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CDP Venture Capital: the birth of Faros, the Accelerator for start-ups operating in the Blue Economy

The Accelerator will select the best start-ups in the fields of logistics and port automation, sustainable use of marine resources and coastal tourism 
From now until 15 February 2022, start-ups can submit their application on to take part in the first acceleration cycle scheduled to be launched in March 2022


Rome, 10 December 2021 – CDP Venture Capital Sgr announces the birth of Faros, the Accelerator for start-ups operating in the Blue Economy, part of CDP’s National Network of Accelerators, a network of physical accelerators in Italy, focused on the most innovative districts, to help the growth of start-ups specialised in areas with high market potential.

Faros stems from an initiative of CDP Venture Capital Sgr through its Accelerators Fund, and is implemented together with a|cube, an accelerator and incubator focused on entities with a high social and environmental impact and with the involvement of the international accelerator PortXL, world leader in the acceleration of start-ups in the port and maritime sectors.

The programme benefits from the major support of Autorità di Sistema Portuale del Mar Ionio – Porto di Taranto, as an institutional and territorial partner geared towards the global promotion of the Ionian port, as well as the relaunch of Taranto's industrial-logistic and tourism system, and the Municipality of Taranto as institutional partner.

The Faros programme also sees the involvement as corporate partners of Eni, through Joule, its school for innovative entrepreneurs, JV Tempa Rossa*, BCC San Marzano and Marraffa. Other partners of the Taranto port and logistics ecosystem, both at national and international level, are in the process of joining.

With initial assets under management of approximately 3 million Euro allocated by CDP Venture Capital’s Accelerators Fund for acceleration investments and subsequent follow-ons post-acceleration, in addition to over 1 million Euro from corporate and institutional partners, the accelerator Faros aims to enhance the growth of start-ups that develop innovative products or solutions in the areas of port logistics and automation, the sustainable use of marine resources and coastal tourism, which represent sectors with great development potential. 

Each year and for three years, around 8 start-ups in the seed and pre-seed stages will be selected and will then be able to access a structured process of support from the accelerator’s partners, which will guide them towards the validation of their business model. Furthermore, the best teams will have access to additional investments already allocated by the initiative’s promoters.

"Maritime transport is one of the main facilitators of the global economy and the Italian port areas, which have guided the development of our country for centuries, will remain a strategic asset also in the near future, even though they will face major technological and production model changes", comments Francesca Bria, President of CDP Venture Capital SGR. "For this reason we believe it is essential to launch an acceleration process dedicated to start-ups and young innovative businesses operating in the Blue Economy, so that they can develop new sustainable resource management models and new solutions in a sector that is so highly integrated into the ecosystem".

The call for the selection of the first start-ups is open from today until 15 February 2022 on the website

The selected start-ups will participate in an acceleration and mentoring programme lasting approximately 4 months, during which they will be able to access open innovation activities, as well as the development of a pilot project with some of the corporate partners involved and a pre-seed equity investment of up to 65,000 Euro. 
The start-ups will also be supported in cross-cutting activities such as networking with national and international stakeholders and access to ad-hoc events in the context of the blue economy. At the end of the programme, the most promising start-ups will have the opportunity to benefit from further investments from the accelerator and/or directly from CDP Venture Capital SGR.

*The JV operates in Basilicata in the territory of the Gorgoglione concession, where the Tempa Rossa field was identified in 1989, with TotalEnergies EP Italia S.p.A., operator with a 50% stake, Shell Italia with 25% and % Mitsui E&P Italia B S.r.l. with 25%.

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