Marco Palminiello @StartupItalia
March 4, 2018
interview by Giampaolo Colletti
G. Colletti: "Now we are going to connect to a startup which relies on new professions, and we are going to focus on what is called data science. Data science means the world of scientists who are capable of reading data, making business more competitive and improving consumers' quality of life. We are talking about Evo, an Italian-born startup which has now spread around the world, including London. And there in London, I see Marco has just connected. Marco welcome to our live show!"
Marco: "Hello Giampaolo! Hello everybody."
G. Colletti: "Marco, first of all I would like to get your London-based opinion about these initial Italian election results and I would also like to ask you how the atmosphere in London was around this date."
Marco: "Let’s say here in London we got a filtered atmosphere in comparison to what you see in Italy. However, uncertainty and instability are pretty clear and the business community is very curious. I always meet people who ask me how it is going, what will happen, who will win and how it will work out if there will be no winners. These are the questions which people who don’t know the Italian government ask me more often. However, in general, we can say there is a fairly constructive discussion between Italians and people we talk to about elections. I still do not comment on the results because I’m waiting for them to be confirmed but, frankly speaking, I think it's going to be a surprise for everybody from many points of view."
G. Colletti: "Yes, I think so."
Marco: "Because these are the most unpredictable elections of recent times."
G. Colletti: "May I ask you, as a startup and innovation professional, what would you expect from future politics and what would you want politics to be focused on from now on?"
Marco: "That’s a good point. Mr. Caselli, Vice-Chancellor at Bocconi School of Management, Milan, already talked about that a little. I think that growth’s most important driver is training. We realized this because we work so much with people hired from the Mathematics and Mathematical Engineering faculties in Turin, with whom we have a close relationship and from where we hire many data scientists. It would be important to define a policy plan a bit more focused on research and training, in order to help companies to modernize and innovate.
Davos recently carried out a study on artificial intelligence and business, which is our data science core. This document shows how artificial intelligence will improve companies' revenues, and how it can even increase employment by 10-15 percent. But companies must change their business models, innovate and promote employee training. This is a key aspect."
G. Colletti: "So it's also a matter of cultural change, a mindset change."
Marco: "Yes, that’s the change we are working on with the companies we work with. In the end we help them to work better and they are more satisfied when the change gets done. But if this change doesn’t take off, growth gets stuck and it comes clear that investments in research are needed. We work closely with academics, we carry out research, we bring universities to our clients and we create bespoke solutions based on their needs by developing products together with both clients and university researchers. This process helps growth, creates jobs for students who start working at Evo, brings wealth to the companies which work with us and that are using the models we developed together with the universities. So it is essential to go on with research. We do it, but we need to find partners in order to keep on doing it and getting more and more new research areas."
G. Colletti: "What will be Evo’s next steps?"
Marco: “We are growing rapidly. We have a lot of customers in Italy, a few around the world, America, Mexico. We started exploring new markets taking on other European countries and looking at Asia and Russia. Little by little, these are our next steps. That’s because if, on the one hand it is essential for us to have a solid grounding in Italy, which we actually have, on the other hand we strongly want to grow in global markets. We want to export "Made in Italy" technology, because we are good, we create value and we can really help foreign companies."
G. Colletti: "Thank you for being our guest. There is a one-hour time difference with London, isn’t there?"
Marco: "Yes, let's say I'm an hour back so it's a little bit sooner for me."
G. Colletti: "Well, let's say you are a few minutes after midnight."
Marco: "Yes, anyway I wanted to follow you! Congratulations on your broadcast!"
G. Colletti: "Thank you, congratulations on the programme, as we said before. Nice, we like it. It's been quite a while since we last heard it. Good, thanks again, thanks for this connection with our Evo friends."