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Are creativity and innovation enough to launch a startup and become a successful entrepreneur? No! Planning and organization are necessary to achieve significant results within the ever-more technological market, exploiting innovative and original business strategies that can revolutionise the target market.

In today’s article we will talk about Italian companies, small and medium enterprises and how to create a successful startup with constant commitment, great ideas and lots of patience. But first of all, do you know what a startup really is?


According to Steve Blank, a startup is a temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model. And its main features are the following:

  • Any organization established as a startup is experiencing the early stage waiting to transform the startup into a large company;
  • The startup experiments by multiple business models, it evolves by trial and error in order to find the right way to innovate;
  • The startup business model refers to a very large market with growing opportunities.

Since 90% of Italian startups fail, it is important to be honest and ask yourself some questions before starting a business:

  • How innovative am I?
  • Is it the right time to legally found my startup in Italy?
  • Do I have all the necessary information?
  • How can I finance it?
  • Do I have the co-founder and the right team?

The concept of startup is very tied to that of disruption, or creative destruction so called by Joseph Schumpeter in the field of innovation linked to business and the economic system. The insertion into the market of a new product, or of innovative processes and techniques, must be able to change the market and generate value for the company and its customers. In fact, as creative as it may be, an idea is truly innovative if it is put into practice. All companies must be innovative and must aim to change the world.

Italian legal system (art.25, Decree of Growth 2.0) states that to be innovative a startup must have “as exclusive or prevalent social object, the development, production and marketing of innovative products or services with high technological value“. Moreover, the startup must meet at least one of these conditions:

  • Research and development costs must be equal to or greater than 15% of the greater value between cost and total value of production;
  • Employees or collaborators must be qualified and have educational qualifications;
  • It is necessary to hold an industrial patent functional to the corporate purpose;
  • The business cannot last more than sixty months;
  • It must not exceed 5 million euros during the second year;
  • It cannot distribute profits;
  • It must not derive from a merger, corporate split or transfer of other companies.

The sources to which a startup can request funding are:

  • Central Guarantee Fund;
  • Bootstrapping or self-financing;
  • Family and friends;
  • Business Angels, the entrepreneurial or managerial figures that contribute through their competence;
  • Crowdfunding;
  • Venture Capitalists, who help the startup growth and guarantee returns;
  • Prizes, grants, public funding always integrate other sources of financing;
  • Incubators and acceleration programs are not a real source of funding, but support the development of the idea and the business model.

The innovative startups registered in Italy at the end of 2018 grew by around 9,996 units compared to the previous year. According to the Ministry of Economic Development startups of any kind (technological, digital, craft, social, agricultural or commercial) help Italian economic and employment growth, especially among young people, representing a real source of progress and making Italy a country dynamic and energetic.

Business plan for your startup

The business plan, the document that encompasses and explains the objectives of the company and its model, is indispensable for any company and startup. A good business, to be functional, must contain the following information:

  • Personal data, address, telephone number, registered office of the company, a brief presentation of the founder and his/her previous work experience;
  • Description of the investment project and the products and/or services offered;
  • Marketing plan with clear indications on the strategy to be used;
  • Strengths and weaknesses of the product and/or service offered and point of difference with respect to competitors;
  • Sales objectives and sales organization;
  • Three-year or five-year economic-financial feasibility plan;
  • Technical feasibility of the project;
  • Investors involved and plan for new investments;
  • Environmental impact of the project.

Alternatively, there is the Business Model Canvas, a document drawn up in graphic form that offers an overview of the various parts that composed the startup, helping to understand how the company works. The Business Model Canvas is generally made up of 9 blocks:

  • Value of the service proposed for the target;
  • Acquisition and loyalty;
  • Activities to generate revenues;
  • Resources;
  • Partner;
  • Costs of activities and resources;
  • Flows;
  • Channels through which to reach customers;
  • Customer segments.

When the business plan is ready you can contact a notary to register the deed of incorporation to the Registrar of Companies or to use the platform, following the procedure to obtain the Statute and the Constitution that must be digitally signed and sent to the Agency of revenue.

As regards the control of company receipts and expenses, there are simple tools that allow you to manage billing. These are software for creating invoices within the cloud that enable to save time and money and can be used by everyone through a computer or smartphone, using an app. These types of smart startup tools simplify the lives of young entrepreneurs and help optimize time.


