Every year, the Ministry issues a detailed report on the progress and the effects of the legislation dedicated to innovative startups. The 2017 edition (fourth overall) of the Annual Report on the Italian Startup Act will be published in December 2017 on the website of the Ministry. (link). The previous issues are available on the same page, both in an Italian and an English version.
Besides the Annual Report, the results of the policy are constantly monitored through a structured system of reports and other public resources.
The list of all innovative startups can be publicly accessed on a dedicated website set up by the Italian Chambers of Commerce, startup.registroimprese.it . The list is weekly updated, and also includes key information about the economic activity and performances of the company. Slightly more than 8,000 innovative startups were listed in the special section of the Registry of Companies in late October 2017, around 1,500 startups more than on the same date one year before
Overall, innovative startups employ approximately 36,000 people: 25,000 registered working shareholders and 11,000 non-shareholder employee. 21.6% of them are composed of a majority of people below 35 years of age, a ratio more than three times higher than other shared capital companies. Gross value of production amounts to € 726 million, about €160,000 on average per company.
Innovative startups invest more and have a far higher share of intangible assets than regular shared capital companies; only 43% of them were profitable in 2016, but those that registered a profit vastly over-performed profitable shared capital companies in ROI (0.11 vs 0.03) and value added (33 cents vs 22 per euro).
Among the measures part of the Italian Startup Act, the simplified access to the Public Guarantee Fund for SMEs has had a noteworthy impact: 1,586 innovative startups have successfully activated the procedure to get a guarantee on their bank loans, for 2,533 operations overall and a total sum guaranteed of € 539 M.
The most defining policy development in the last year and a half is that Italian innovative startups can draw up their first statutory acts entirely online and free-of-charge. This is a disruptive change in the Italian context: the costs to set up a limited company are cut from about 2,000 € on average to virtually none. The introduction of this policy posed many challenges, also because it was met by a fierce corporatist resistance: the Italian notaries, which previously had a monopoly on the incorporation of new companies, appealed against the procedure no less than 12 times. In October 2017, a judgment by the administrative court of Rome rejected all the 12 appeals, stating the full legitimacy of the new procedure. In the meanwhile, the measure has resulted in more than 878 new companies being set up online in just over one year (between August 2016 and September 2017).
Another measure reported on is intercultural vocation and its forward-looking approach, the Italia Startup Visa programme. This is the fast-track process through which innovative entrepreneurs who intend to set up an innovative startup in Italy can get a self-employment visa. During 2017, ISV received a record-breaking 120 applications, already more than the grand total of the previous year (report in English). Also, in early November 2017 the 300 applications mark has been crossed.
All data updated on 30 September 2017: see http://startup.registroimprese.it/isin/report?7&fileId=3_trimestre_2017.pdf and http://www.sviluppoeconomico.gov.it/images/stories/documenti/rapporto_fondo_garanzia_startup_innovative_19_10_2017.pdf