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game changers

Milan 24th June 2019

Talent Garden Calabiana

What is

Tech Insights?

Tech Insights is the yearly conference organized by United Ventures that gathers in Milan senior executives, VCs and entrepreneurs from all over the world to discuss the latest technology trends and opportunities.

A half-day event that brings together selected global leaders to talk about tech investing – a unique occasion to find out new disruptive trends and challenges in VC industry and be inspired by the best speakers.




Highlights of Tech Insights 2019

The 2019 edition of Tech Insights focused on GAME CHANGERS: emerging tech trends and interesting companies with the potential for transforming society and economies for the better.

Investors, entrepreneurs, technologists and corporate executives exchanged views and opinions on the game-changing tech trends poised to reshape industries in the next coming future; the importance of a smooth investor/entrepreneur relationship; and the role that a global network of inclusive communities can play in today’s challenging scenario.

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Meet the Speakers of Tech Insights 2019


Antonio has more than 20 years’ experience in venture capital and technology innovation.

Antonio joined Sony in 2000 becoming Managing Director of its Innovation Fund in Europe in 2007. Antonio is currently managing an investment team of 10 people across Europe, as well as managing the Sony venture capital and corporate development arm in Europe and Middle East.

During his time at Sony, Antonio has led multiple transactions including M&A and direct investments in technology companies. In connection with these transactions, Antonio serves as a board observer in several companies across Europe and Israel. As a board observer Antonio advises management teams on key business decisions. He supports the companies in pulling the right talents to execute their business plan, providing introductions and business leads and supporting the negotiation of key partnership deals.

Antonio led Sony’s strategic acquisition of Softkinetic for $40m and Altair Semiconductor for $212m in January 2016, which is Sony’s largest ever acquisition in Europe/Middle East. As a result of the transaction, Antonio is now serving as board observer of Altair and leads the post-merger integration.


Roberto Cingolani (Milan, 1961) graduated in Physics and obtained his “Diploma di Perfezionamento” (PhD) in Physics at Scuola Normale Superiore in Pisa.

Founder of the National Nanotechnology Laboratory (NNL) in Lecce, he is now the Scientific Director of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia, based in Genova. He was staff member at the Max Planck Institut in Stuttgart and Visiting Professor at Tokyo University. Author and co-author of about 1000 papers on international journals, he holds about 100 patents. He has been awarded by several awards, among which the title of “Alfiere del Lavoro and “Commendatore della Repubblica”.


Matthieu Baret, Managing Partner, joined Idinvest Partners in 2005 and co-heads the digital venture and growth equity practice. Matthieu has led more than 20 investments in Europe, mainly in the B2B, enterprise and infrastructure software, including Talend (Nasdaq IPO, TLND).

Before joining Idinvest Partners, Matthieu has worked at Europatweb, the €700m investment fund founded by Bernard Arnault, and 10 years in the telecommunication sector for Italtel/Cisco, Cap Gemini Telecom and Bouygues Telecom.

Matthieu holds a Master Degree in Electrical Engineering from Centrale-Supelec and Georgia Tech (Atlanta, USA) and an MBA from INSEAD.


Gill Cogan brings more than 25 years of venture capital investing experience in software, communications and semiconductors.

He is co-founder of Opus Capital, a venture group focused on very early stage IT companies with approximately $1.7 billion under management. Prior to Opus, he was a founding partner and Managing Partner of Lightspeed Venture Partners. 

Gill has invested in a wide variety of information technology companies such as AlertEnterprise, YCD Multimedia, Space-Time Insight, TuneCore, Payfone, EFI and Cloud4Wi.



Andrea has strong marketing, technical and economics background with 15+ years of experience in the media-telco industry with a focus on next-generation network and services.

He started his career at Telecom Italia Labs performing advanced research and development activities on mobile access networks. In 2003 he founded and served as CEO and EVP of WiTech, a spin-off from the University of Pisa. He is also a member of Endeavor Italy, the non-profit association that selects high-potential entrepreneurs and helps them to scale globally. Today he is the Chairman, CEO and Co-Founder of Cloud4Wi.


Gianni Cuozzo is the founder and CEO of Exein S.p.A .

Exein is a company working on the firmware security software and middleware that can be injected like a vaccine in the hardware and aims to defend it from inside, working directly into the firmware at a lower level.


Carlo Alberto Carnevale-Maffè is Associate Professor of Practice di Strategy and Entrepreneurship presso SDA Bocconi School of Management.

He taught at MBA and Executive Programs with Wharton School University of Pennsylvania, Stern School of Business New York University, HEC Paris, Steinbeis University Berlin, International Management Institute New Delhi and was visiting lecturer at the Senior Executive Program of Columbia Business School (New York).

