H-Farm Leading Italian Innovation
Just outside of Venice, innovations in agriculture and the growth of entrepreneurship are taking place. The H-Farm, a digital platform helping entrepreneurs launch their ideas with a focus in agriculture, is set to build a new campus (known as H-Campus), advancing its education in technology.
Projected to be completed in 2018, the campus will be over 300,000 square meters, and home to 2,000 students from all over the world, as well as 240 staff members. Courses taught will include coding, robotics, artificial intelligence, and data science.Additionally, it will also have 270,000 square meters of green space.
Founder and CEO Riccardo Donadon has always believed in the importance of education, and giving young entrepreneurs a chance to have their voices heard. As it states on their website, “We favor the creation of projects that simplify the use of the instruments and digital services to people and businesses, supporting the latter in the transformation of their processes, digital fiber.”
After developing a true passion in farming, Donadon bought the farm next to where he was working in 2005 to create the now 550-member complex, and within its first 11 years of production, H-Farm invested around €24 million in a number of companies. This was a much higher number than any other investments happening within Italy.
With the newly planned campus, H-Farm continues to lead the way in Italian innovation, combining tradition with entrepreneurial practices that connect startups with potentially beneficial corporations. Beginning-stage tech startups and companies alike thrive here on this farm environment, collaborating and sharing ideas for all. Being located in the Venetian countryside doesn’t hurt either, adding beautiful scenery to this impressive complex.
One of the company’s more impressive statistics is their goal to invest in at least 20 startups a year. A success story from such practices include that of Depop, an online market that just recently received an $8.25 million investment from international investors.
The farm’s business model is comprised of three main components: investments, technological consulting, and education. A few impressive clients of H-Farm include Diesel, Luxottica, and Porsche for their knowledge in technology. In terms of importance, the value of education is believed to be the most crucial. H-Campus has generated €60 million in funding, and is the first real international education program for entrepreneurs.
At the end of the day, Italy’s #10 ranking in startups among other countries in the world could change due in part to H-Farm’s continued dedication to educating young innovators. Along with the addition of their new campus, Italy may become a surprising leader in the startup ecosystem.