Ceetrus Italy and PoliHub: on the look-out for talents and start-ups


Ceetrus Italy, one of the major actors in Italy’s commercial real estate industry and PoliHub, the Innovation District & Startup Accelerator, launch Ceetrus 4 Innovation – C4I, a scouting platform for talents and start-ups.

Today marks the launch of “Ceetrus 4 Innovation – C4I”, the start-up scouting platform providing inventions for life places, with particular focus on “services and circular economy”. Ceetrus Italy and PoliHub have joined forces to create an Open Innovation project, mirroring a company which transcends the Real Estateindustry, enriching its lifeblood to position itself, day after day, as aninnovative and responsible company promoting common good, at the service ofcitizens.

PoliHub is the Innovation District & Start-upAccelerator of the PolytechnicUniversity of Milan, managed by Fondazione Politecnico. It supports highly innovative start-ups with scalable business models, driving cross-fertilisation processes between the University and companies with a particular eye for innovation. The choice of PoliHub, one of the 5 best university incubators in the world, is perfectly inline with the short and long-term strategic objectives of Ceetrus Italy, which aims to add original and useful services to Shopping Centres under its own management, by seeking out new forms of collaboration and actively promoting circular economy at its facilities.

This has given rise to a new kind of promotion of Shopping Centres, transforming them from simple places of purchase into veritable life places, galvanising innovative projects and ideas in various fields of application. The Shopping Centre thus becomes an integral part of the local area and thanks to its services, it satisfies the needs of local citizens by integrating the urban fabric with anything that is lacking.

How does
 Ceetrus 4 Innovation work?

The project consists of two steps:

·       Call4 Startup, a competition for start-ups with an impact in the following areas: Building, Customer & Tenant Experience and Local Community.

–       Building: solutions applicable to physical shopping centre facilities (building materials, power management, recycling, waste management,etc.); 

–       Customer & Tenant Experience: solutions which aim to improve relationswith users (customers, employees, citizens);

–       Local Community: solutions which boost the shopping centre’s impact and value on the local area and community.

Applications must be submitted no later than 27th April on www.ceetrus4innovation.it. All 10 finalists will be announced on 15th May and will be able to access Training Weeks scheduled from 21st to 29th May. On 4th June, during the Demo Day, the 3 winning projects will be announced, for which Ceetrus will provide a total grant of 75,000 euros to finance technology development & validation activities aimed at creating a Proof of Concept (PoC), which will be followed by a market validation process. PoliHub will support the selected start-ups, accompanying them during a business training period centred around project creation and the fine-tuning of the business model. Lastly, thanks to the acceleration of PoliHub, a prototype will be created and activated at a Ceetrus shopping centre, selected on the basis of specific project characteristics and shopping centre requirements.

·       Call4 Fashion Designers is a contest involving up-and-coming brands/designers/stylists with a certain level of maturity and who have already designed a collection but are unable to produce it. This contest will be launched in June and full information will always be provided on the website www.ceetrus4innovation.it.

Once the winner of the call is selected,Ceetrus will produce their collection and sell it in a dedicated pop-up store at one of its shopping centres, thus fulfilling two purposes: on the one hand, supporting emerging Italian talents, and on the other hand, responding to increasingly frequent public demand for non-standardised products, customised and different from those by more common brands that are normally available in shopping galleries.

“The project is the result of the Ceetrus philosophy which is citizen-centred, favours the development of social ties and aims to enable the acquisition of procedures, processes and skills typical of the open innovation ecosystem, at all company levels”, Marco BalducciGeneralManager of Ceetrus Italy, highlights.

“We want to bring our vision to life immediately with concrete projects that are applicable within a short space of time to our life spaces and which reward young Italian minds; we are proud to have the support of a structure of excellence the likes of PoliHub”.

“To be able to work along side a prime commercial real estate company like Ceetrus is for us an important opportunity to connect talents in the scientific and technological field with the requirements of a market with an enormous potential for innovation”, Claudia Pingue, General Manager of PoliHub, affirms. “Today, start-ups are a concrete channel for exploring the use of new technologies and improving the customer experience, by creating new products, services and business models”.

PoliHub is the Innovation District& Startup Accelerator of the Polytechnic University of Milan, managed by the University’s Foundation which today unites more than 100 start-ups and companies operating in different fields of innovation, from Design to ICT,Biomed, Energy and Cleantech and which more in general develop products andservices with high technological and creative contents. PoliHub is one of theTop 5 university incubators in the world according to the UBI Index ranking,supporting highly innovative start-ups through a scalable business model. It works closely with large companies to generate Open Innovation and runs an Acceleration, Mentorship and Advisory programme.

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