He serves as strategy adviser and independent non executive director in the management board of leading international companies in ICT and media, focusing on innovation, media and telecommunications.


Davide Dattoli is the founder and CEO of Talent Garden SPA, Europe’s leading platform for the digital tech business communities. 

Talent Garden’s network provides skills education, coworking spaces and various innovation projects and activities in 23 campuses across 8 countries. Today Talent Garden is counting 3,500 members, training 3,000 professionals, helping 150 big corporations to innovate and hosting over 40,000 attendees at events every year.

Davide is a selected member of a global Endeavor Entrepreneurs movement. He holds Forbes 30 Under 30 list as one of the most influential people in technology in Europe 2019 and has a WIRED nomination as one of the TOP 5 innovators in Italy.


Entrepreneur, investor and advisor. Founder of ScaleIT Capital and Senior Advisor at LVenture Group, Lorenzo has invested in more than 25 startups internationally.

In 2007 he co-founded the angel group Italian Angels for Growth and managed the group as managing director till 2014. Previously Lorenzo was VP Marketing at and Stage Entertainment and Manager at Iveco.  Graduated with honour in Economics and Commerce at the University of Florence, he had executive education @ Stanford and Cranfield. Some of his investments are Musement (sold to TUI Group), Win Medical (sold to AB Medica), Senseor (sold to Wika AG), Voxnest, Gipstech, Agroils, Biogenera, Angiodroid.



Tommaso Gecchelin is a Physicist and Industrial Designer from Padua, Italy.

As a “mixer” of art and science he worked for many companies and clients in the world to bring innovation to their products. Now, he is the founder, inventor and CTO of NEXT, an innovative mobility company making modular electric buses.



Paolo has over 20 years of experience in venture capital, tech and entrepreneurship.

Financial executive with broad experience in all aspects of accounting, auditing, business planning and financial management, Paolo originates, manages and exits venture capital deals since 1998. His mission at United Ventures is to spot and promote disruptive innovations in the Italian technology industry, turning them into international businesses through a proactive investment process.

After a significant experience as auditor at KPMG, Paolo started his career in tech investing as Investment Manager in 1997 in the venture capital arm of Telecom Italia’s research centre. In 2000 he was Founder and General Partner of Jupiter Venture – backed by Sella Bank – one of the first and more successful VC funds in Italy. In 2013 he met with Massimiliano Magrini, and here’s where United Ventures’ story begins.


Michael joined Santander UK in March 2018 to oversee business divisions and investments in the areas of Data, digital, IT and Network Infrastructure. 

Michael brings extensive experience in international trade and financial services, having held senior technology, operations and innovation positions at Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Citigroup and PNC Financial Services. He joined from Barclays where he was Group Head of Operations & Technology and Group Head of Innovation

 As an advocate of Open Systems, Agile and Lean Processes, Michael is always looking at applicable technologies and services to meet opportunities for customers and drive value in business solutions.


Reshma Kalimi Casale is a Vice President at Stripes Group, a growth equity fund based in New York City.

 Stripes has approximately $2B AUM across 4 institutional funds and focuses on growth stage internet, software and consumer investments.  In addition to sourcing and managing Stripes’ portfolio companies, Reshma also leads Stripes’ capital markets and global expansion practices. Prior to joining Stripes, Reshma worked at Deutsche Bank in TMT in New York City.



In 2018, Finja joined UniCredit as Group Chief Transformation Officer. From 2019, she also covers the position of Deputy COO.

Finja Carolin Kütz began her career at Oliver Wyman in 1997, promoted to Partner in 2004 advising leading global and local financial services firms.

From 2004 to 2010, Finja was Head of the Munich Office Financial Services. In addition, during 2007, she was also appointed Global Head of Marketing and Strategy Financial Services. In 2011, Finja was appointed as Leader of Financial Services for Germany, Switzerland and Austria (DACH).

In September 2015 she was appointed CEO Germany, Austria and Luxembourg.


Nir is a technology leader with over 20 years of deep experience in Big Data.

Prior to Equalum, Nir headed the team that was responsible for building some of the world’s most popular Big Data products at Quest Software (Acquired by Dell). Prior to Quest, Nir was the architect for hundreds of missions critical Big Data systems, including for the Israeli Military Intelligence.


Massimiliano is co-founder and Managing Partner of United Ventures, venture capital firm focused on digital technologies.

In 2002 he started Google Italy as founding Country manager, later taking over the management of Google Spain and Portugal. He left Google in 2009 to found Annapurna Ventures, a new generation of early stage technology fund.

In 2012, Massimiliano took part to the task force on startups established by the Minister of Economic Development that lead to the drawing up of the report on venture capitalism in Italy. He is currently President of the Venture Capital Committee of AIFI and sits on the board of directors of Paperlit, Cloud4WI, Mainstreaming and Exein. He is also Independent Member of the Board of Directors of OVS SpA and member of the IIT (Italian Institute of Technology) Participation Committee.

