitude can foster product and/or service innovation.

  • To encourage the Identification of the Italian Innovative System as a primary interlocutor in the product development of the renewable energy and sustainable mobility industry at national and international level.

  • To give a voice to Italy's best innovators by bringing together the testimonies of those who innovate and promote the major themes of the ecological transition in terms of development, culture and skills.



Start-Ups and SMEs entered in the business register and in the special section of innovative Start-Ups (cf. Law No. 221 of 18 December 2012) that meet the following minimum requirements may apply:

  • technological development lines consistent with Ecomondo themes, in the areas of waste, integrated water cycle and the blue economy, bioenergy and agriculture, the circular and regenerative bio-economy, site and soil restoration and environmental monitoring and control;
  • have already completed at least one seed round or, alternatively, be active in the market and have a client portfolio available;
  • have a language website and/or promotional materials in English.


Applications received that meet the requirements set out in the point above will be assessed by a committee, which will award a score for each of the following (the percentage weight of each criterion is indicated in brackets):

  • innovative content of the product or service (from 1 to 10) - (30%); 

  • cooperation and partnership - (20%); 

  • product or service already industrialised and ready for market - (30%)

  • coherence with the green tech, renewable energy, energy efficiency, electric mobility and urban sustainability sectors - (20%).

Subject to the requirements provided above, only the first 20 Start-Ups with the highest scores based on the assessment conducted according to the criteria set out in this expression of interest will be selected.


The initiative is free for the Start-Ups selected and includes all the services at the show listed below – excluding out-of-pocket expenses (travel, accommodation, transport, etc.) which must be borne by the participants. The Start-Up area will be located within HALL B7/D7 – East Entrance, and will be designed in an exclusive manner to boost interaction with the public and generate business opportunities.

The services provided are:

  • participation at the show, both physically and digitally;
  • inclusion in the show catalogue;
  • visibility on a dedicated web page on the Ecomondo website;
  • desk in the Start-Up area with stool and graphics;
  • access to the Business Meeting platform to book one-to-one meetings;
  • 1 free outdoor parking pass;
  • 2 accreditations for stand staff;
  • 50 free invitation cards;
  • access info point for reception and to provide information on Start-Ups in the area;
  • national and international media coverage and promotion services.


Expressions of interest must be sent no later than the deadline of: Thursday, 21 September 2023 at 12:00 PM in the manner described above.

Once the formal checks on the applications have been conducted and the Assessment Committee's qualitative assessments obtained, Italian Exhibition Group will select – in agreement with ANGI, ART-ER and FONDAZIONE MAI – the Start-Ups that will be given free access to the area.

After the selection procedure has been completed, all applicants will be notified – by 3 October 2023 – of whether or not they have been selected for the initiative in question, via an email to the address they provided when submitting their expression of interest.

Within two days of receipt of this email, the selected parties must inform Italian Exhibition Group of whether they definitively agree to take part or withdraw.

In the event of definitive acceptance, they will have to send the registration form and sheet containing information about the Start-Up.

Should one or more of the selected parties withdraw, Italian Exhibition Group, again in agreement with ANGI, ART-ER and FONDAZIONE MAI, may select further eligible parties according to the classification drawn up.


Sales account

Giancarlo Morsello