IEEE Foundation


Special Events & Competitions - Startups and Entrepreneurs


IEEE International Forum on Research and Technologies for Society & Industry (RTSI)
18 – 20 September 2024
Location: Lecco, Italy

The eighth IEEE International Forum on Research and Technologies for Society & Industry (RTSI) is to take place in Lecco, Italy.

The main objective of RTSI is to bring together researchers and industry professionals in the technical fields covered by IEEE to:

  • promote and strengthen partnerships and cooperation between academia and industry;
  • increase understanding and awareness of how engineering and technology can have a positive impact on quality of life;
  • promote discussion between the research community and government agencies on effective and successful research policies;
  • disseminate the latest progress, discoveries, and innovative applications;
  • promote cooperation between researchers working in different fields of research.

This year there is a competition and a special event on startups and entrepreneurs, the Call for Best Entrepreneurship Project Video Pitch Competition, and the Workshop on Innovative Startups and Entrepreneurship.

Without question, innovation in electrical, electronic, and information science and engineering has strongly transformed society in recent decades, which relates to the main goal of RTSI, which is to address these challenges and to foster excellence in technological innovation. Read More.

Call for Best Entrepreneurship Project Video Pitch Competition

This call is devoted to young Startups (TRL 3-5) to showcase successful entrepreneurship projects in the field of interest of IEEE RTSI 2024.

The competitors shall prepare a pitch video (5 minutes) in which to present their entrepreneurship project and activity, pictures, photos, graphics, skills of the entrepreneurial group, market opportunity, and competitor analysis. The video will describe in the most convincing and attractive way their innovative project, achievements, field of application, team competencies, and market analysis.

The deadline for the submission of the video is 15 June 2024. All videos shall have MP4 format, dimensions not larger than 150 MB and they shall not be longer than 5 minutes.

A special commission will select the finalists (maximum 10 videos) who will be invited to present their entrepreneurship projects during the RTSI 2024 special session.

The finalists will have the opportunity to present their entrepreneurship project with a video pitch of 5 minutes and to answer questions from the public (senior researchers and people from industry) and the evaluation committee.

An evaluation committee will select the best startup according to these criteria:

  • innovation: the startup brings forward a new technology, adds to an existing technology, or uses a new application for an existing technology;
  • scalability: the startup has room to grow its value proposition (i.e. additional applications) or its market (e.g. geographically, sector-wise, industry-wise, etc.);
  • impact: the startup creates a positive impact on its community, clients, and users, and champions sustainable engineering;
  • market feasibility: the startup has the potential to, or has demonstrated its ability to enter the market and gain market share;
  • business potential: the startup has the potential to, or has demonstrated its ability to sustain a profitable business operation;
  • skills of the entrepreneurial group;

For the humanitarian technology award, the startup project shall be applied to one of the UN SDGs.

The competition will occur during IEEE RTSI 2024 on 19 September 2024 (time to be defined.) For more details on the room and other updates refer to the conference website.

One representative for each startup can participate for free in the event to answer the questions of the audience.

All finalist startups (max 10) selected to participate in the final competition will receive a participation certificate. The best entrepreneurship project and the best entrepreneurship project with humanitarian application will be awarded with a customized IEEE certificate and a prize of 500 Euros each, sponsored by the IEEE Italy Section. The award ceremony will take place on 19 September during a social dinner (one representative for each of the two winners will have free access to the dinner to receive the award).

Startups willing to participate in this competition shall send an e-mail to this address: no later than 15 June 2024. Read More.

Workshop on Innovative Startups and Entrepreneurship
19 September 2024


In this special workshop, the future technological directions and application trends, the support offered by a scientific and professional association like IEEE, the ethics of technology, the role of university incubators/accelerators, European Programs to support innovative startups, venture capital strategies, patents and IPR protections, entrepreneurship education and an example of S&YP initiative for young entrepreneurs are presented.

Finally, a round table among all actors will answer questions from the moderator and the audience.

The workshop, organized during IEEE RTSI 2024 will be open to remote participation. Read More.


14:00 – Welcome To Participants
Tiziana Tambosso – IEEE Italy Section Entrepreneurship Committee
Marios Antoniou – IEEE R8 VC-TA

14:10 – How Can IEEE Future Directions Help Your Start-Up?
Christine Miyachi  – IEEE Future Direction Committee

14:30 – IEEE Entrepreneurship – At The Forefront of Turning Ideas Into Successful Businesses
Joanne Wong – IEEE Entrepreneurship Chair

14:45 – IEEE R8 Programs To Support Entrepreneurship
Rawan El-Jamal – IEEE R8 Entrepreneurship Committee Chair

15:00 – Ethical Artificial Intelligence: Impact of Ethics in Development and Adoption of AI Technologies
Ali Hessami – IEEE P7000 Standard Chair

15:20 – From Invention To Innovation: How To Create a Startup Transforming Great Technologies Into Real Products
Enrico Deluchi – Entrepreneur/Startup Advisor/Business Angel

15:40 – Venture Capital for Early Stage Deep Tech Companies
Roberto Della Marina – Venture Factory

16:00 – 16:30 – COFFEE BREAK

16:30 – EIC Accelerator: State of the Art and a Look To the Future
Alessia Rotolo – APRE – Agency for the Promotion of the European Research

16:45 – Intellectual Property and Legal Design for Innovative Startups
Anna De Stefano – Angel Investor & Startup Advisor Legal Design Expert

17:00 – Fostering Innovation Through Universities in Italy, Is There a Role for Catalysts?
Ruggero Frezza – President of M31

17:15 – Students and Entrepreneurship – The Polimi Experience
Alexandra Dumitrache – Entrepreneurship Club Polimi

17:30 – 18:30 – Q&A and Round Table
Moderator: Tiziana Tambosso