The methods and strategies for doing a winning business and creating successful startups are manifold and there is no a single rule to reach the formula for success. But what we can recommend to someone who is thinking of opening an innovative startup is:

  • Treasure the experience of others but do not try to replicate their successful idea or management;
  • Don't look for shortcuts, study, experiment and be patient.

It is possible to identify common grounds among the successful startups and determine which factors have the greatest impact on the market. Before starting, it could be useful to analyse the factors that most had an interesting impact on the success of some existing startups.

The answer to the question “what are these success factors and how can they be useful to my startup?” was provided Bill Gross, founder of numerous startups and Idealab, one of the most important technological incubators in the world. Analysing and comparing data from hundreds of startups, Gross has identified 5 factors that have a fundamental impact on startup growth.


The timing has a strong impact on the success or failure of startups, so keep in mind that the idea is fundamental, but even more so is the strategy used and the timing within which your startup will enter the market.

Team and execution

You need people good enough to put in practice your idea, so surround yourself with the right team to achieve the success you deserve.

The idea

It is true that behind many successful startups there is a unique and recognizable idea, but this is not enough to guarantee that your startup works. People don’t care so much about ideas, but about the solutions that better simplifies their lives.

Business model

Unlike what peole might think, the business model is not something definitive but continuously changes, even 2/3 times a year. Some startups do not have a well-defined business model or modify it several times before finding the right one to reach the success.


Investments for startups are not necessary to start the business, it is possible to start with self-financing and then rely on external investments, but only when the product really works well.

How to create successful startup

Given that creativity and innovation are indispensable prerogatives to enter the modern 4.0 market, it is necessary a careful planning of the business idea. A winning manager plans a detailed business strategy supported by an effective marketing plan. Let’s take a look at some essential tips to create a successful startup.

  • Identify an original business idea. To do business you need to recognize a need of your target audience and try to fill it. Thanks to brainstorming it will be possible to plan new products, optimize those already on the market and also evaluate the most interesting proposals;
  • Do market research. It is necessary to examine competitors, identify the target and the partners before starting a successful startup. This is useful to understand which marketing strategy to adopt and which business ideas to promote in order to best fill the needs of the target audience;
  • Develop a detailed business plan. Your project must be as specific and detailed as possible and must summarize all company information and business data in a synthetic way, in order to convince investors and financiers of the uniqueness of their business idea;
  • Observe the real needs of the public. Do not set limits, consider the needs of your potential customers. Change your projects and recognize new market needs to optimize your proposals;
  • Create a harmonious and collaborative team. Qualified and efficient collaborators lead to the success of your startup and help you realize your mission. Communication and cooperation make the work of your team valuable, together with team building activities to optimize business performance.
  • Obtain funding for your business. Funding is the most complicated step for starting a new business. Self-financing, incubators for startups or crowdfunding platforms are different ways to obtain the funds necessary to carry out the activity.
  • Create a relationship of trust with investors. If you can't do everything by yourself, you can request financial resources by presenting a detailed business plan that highlights the innovative aspects of your idea.
  • Get feedback. The comparison with the target market is useful to receive suggestions from potential customers and optimize the services / products offered. Moreover, it is also useful to pay attention to market demands and promote the image of the corporate brand.
  • Define sales strategies. Success is defined by the sales of products and services. Plan marketing strategies for sales while you are starting the startup. Planning is a necessary starting point to achieve the set goals.
  • Optimize your business. Your business needs to be improved while you are creating it. Identify the margins of progress of your business proposal and build a relationship of trust with your audience in order to optimize products and services offered and increase corporate profits.


Let’s see together the benefits that all innovative startups can enjoy:

  • Hiring qualified staff through work for equity, or rewarding the work of employees by the allocation of shares or financial instruments. Usually, it is not subject to taxation.
  • Contribution exemptions for the hiring of permanent or fixed-term workers;
  • Investment incentives (30% deduction from the tax);
  • Support for internationalization and support for access to promotional and assistance services;
  • Processes of composition of the over-indebted crisis for a more rapid and less burdensome crisis management;
  • VAT benefits with flat rate scheme.

If you are looking for an authoritative partner for projects that promote digital transformation and smart city, JO Education could be the solution for you.