Terra Next: the first 8 startups operating in the fields of nutraceuticals, bio-based solutions and regenerative agriculture have been selected

The acceleration program, starting this week in Naples, provides a pre-seed investment of 93,750 euro for each startup.

The project, part of the “Rete Nazionale Acceleratori CDP” network, was born on the initiative of CDP Venture Capital together with Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center and Cariplo Factory, which manages the initiative.


Naples, 24th June 2022 – The first 8 startups that will participate in the first edition of the Terra Next accelerator, the acceleration program for startups and innovative SMEs operating in the Bioeconomy sector, have been selected.  The result of the CDP Venture Capital initiative, Terra Next – which is part of the Rete Nazionale Acceleratori CDP, a network present throughout the national territory – sees the participation of Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center as co-creator and promoter and the support of Cariplo Factory which operationally manages the program.

Terra Next also involves the corporate partners Pastificio Garofalo (core partner), Getra Group and Nestlé Group (partner), Novamont (tech partner), Aristea, Nolanplastica, Selepack, and Tecno (member), who will provide their contribution in terms of know-how, assets and networks for the development of startups.

Thanks to Terra Next, startups will also be able to create synergies with industrial subjects in the bioeconomy sector, already an excellence of Made in Italy that boasts a production value of 317 billion euros in Italy in 2020. In 2020, in Italy, the sector employed 2 million workers, 7.9% of total national employment, a value that rises to 10.7% in the South alone (according to the data of the 7th report on the Bioeconomy), thus revealing itself as a sector with a high intensity of development for employment.  Moreover, also in the South, the Bioeconomy represents almost a quarter of the relative national figure and 6.7% of the total economy of the area.

The initiative – which has recently received the patronage of the Ministry of Ecological Transition (MiTE) – involves the involvement of institutional and scientific partners, such as Fondazione con il Sud, the Federico II University of Naples, the Campania Digital Innovation Hub, the Italian Cluster of circular Bioeconomy SPRING, the deep tech innovation center Materias, the S.R.M. study center – Studies and Research for the South. Finally, Materia Rinnovabile is the accelerator’s content partner.

The first selection call, dedicated to startups that develop services for regenerative agriculture, nutraceuticals and bio-based solutions, opened last February and collected 126 applications, of which 105 from Italy (83%) and 21 from abroad (17%).

The evaluation commission of Terra Next, composed of the co-creators, promoters and corporate partners involved, has selected 8 startups that will access the acceleration program benefiting from an initial investment and a 3-month  course based in Naples, at the San Giovanni a Teduccio Campus of the Federico II University in which they will have the opportunity to grow through mentorship,  training, networking and moments of lectures dedicated to the consolidation of the value proposition and the business model, to the technical validation and prototyping of solutions, to go-to-market support  and fundraising.  Finally, the best teams will have access to additional investments of about 1 million euros, already allocated by the promoters of the initiative.

The selected startups have created solutions for biodegradation processes, for food supplementation and cosmetics, for the production of degradable bioplastics and natural paints. One of the selected startups is DND Biotech, which has developed a system capable of studying and accelerating the biodegradation processes of organic contaminants. Combining robotics, wireless devices and biotechnology, DND Biotech is able to provide an innovative bioremediation service at very competitive costs and low environmental impact. The technology has already been successfully tested on hydrocarbons, PAHs and PCBs and the team is now focusing on the degradation of pesticides and emerging contaminants (PFAS AND FANS).



CDP Venture Capital

CDP Venture Capital is an ASSET MANAGEMENT company (70% of CDP Equity and 30% of Invitalia) with over 1.6 billion euros of assets under management. It aims to make venture capital a cornerstone of the country’s economic development and innovation, creating the conditions for an overall and sustainable growth of the venture capital ecosystem. It operates with a series of funds that aspire to support startups in all their life phases, making both direct and indirect investments. https://www.cdpventurecapital.it/


Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center

Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center is the Intesa Sanpaolo Group company dedicated to frontier innovation. It explores future scenarios and trends, develops multidisciplinary applied research projects, supports startups, accelerates the business transformation of companies according to the criteria of Open Innovation and the Circular Economy, promotes the development of innovative ecosystems and spreads the culture of innovation, to make Intesa Sanpaolo the driving force behind a more aware, inclusive and sustainable economy. Based on the 31st floor of the Intesa Sanpaolo skyscraper and a national and international network of hubs and laboratories, the Innovation Center is an enabler of relations with other stakeholders in the innovation ecosystem – such as companies, startups, incubators, research centers, universities, national and international bodies – and a promoter of new forms of entrepreneurship in access to risk capital with the support of venture capital funds,  also thanks to the subsidiary Neva SGR.

The Innovation Hub in Naples, created by Intesa Sanpaolo and Intesa Sanpaolo Innovation Center in collaboration with the Federico II University, has so far organized 25 workshops in which the Bank has favored the comparison between supply and demand of technology, bringing together over 40 startups with more than 750 local client companies, facilitating different innovation matching. In Campania, Calabria and Sicily, in March 2022, the Group provided over 20 million euros in loans to startups and innovative SMEs.


Cariplo Factory

Cariplo Factory is one of the most important innovation hubs in Italy and is mainly focused on two transformative trends: digital transformation and circular economy. Cariplo Factory develops and implements open innovation programs, providing experiential training, entrepreneurial accompaniment programs, collaboration projects between talents, startups and companies, Venture Capital investments and support activities for internationalization. Cariplo Factory was founded in 2016 by Fondazione Cariplo and acts through an inclusive model that involves a national network of universities, technology transfer centers, incubators, accelerators, fablabs, science and technology parks, startups, business angels, venture capital funds, SMEs and corporates. Cariplo Factory is a Benefit Company.



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