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Argo is an Accelerator for start-ups and innovative SMEs that develop solutions or services for Tourism and Hospitality, designed in collaboration with the Ministry of Tourism. 

With a total budget of 4.5 million euros, of which about 3.4 million euros were allocated by CDP Venture Capital's Accelerators Fund, Argo aims to identify and select the most promising Italian or international traveltech start-ups that intend to set up operations in the local market.

The initiative is addressed to companies with an established team and a functioning prototype, which have developed innovative products or services in the field of tourism, with particular reference to the sectors of business, cultural, religious and study tourism, organised trips, open-air experiences – outdoors and nature experiences – food and wine, sport and wellness. For the purposes of selection, enabling technologies such as CRM and data intelligence software, web and mobile apps as well as digital commerce systems will be assessed with particular interest.

Argo will select about 10 start-ups each year for the next three years that will receive a pre-seed investment of about 75,000 euros and be eligible for subsequent post-acceleration funding. In addition, the Ministry of Tourism may further support the selected start-ups with a possible non-repayable contribution of 25,000 euros. 

The five-month acceleration programme will boost the growth of start-ups through training with industry experts, aimed at validating the product and business model for go-to-market. 

Argo will be operationally managed by LVenture Group, one of Europe's leading start-up accelerators and co-investor in the selected start-ups, and VeniSIA, the sustainable innovation ecosystem of Ca' Foscari University in Venice. Main partners of the initiative are Intesa Sanpaolo and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center that, together with the corporate partner Human Company and the technical partner Scuola Italiana di Ospitalità, will provide their know-how and expertise in the relevant Industry, also supporting the start-ups in possible collaboration projects.

The call for the first programme starting in March 2023 closed on 19 February.

Find out more at

The ecosystem supporting innovation in Italy