PALERMO, ITALY / JUNE 14-16, 2022
The 21st IEEE Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference
The 21st IEEE Mediterranean Electrotechnical Conference
PALERMO, ITALY / JUNE 14-16, 2022
Innovative startups and entrepreneurs

Palermo – 15 June, 2022
14:00 – 18:00


This special meeting is structured in two panels dedicated to:

  • how to develop your entrepreneurial skills
  • some examples of successful startups.

The first panel will focus on tools and tricks for innovative startups and young entrepreneurs. How to prepare an effective busines plan to apply for financial support (Venture capital, European project, …). The panel is preceded by an introductory speech on ethics in the digital era, an increasingly important issue for all researchers and entrepreneurs in the age of AI and big data.
The second panel will present some examples of successful and innovative startups with accent on challenges at time of pandemic and with illustration of best practices, problems encountered and solutions.


14:00 – 14:15
Welcome to participants
Tiziana Tambosso – IEEE Italy Section Entrepreneurship Committee
Vincenzo Piuri – IEEE R8 Director-Elect
Monica Guizzardi – ARCA

Panel 1: Entrepreneurship – how to start an innovative startup

Moderator: Tiziana Tambosso & Vincenzo Piuri

14:15 – 14:35
Ethical Artificial Intellicence: added value and impact of ethics in development and adoption of AI technologies
Alfredo Milani (University of Perugia)

14:35 – 14:55
IEEE programs to support entrepreneurships
Mohamed El Dallal (IEEE Entrepreneurship Committee & R8 Entrepreneurship Initiative-

14:55 – 15:15
Health Technology Innovation: from idea to adoption
Shanshan Zhou (ARCA –

15:15 – 15:35
From university spin off to a successful start up
Massimiliano Oliveri (ARCA)

15:35 – 15:55
Venture Capital approach to early stage financing: an overview
Roberto della Marina (Venture Factory –

15:55 – 16:30
Q&A & Round table

COFFEE BREAK – 16:30 – 17:00

Panel 2: Successful startups – how they succeed

Moderator: Monica Guizzardi

17:00 – 17:10
17tons – Nahla Salem

17:10 – 17:20
ResourSEAs – Roberta Cucchiara

17:20 – 17:30
KazaamLab – Simona Rombo

17:30 – 17:40
ESCO Mobility – Francesco Di Simone

17:40 – 18:00


Ethical Artificial Intelligence: added value and impact of ethics in development and adoption of AI technologies

Alfredo Milani

Abstract – Similarly to what has happened for a number of industries, from manufacturing to sustainable farming and agriculture, the rapid acceleration of AI adoption across business has lead to a growing awareness of the importance of an ethics framework to establish guidelines for responsible design and use of AI tools. Enterprises face several ethical challenges in their use of AI technology: responsibility and accountability for the consequences of AI-based decisions; reliability, explainability and trust of AI systems; transparency, fairness and absence of biases in predictors, classifiers and other machine learning tools.
The presentation will discuss the key issues of AI ethics, envisaging a close future where the stakeholders, AI developers, entrepreneurs and customers, will enjoy competitive advantages by embedding ethical principles in the whole AI life cycle.

Short Biography – Department of Mathematics and Computer Science, University of Perugia. Scientific director of Knowledge and Information Technology Lab (KITLab) of University of Perugia since its foundation in 2004. His research interests span across different areas of artificial intelligence including emotion recognition, adversarial attacks, link prediction and evolutionary optimization, AI and ethics. He has been visiting scientist at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, CA, USA, and visiting professor at Hong Kong Baptist University. He is Senior IEEE Member, Member of IEEE Systems. Man and Cybernetics Society’s Technical Committee on Soft Computing. Previously Executive Committee Member of European Network of Excellence in AI Planning and of AI*IA, the Italian Association for Artificial Intelligence, editorial committee member of several international journals.

IEEE programs to support entrepreneurships

Mohamed El Dallal

Abstract – The Talk will explain the Role of IEEE Entrepreneurship and how it applies the vision of Connecting tech entrepreneurs to an engineering-driven global Innovation network throughout the activities, programs. also explaining the opportunities for IEEE Entrepreneurs offered by the IEEE Entrepreneurship and IEEE Region 8 Entrepreneurship initiative.

Short Biography – Mohamed El Dallal is a serial Entrepreneur currently the Co-founder & CEO of “Techne” and Co-founder & CEO “Innovideas LLC. for Marketing & Advertising”.
Earning his BSc degree – Computer & Communication Engineering-, MBA holder specializing in International Business. Currently doing his DBA specialized in Entrepreneurship.
He has conducted hundreds of Talks/ Panels /workshops at 30+ countries about his Entrepreneurship, Marketing, and business development. In addition, he works as a lecturer at the AAST University as well as working on Marketing & offering Business Consultations for Egyptian SMEs and mentoring Startups over the EMEA region.
Mohamed is also an avid volunteer, participating with several NGOs, projects, and youth initiatives both inside and outside of Egypt since 2009. He is currently Vice-Chair of IEEE Entrepreneurship Global committee, Global Shaper Alumni, Member of the Egyptian junior business association (EJB), Rotarian, and IEEE Region 8 Action for Industry committee corresponding member.

