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The SEI Torino Forum 2019 in 800 words


International guests, 1200 tech enthusiast, prototypes and networking: this was the SEI Torino Forum.


It was only 8.30 am and Via Giacosa was already full of white T-shirts, electric scooters and colored badges: the second edition of the SEI Torino Forum had officially begun. The air was a mixture of frenzy and tense and the “eyes were small”, needless to say that the night before we stayed up late to fix every detail. The event would have started almost 4 hours later, but several speakers and mentors began to arrive, first of all John Elkann. His arrival was discreet, so as to pass almost unnoticed in the eyes of many. Time just for a smile, a few handshakes and many thanks to volunteers.

Even international guests arrived with the same simplicity: within a few minutes the Hall would have turned into a very colorful painting. Over 100 people from all over the world were talking and eating together, as if they had known each other forever. This is the strength of the Forum.

Later Raghu Movva, that runs SEI, opened the event together with John Elkann, introducing our School and describing the passion and mission that are its added value. A few words, but intense, this is the style that sets us apart: we prefer practice to theory. The same applies to the Forum, which was immediately transformed into an occasion of debate and discussion.

60 visionary entrepreneurs have joined in 10 round tables to talk about Scaling, Funding, Market, Bio-tech and AI, in order to create the big companies of tomorrow. But the day did not close there: our guests had the incredible opportunity to take part in a keynote behind closed doors with Daniel Ek. Two hours in which Daniel openly narrated his story and listened to our entrepreneurs, giving them advice and answering their questions.


During the second day, the SEI Torino Forum has changed its face: the OGR have become our home, opening its doors to 1000 tech enthusiasts. An amazing location welcomed us with soft lighting and a whole area dedicated to our Pioneers. It all started with the video of the Italian Tech Week, event of which we were part and founders, and then continue with 2 panel led by the bright writer Gemma Milne. The first debate was heated and brilliant, with the participation of Andrea Griva, journalist and director of SEI, and Massimo Lapucci, director of the OGR.

Immediately afterwards it was time for Pioneer DEMO DAY 2019.Pioneer is one of our 4 programs, it is aimed at 30 selected students of the Alta Scuola Politecnica who attended to 500 hours of training and lessons to develop their own startup. You can Imagine the excitement and adrenaline of our students before going on stage in front of thousands of people.

4 teams were present:

Sort-e: a bin that automatically sorts waste thanks to image recognition

KnowAI: a technology that digitalized the knowledge of the industrial information systems

Nymphaea: a water purifier that works by using only solar energy

Wiseair: a pod that monitors air pollution

The 4 pitches were prompt and incisive: each team had to introduce its startup and convince the audience in just 5 minutes. 300 seconds to convey passion, skills and vision capacity. The winner’s name will be publicly announced on July the 12th with an official award ceremony. Even though, unfortunately, there is only one winner, all the teams were able to meet potential investors, a key opportunity to keep growing.

At 11 o’clock the OGR-SEI Torino Forum came alive: it was time for the DG OF CERN, Ms. Fabiola Gianotti’s opening keynote. Her presence on the stage excited the audience, involving guests in a fascinating story about the world of CERN, research and space.

Immediately after her speech, the OGR saw a new moment of debate, this time with the participation of 3 renowned international guests: Stefano Buono, Josh Wolfe and Bjorn Tremmerie. With them we talked about Venture capital, investments, business and innovation in Europe.

The event then ended in awe with the interview of John Elkann with Daniel Ek: the founder of Spotify led the guests on a journey inside his world. He emphasized the great fortune to have a family behind him that has always encouraged him, his strong passion for music and his ability to adapt and reinvent himself day after day. Many small pills that turn into treasure for the young startuppers of tomorrow.

Perhaps it is difficult to imagine that all this is possible in just two days,but it really happened. Every year the SEI Torino Forum becomes richer in events and international guests: we do not yet know what will await us next year, but we are ready to surprise you!


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