Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Siena on the starting blog. These are the metropolis’ strengths, weaknesses and special powers

Long runner of Tuscany and everlasting popular tourist destination: Siena. With its art treasures, beautiful public squares and various tourist attractions, people from all over the world can’t get enough of the Italian metropolis. But Siena is more than that. Amongst founders and entrepreneurs, it’s the underdog of startup hubs and the city enjoys the presence of farsighted entrepreneurs who are full of ideas. Want to find out why? Let’s take a look at Siena’s strengths, weaknesses and special powers!

What are Siena’s biggest strengths from which startups can benefit?

Tech startup hub Siena – strength #1: Tax relief

As a young, innovative company, you benefit from various tax reliefs. The governments of Mario Monti and Matteo Renzi introduced a number of funding programs – for innovative young companies, for companies investing into research and development, or for entrepreneurs returning to Italy. Promising? Promising.

Tech startup hub Siena – strength #2: Qualified staff

Italian startups profit from a large pool of qualified and motivated workers. Most job advertisements result in thousands of suitable applicants, which gives employers the opportunity to put together an excellent team.

Qualified staff is one of the many reasons for the FLS Foundation to start its organization in Siena. “The Toscana Life Sciences (TLS) Foundation is a non-profit organization that has been active in the regional panorama since 2005 with the objective of supporting research activities in the Life Sciences and, in particular, of sustaining the development of projects from basic research to industrial application.

In particular, the Foundation was created to facilitate the company start-up process in the sector of biotechnology applied to human health, to support research in the field of orphan diseases, and to manage activities of technology transfer in the biomedical field and the exploitation of research, also through national and international networking activities. To reach these objectives, TLS has created the bio-incubator where it provides technological platforms and expertise and experience networks within the regional scientific community – starting from universities, research centers and private laboratories that work in the biomedical sector – offering their support in the industrial, scientific, and business development contexts”, Gabriele Messina reports.

According to him, Siena is especially recommendable “because of the old tradition, and its “human life style” – which leads to out next strength…

Tech startup hub Siena – strength #3: Livability

Working in an environment people come to for vacation? A dream come true when located in Siena as a startup. With an enormous average number of sunshine hours per year and its appealing sights, Siena really offers great frame conditions for a convenient work-life-balance.

What are the weaknesses of Siena that could be a downside for startups?

Tech startup hub Siena – weakness #1: Lack of job training

Italian graduates are often missing practical experience when entering the job market. Still, they are considered to be well-trained on a theoretical level. So, be prepared to give some start-up support to your employees when they first start working for you.

Tech startup hub Siena – weakness #2: Bureaucracy

As kind of expected when thinking about Italy, its bureaucracy is pretty much a mess. Businessmen report that there are far too many laws that made business life considerably hard for them. In the construction of an office, for example, they are constantly confronted with absurd standards which result in serious delays. Your patience is wearing thin? Well, maybe it’s time to work on that.

What are Siena’s special powers?

Tech startup hub Siena – specialty #1: Rental Fee

Compared to the rental prices of Silicon Valley, Siena is a real blessing for every renter. Over here, interested parties pay round about 620 Euro for a 1 bedroom apartment located right in the city center – which is not a gift, but still a quite convenient price-service-ratio.

Tech startup hub Siena – specialty #2: Private investors

Nice to know: private investors tend to prefer northern Italian startups over startups which are based in the south. Statistics reveal that 70% of private investments went to start-ups from the north. If Siena doesn’t win the race now, who does?

Hungry for some more insights on promising startup hubs from all over the world? In that case, our startup hub series might satisfy your appetite.

See what our alumnus on site has to say:

As egoHEALTH’s Co-Founder & Medical doctor, Gabriele Messina knows exactly why it’s important to keep moving on: “The idea was born reading many scientific researches in which the Authors’ final assessments were concord that disinfection of the stethoscope is essential to prevent cross contaminations, possible cause of nosocomial infection. In addition, the most common solution were to remember the health professionals to hygienize the stethoscope, using alcohol, and to stress its importance.
We thought it was not enough! Working as professionals in the health sector, but having heterogeneous backgrounds and point of views, we identified a different approach that could really make a change, a concrete step forward for the solution of the problem and the possibility to put into practice what the science and academia, from which we derive, should be used for. Our motto in fact is “from science to practice”.

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