Health Technology Innovation: from idea to adoption

Shanshan Zhou

Abstract – This talk will navigate you through the pathway to innovation in the healthcare sector. Case studies will be used to show how technologies can be evaluated and how evidence can be generated to facilitate the adoption to the healthcare system. This talk will introduce you to the role of Consorzio ARCA as EIT Health RIS Hub and its support for MedTech entrepreneurs.

Short Biography – Shanshan Zhou received her PhD from Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna (Pisa) in Innovation, Healthcare and Sustainability management. She is a Senior Expert at Consorzio ARCA, funded by EIT Health. She has been working as a consultant in Market Access and Patient and Public Involvement for London In-vitro Diagnostic Co-operative (National Institute of Health Research), Imperial College London. She has experience in working with various incubators/accelerators such as Med Tech Super Connector and Medcity. She is a director at Lumina Health Tech, LTD, UK.

From university spin off to a successful start up

Massimiliano Oliveri

Abstract – How to spin your scientific research out of a university and into a startup thanks to the academic incubator?
This talk aims to analyze the link between universities and business/academic incubator, and to determine how students, scientific researchers and entrepreneurs can benefit from this linkage. It creates an environment in which everyone can help the other to put their new ideas, special skills and abilities into new businesses. In other words, the traditional universities’ role has changed and entrepreneurial universities are now needed to redirect new knowledge for economic development through the incubator.
Academic incubators are seeding a new wave of innovation.
To remain relevant and enable emerging thinkers to pursue surer pathways to success, universities are introducing campus spaces where students can connect to fellow entrepreneurs and interested financiers. These new places – academic incubators – have helped universities rethink their place in preparing the next generation, creating entrepreneurial environments that facilitate connections and speed innovative ideas from concept to reality. We will talk about the operating model of the Consorzio ARCA, incubator of the University of Palermo and some successful cases.

Short Biography – I am a neurologist and neuropsychologist with training and experience in neurorehabilitation. In 1999 I have published the first research report of rehabilitation of cognitive functions based on non invasive neuromodulation. I am author of more than 130 publications in international journals with 6000 citations and H index = 45.
I am now applying knowledge on neuromodulation for inventing new wearable devices and protocols in this field. Founder and CEO of two startups: NeuroTeam and Restorative Neurotechnologies. From December 2021 I’m the President at Consorzio ARCA.

Venture Capital approach to early stage financing: an overview

Roberto Della Marina

Abstract – Understanding the point of view of Venture Capital before starting a fundraising process for a company with a strong innovation content is crucial: prerequisites for an investment, financial conditions, team composition and attitude, minimum acceptable TRL, will be addressed in the proper context and market, together with some OMG suggestions.

Short Biography – Managing Partner, Venture Factory Srl, Milano, Italy.
Operative Partner & Member Investment Committee, Vertis Venture 3 Tech Transfer Fund, Vertis SGR
After one decade of experience mostly in Switzerland at CERN (Geneva, CH), CSEM SA (Neuchâtel, CH) and Colibrys SA (Neuchâtel, CH), where he started working as a researcher and then moved to managerial positions, in 2003 he accepted the position of VP Business Development and Director of Technology Innovation of Olivetti I-Jet SpA (Ivrea, TO). In 2007 he became General Manager of the Cluster in Molecular Biomedicine of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, a public-private initiative focused on linking together research centers, companies, institutions and financing bodies in the field of personalized medicine. From 2010 till 2017 he worked as Partner of AlAdInn Ventures Fund, Friulia Veneto Sviluppo SGR SpA, as well as Deputy Chairman of AREA Science Park – an Italian National Research body dedicated to Technology Transfer – and as GM of Innovation Factory, its first mile company incubator. In 2016 has been nominated Chairman of the Board and GM of BIC (Business Innovation Center) FVG, a company incubator and accelerator based in Trieste.
Today he continues to serve as Board Member in several companies and foundations, among those, the Bruno Kessler Foundation in Trento, Italy. He holds a Laurea cum laude in Physics from the University of Trieste (I) and a Ph.D. in Physics from ETH Zürich (CH), is co-author of more than hundred scientific papers and he keeps teaching finance and innovation in some universities and institutions in Italy. In 2015 he won the AIFI-EY “Claudio Dematté Price – Private Equity of the Year” for the best Italian Early Stage operation.

