The Nova+ financing programme continued to support Italian companies investing in innovation and research. As known, Nova+ supplements the traditional creditworthiness analysis with a technical and business assessment of the investment plans, conducted by a team of engineers specialised in the various product sectors and with in-depth knowledge of technology trends. In this regard, Mediocredito Italiano continues to make use of partnerships with a number of reputable Italian universities which offer their technical and scientific support to assess the technological risk of the more complex and ambitious projects.

Overall, over 1,000 projects were financed in the period 2011-2015 for a total of almost 1.4 billion euro.

Nova+ loans

YearProjects financedGranting (€/000)
2011 244 467,618
2012 291 369,140
2013 333 360,091
2014 90 108,337
2015 55 90,506


The aim of the Intesa Sanpaolo initiative, which since 2009 has become a recognised player of the ecosystem, is the acceleration of international start-ups on exponential technologies to put them in contact with investors and corporate customers.

In 2015 12 events linked to "Start-Up Initiative" were developed, along with their related training and selection paths. The over 100 finalist start-ups, selected among 170 trained start-ups, introduced themselves to over 1.000 guests, including investors (Seed/Venture Capital and Angel Investors funds), corporate customers (including Barilla, Lavazza, Nestlé, Telecom Italia) and operators of the innovation ecosystem. Four of the above events took place at the Intesa Sanpaolo Pavilion at Expo 2015, as part of a cycle dedicated to technological innovation in the agri-food sector (FoodTech). The event dedicated to the Digital and Mobile sector was hosted by SMAU, thus continuing - also in 2015 - the cooperation with the Italian key event for digital innovation.

VÚB Banka has developed a line of credit, "Profi Loans", with cash collateral suited to the start-up loan, which allows them to secure the financing of the business operational and investment needs of the customer. This type of loan does not require a minimum period of operation. So far, loans totalling over 109 million euro were granted. Another initiative of the Bank is the one developed in collaboration with "Impact Hub", the international co-working network for the incubation of innovative business ideas and start-up projects. Impact Hub is a laboratory for innovation, a business incubator and a community that inspires and empowers people to realize ideas featuring sustainable impact. The incubation program is dedicated to business projects in the fields of education, innovation and green technology products. It also supports social innovation. Training courses, workshops and mentorship are provided free of charge to a selected group of young entrepreneurs. These can also submit their ideas to investors as well as establish contacts with experts and successful entrepreneurs. Participating start-ups have acquired know-how in the field of soft and hard skills, finance, planning, business plans and communication strategies.


With a view to promoting new enterprises with strong social and/or environmental significance, support was again given in 2015 to the Italian version of the Global Social Venture Competition, the international competition designed and promoted by the Berkeley University-Haas School of Business and organised by Altis, the Postgraduate School of Business and Society of Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore of Milan.

A particular focus was placed on the quantitative assessment of social impact generated by the candidate enterprise initiatives, based on three fundamental criteria:

  • clarity of the statement of social and/or environmental value of the social venture and identification of the three key social/environmental impact indicators;
  • consistency and accuracy of the Social Returns on Investment (SROI) and related value assessment;
  • innovative nature of the social venture’s approach in reference to the context it will affect.

Intesa Sanpaolo has provided training on business plan preparation and on assessment of the social and environmental impact of the business idea in question; coaching on drafting the Business Plan; networking to facilitate access to a network of investors, companies and players from the innovation ecosystem.

2015 saw the admission of 16 start-ups to the training phase, of which 7 presented to investors. The two winning start-ups were invited to participate in the global final in Berkeley, California: Solwa, which develops environmental solutions including greenhouses for desalination with application in countries affected by drought and Horus Technology, which has developed a wearable device for the visually impaired that converts visual stimuli into sound signals, thus improving their autonomy.


Intesa Sanpaolo monitors the most important international initiatives and fora where decisions are made on some of the most current topics having an important impact for the socio-economic stakeholders on the international scene. Among the many initiatives are:


Intesa Sanpaolo participated and sponsored the work of the MED 2015 - Mediterranean Dialogues, an event organized by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and ISPI, under the high patronage of the Presidency of the Italian Republic. Key focus of the discussion between the international institutions was the debate on the Mediterranean area, to be re-established as a reference point and meeting place for cultural exchanges and trade. In the debate on the necessity to ensure sustainable development in the region, the emphasis was placed on the attention to young people, and on the need to foster growth not only in the economic field, but also in the ability to provide education, training and social cohesion. The need to rethink migration policy beyond the humanitarian crisis and the project to nurture growth that necessarily include security and development were the most commonly shared points, taken as program objectives.


Intesa Sanpaolo contributed to the drafting of the report presented in Milan in October, in the presence of the Consul General of the United States Philip T. Reeker. The publication highlighted the initiatives that the Group – through the launch of the Start-up Initiative, the targeted actions of the "Atlante Mezzogiorno" venture capital fund and the investment in Novamont S.p.A. – has put in place to support the development of innovative, responsible and sustainable technologies over time.