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Frequently asked questions

What do you offer?
Open Innovation E-qube Program give you the opportunity to get in touch with consolidated multi-utility Estra, to initialize a “scale & integration” and contaminating program. The three selected teams will receive 60’000 EUR in cash in addition to training and acceleration services. Selected teams must attend every workshop and activities of the acceleration program in order to develop synergies between startups and Estra.

At what stage of development should my prototype be?
We value applications from teams who have a marketable prototype, but we also accept beta-phase prototypes that only need some minor, final developments. You will be required to provide a link to your demo in the application form.

Do you have any preference related to market sectors or business models?
At this stage, we welcome applications for projects whose business models relate to new services for Estra customers, Smart city solutions & energy efficiency, Mobility, Energy, Waste Management & Circular Economy, Telecommunications & IT-security, Marketing Communications, Biofuels & Multi-energy smart grid, Mobile Retail Energy & Fintech.

I am the sole founder of a project, can I still apply?
We do not necessarily believe in one-man shows, but we are more interested in great products. Show us that your product is great and we will consider you during the assessment phase.

What is the program like?
Ours is an open innovation program that lasts 16 weeks, oriented to promote a strong value connection between startups and Estra. It strictly requires your participation to every activity and every event of the program. We believe in connections and we will support you with ‘ad hoc workshops’ designed to facilitate open innovation activities. You will join Nana Bianca, one of the most important startup studio in Italy. Inside this network you will get in touch with Startupitalia, leading publisher in innovation italian system, with the opportunity to attend their training sessions.

Do incorporated companies and teams follow different paths during the program?
They do not. We are only interested in your business idea and the demo you have worked on. Our program is standardized. The program, connected benefits and our focus on startups will be the same for everybody but the final outcome will depend on your commitment and also, on the stage of your business.

I do not have a registered company. Should I have a registered office in Italy?
Yes, in this case all selected founders need to have a registered office in Italy. No worries though, we will support you by getting you in touch with notaries and lawyers of our network. Be aware that company registration in Italy is compulsory and that you will have 60 days upon admission to the program to register the new company.

Will I receive the grant all at once?
No. You will receive money in tranches, against milestones that we will communicate upon admission to the program. Some of these milestones are program-generic, some are team-specific. The achievement of milestones is a prerequisite to unlock tranches.

What is the topic of our workshops?
Workshops will be focused on “scale & integration”; the main target is to develop collaborations between startups and Estra. We will introduce you the typical methodologies of design thinking, scrum and agile, related to the development of business ideas. Workshops are an opportunity to get in touch with high experienced and skilled mentors and Estra’s innovation team. In brief, we will work for exploring opportunities, developing collaborations, projects and mostl overcoming the barriers.

What is the level of commitment that is expected from me?
We expect 250% commitment from you and your team. Our program is intensive, and it is designed to help promising startups become global players. It requires your maximum commitment and dedication. You and your team will be immersed in the arena from day 1 and are expected to participate, contribute, and make the most out of every input we provide you with. It will be an amazing journey and we are sure you will have a lot of fun.

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