Fill the gap between Data and Precision Medicine

Simona E. Rombo

CEO at KazaamLab – Associate Professor in Computer Science

Short BiographySimona E. Rombo is Associate Professor of Computer Science at University of Palermo, and CEO of Kazaam Lab s.r.l. She works on the design and analysis of algorithms for the extraction of knowledge from large amounts of data, with applications in various domains (medical, social marketing, smart industry). She has large expertise on the design and development of technologies and software tools based on Big Data Analytics, Artificial Intelligence and Network Analysis. She has coordinated / coordinates research groups and projects within various national and international programs, mainly focused on decision support for Precision Medicine and Smart Industry. She is a member of the editorial board of international journals on Big Data analysis and Bioinformatics and she has co-authored over 70 scientific publications. She teaches Big Data Management and Software Engineering and Security in the Computer Science Degree Programs of the University of Palermo.

KAZAAM Lab is an innovative startup, spinoff of the University of Palermo. It produces software services available on the cloud that can be used to make decisions about which therapy is the best one for a given patient, under certain conditions. This is possible because its products are able to integrate large amounts of heterogeneous data coming for example from genotype-phenotype associations, molecular interactions, clinical data. The main product of the society is Kazaam eHealth Platform, which builds complex networks that model omics integrated data and allows to infer hidden information on their relationships. Members of the team have more than 15 years of research expertise on the analysis and construction of molecular networks, as well as on Big Data and Artificial Intelligence.

All mobility just a click away

Francesco Di Simone

Business Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ESCO srl

Short BiographyFrancesco Di Simone, Business Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ESCO.
I am 25 YH engineer really motivate to achieve professional goals. I worked in different areas, it enables me to learn quickly my skill set, and tackle challenges head on with confidence. “We are the results of our experiences and every day is a good opportunity to train and improve ourselves respecting everything”. I was born in Sicily and I like thinking that people who come from island are sunny, positive and really dynamic just like me. I am Business Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of ESCO srl from 09/2020 to Present and I am really focused on Smart Mobility Market.

Esco Mobility was born in September 2020 by young entrepreneurs who share the goal of revolutionizing urban transport starting from their own city: Palermo, one of the busiest cities in Italy. Among the activities we deal with we find the fleet management service: we support sharing mobility companies by managing their fleets of scooters, guaranteeing the continuity of the service and making sure that all vehicles comply with quality standards.
In addition, we have a workshop and mechanics specialized in the repair of electric vehicles.
We are about to launch the intermodal platform on the market which is based on the concept of shared mobility and understood as a service. By integrating scooters, bikes and car sharing, buses and trams and launching the innovative taxi or car transit system.

The technology that certifies sustainability

Nahla Salem

Marketing Manager at 17tons

Short BiographyNahla Salem, is a business development consultant with over 14 years of experience in partnerships management, non-profit fundraising and startups business development, six of which are working with UNICEF. She currently manages global partnerships and Marketing for 17tons, a startup that empowers companies to make better, more ethical climate investments with guaranteed impact using cutting-edge technology. She is also managing the business development and growth in MENA and Europe for Yunus and Youth an organization founded with the support of Professor Muhammad Yunus, Yunus & Youth combines social entrepreneurship training with technology to remove educational barriers between countries and generations.

17tons is an INNOVATIVE STARTUP & BENEFIT COMPANY that uses cutting-edge technology to verify natural carbon removal projects.  It operates in the ecosystem services market for Nature-Based Solutions with a focus on carbon sequestration for climate mitigation and biodiversity. 17tons makes investments in carbon-sequestration verifiable and transparent by providing access to the highest quality carbon removals to empower businesses in the fight against climate change.

Sustainable technologies for seawater desalination

Roberta Cucchiara

Production process engineer at ResourSEAs

Short BiographyRoberta Cucchiara, Process Engineer of ResourSEAs, is an engineer with a master’s degree in chemical engineer from the University of Pisa. She has experience in conducting research and experiments on the uses of sewage sludge for mineral recovery and polymer composites production. Since she joined ResourSEAs, she has been involved in many research and development projects related to the circular economy, brine, water and waste management as SEArcularMINE and REWAISE.

ResourSEAs is a spin-off from the Chemical Process and Plant Design group in the University of Palermo, founded in March 2017.
The core business of the company is seawater and brine valorization. Area of interest of ResourSEAs is the development of sustainable technologies for seawater desalination, salt production, brine management and valorization through the extraction of valuable materials and generation of electricity from salinity gradients. The company mission is the circular integration of all these processes within a sustainable cycle where the wastes of a process become valuable raw material for the following.
ResourSEAs is a young company but grounded on the old and robust foundation represented by years of experience and expertise gained in each of the above fields as background of the chemical process and plant design group of the University of Palermo. A group which has a long history of research in the field of seawater management.