Crono Talks with Startup Geeks

Hey Croners! Welcome to Crono Talks, a series of interviews with projects and people that have blown our minds. We aim to bring inspiration and give deserved credit to those working hard and with great ideas.

In this episode, we’ll have a chat with Alessio Boceda, Co-Founder of Startup Geeks. In the first half of this interview, we’ll get to know Alessio and then the project itself, let’s get started!

Crono Talks ep.5: Startup Geeks

Hi Alessio, we like to start with a warm-up: describe yourself in 10 words!

Husband, dad, and co-founder of Startup Geeks.

Now, can you give us a little overview of your career and projects?

After my graduation in Business Administration at Bocconi University in Milan and obtaining two Master’s in Management and International Management, I started my career in Digital Marketing as an intern at Amazon Web Services. After that, I worked for three years as International Digital Platform Manager at Beiersdorf in Hamburg.

That’s where I began to be more and more interested in the startup, e-commerce and digital marketing world.

During that period I started to wonder how digital marketing and the startup approach could help the Italian market to improve its performances. In the meantime, my wife, Giulia D’Amato, and I read that Italy wasn’t very excellent in digitalization in comparison with other European countries.

So we decided to create a blog in order to train and connect all entrepreneurs who wanted to start a new business, giving them all the information they need to run a business. That blog was a primordial version of what Startup Geeks is today.

How did you discover your passion for startups and entrepreneurship?

As I said, I discovered my passion for startups and entrepreneurship while I was working. In that period I wanted to learn more and more about how people start companies and how they succeed.

This led me to search and follow all startup blogs around the world (e.g. Techcrunch) and startup communities (e.g. Startup Grind). Then with Startup Geeks we decided to start making interviews to startup founders because we wanted to know about their life and their experiences in the field.

Any advice for aspiring founders in Italy?

My biggest advice is to be (and to remain) ambitious but humble and brave as much as possible: having fear of talking with people is just a lost opportunity to know more about business.

The only way to understand what can or can’t be useful for your path is to keep on studying and improving your skills, reaching out to people and talking with potential customers in order to grasp the potential of your own idea and business.

What are the pros and cons of starting a business in Italy?

Pros: if you’re Italian, you can potentially know very well the market. In Italy the entrepreneurial word is a small ecosystem and you can easily get to meet experts or people who already have a business.

Cons: in Italy the startup-culture is still not well known, there’s a poor culture of failure and most people tend to discourage you.

There’s no point of reference to hold onto: that’s why Startup Geeks is born.

Inside Startup Geeks

How does it feel to be the co-founder of Startup Geeks?

I’m very proud of what I’ve created with Giulia, my co-founder. It’s amazing to have an impact on people’s life every day, on their future and the fact that a lot of people have already chosen us is the biggest reward. 

Working with young professionals is really exciting, even if being an entrepreneur it’s a path full of ups and downs. But I’m still very proud of what I chose to be and become.

How would you describe the Startup Geeks project?

In Startup Geeks we support who wants to innovate, giving them the best knowledge and network and allowing them to launch their idea in the most conscious way possible.

On the one hand we help entrepreneurs with a 12-week online incubation called “Startup Builder” and a private online space for our community in which people can meet and share their questions and experience with the others.

We also support startups to obtain media coverage on the national newspapers, radio and TV with the Digital PR service and support corporates to launch new internal entrepreneurial projects with a specialized unit of Corporate Innovation.

What's the story behind it?

At the time we lived in Germany and we worked there but once we went back home from our honeymoon we decided to give a chance to our idea. We were in our honeymoon, on a bus between Peru and Bolivia. After reading a European Union report that placed Italy as the 25th country out of 28 in terms of digital progress, we asked ourselves what we could do to improve this alarming statistic in our own small way. We wanted to help and support our country and, for this reason, we decided to go back to Italy.

After speaking with many Italian entrepreneurs we realized that there was a lack of a physical or digital place where entrepreneurs could discuss their path and this was a meaningful contribution to the negative number that sees 90% of startups fail within the first 3 years of foundation. It is from these considerations that Startup Geeks was born.

What are your favourite memories about it and your future goals?

There are many, from the day we incorporated the company, to the day we closed our fundraising campaign. But there are also many small moments that make it work, for example when the people we met tell us a sincere “thank you”.

We are proud to have supported now over 1000 projects and trained over 2000 people on the methodologies to launch a company. We supported more thank 180 startups with our digital PR team and we work with more than 15 corporates.

We aim to have more and more impact in the innovation ecosystem and continue to train, connect and grow awareness about what really is the meaning of this kind of business. At the same time, we would like to support companies in a transformation path that starts from the ideas of their talents.

Now our team is working to improve our platform to build a place in which whoever has an idea can find the right network and the skills needed to run a business. We really believe in the power of having a network, that’s why we are going to launch something else to connect startuppers, mentors, investors and corporates in the same place.

Why should professionals join Startup Geeks?

For a professional or a startupper, joining Startup Geeks means being supported in real time by our team, our mentors and having the opportunity to cooperate with a lot of people who are already members (people who are starting a business, who already have it, who are looking for a co-founder or a team member or potential investor).

We think that the more we are, the more we can grow together.  

Discover more stories about inspiring projects on our blog!

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