He is the Author of the book “Fuori dal gregge”, essay on innovation, economic growth and social inclusion.


Corrado Passera is an Italian leading banker and CEO with a track record on transformation and innovation and he has driven the strategic turnaround of top Italian Groups, from Olivetti to Poste Italiane to Intesa San Paolo.

He has also served the Italian government as Minister of Economic Development, Infrastructures and Transports. He is the CEO of illimity, a highly innovative bank dedicated to SMEs with potential and to the corporate NPL sector, serving also households and businesses through a digital platform with the latest technology.



Diva is Founder & CEO of Solenica and inventor of “Caia”. Solenica creates intelligent, accessible products that transform the power of your indoor spaces and Caia is Solenica’s first product, a robot that fills your home with sunshine.

Diva has a BSc in Biotechnology and a PhD in Bioinformatics from the University of Cambridge. She is also a graduate of the NASA university, Singularity University. Diva gave two TED talks, TEDx Tiburtino in Rome and TEDx Matera. She won the Young Global Innovator Award by the MIT Tech Review in 2017 and in 2018 Forbes nominated her as one of the Top 50 Most Influential Women in Technology in Europe.


Luca is Co-Founder and CEO of Prophesee, the inventor of the world’s most advanced neuromorphic vision systems. Prophesee’s patented technology is inspired by human vision, giving sight to blind and unleashing new safety standards and autonomy to cars, robots and mobile devices. 

Luca is a WEF Technology Pioneer. He has extensive international management experience in the industrial and electronics sectors. His experience includes project and product management, marketing and business development roles at Schneider Electric. Prior to Schneider Electric, Luca worked as a Research Assistant in Photonics at the Imperial College of London.

Luca holds a MSc in Physics, Electronic and Industrial Engineering from Politecnico di Milano and Ecole Centrale and an MBA from INSEAD. 


Alston leads FinTech and cybersecurity investments in Europe and Israel for Eight Roads Ventures (ERV). 

With $6Bn under management and a 50-year history of investing, ERV helps companies across the globe to scale up and become leaders in their field. Prior to ERV, Alston was co-founder and COO of payleven (now SumUp), a leading European and Latin American mobile payments and mobile POS provider.

The agenda

09:15 | Opening Remarks

Massimiliano Magrini, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, United Ventures

09:30 | Keynote | Technology, sustainability and future: why we need lateral thinking?

Roberto Cingolani, Scientific Director, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia

09:50 | Panel | Playground for Game Changers

Moderator: Federico Fubini, Journalist, Corriere della Sera

Speakers: Gill Cogan, Founder & General Partner, Opus Capital | Gianni Cuozzo, CEO, Exein | Tommaso Gecchelin, Founder, Inventor & CTO, Next Future Transportation | Alston Zecha, Principal, Eight Roads

Today’s world is facing challenges that we can no longer ignore. We will discuss big solutions to big problems and try to outline the game-changing tech trends poised to reshape industries in the next coming future.

10:35 | Panel | When Talent meets Capital

Moderator: Lorenzo Franchini, Founding Partner, ScaleIT Capital

Speakers: Antonio Avitabile, Director, Sony Innovation Fund | Davide Dattoli, Co-Founder & CEO, Talent Garden | Reshma Kalimi Casale, Vice President, Stripes Group | Luca Verre, Co-Founder & CEO, Prophesee | Diva Tommei, Founder, CEO & Inventor of Caia, Solenica

Game changers are, in the first place, people: talented founders who lead the next wave of business innovation. The role of Venture Capital is to back and support them. How to fluidify the investor/entrepreneur relation and make it mutually beneficial at its best?

11:20 | Coffee Break
11:50 | Fireside Chat | The challenge of corporate innovation

Speaker: Michael Harte, Chief Operating Officer, Santander Bank | Corrado Passera, CEO, illimity | interviewed by Federico Fubini

12:10 | Panel | Reconnecting the dots

Moderator: Carlo Alberto Carnevale Maffè, Associate Professor, Bocconi University

Speakers: Matthieu Baret, Managing Partner, Idinvest | Andrea Calcagno, Co-Founder & CEO, Cloud4Wi | Finja Carolin Kütz, Group Chief Innovation Officer & Deputy COO, Unicredit | Nir Livneh, CEO & Founder, Equalum 

In this ever-changing scenario of interconnected markets, what is the role that a global network of inclusive communities can play? How is it possible to allow a society to exploit its full potential in economic and social growth, enhancing the entrepreneurial spirit?

12:55 | Final Remarks

Paolo Gesess, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, United Ventures







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