Italian Business & Investment Initiative (IB&II), which was set up in New York in 2011, is an independent organization that, via the creation of a stable and qualified New York outpost, aims to position the Italian economy (increasingly more high-tech from mid-tech) and the European economy in the high-end segment of New York’s business community, in order to promote two-way investments.
The IB&II initiative is supported by European and US business leaders who are its sponsors (A.T. Kearney, Avio Spa, Banco BPM, Chiomenti, Deutsche Bank, Enel, Equita, Farmindustria, Invitalia, J.P. Morgan, MC Square Capital, Mediaset, Mercatus, Sace Simest, Teon, Terna, Wind-Tre).
Since 2013, IB&II has organized an annual Summit in New York during which politicians, directors and Italian entrepreneurs engage in direct dialogue with opinion-makers, leaders and investors from the East Coast, to promote understanding and the sharing of mutual interests. Each year this event brings together around 300 representatives of the 2 countries. Since 2018, it has not only been about Italy but also about Europe as a whole, the minimum scale for competing on a worldwide level.
“The International Business Exchange – Transatlantic commerce in a post-Brexit reality: leveraging the European-American connection” is the title of the 2019 edition which took place on April 17th, 2019, in New York as always.
‘It is without a doubt the biggest event that is dedicated to Italy outside our own borders”, explains Fernando Napolitano, IB&II CEO and founder, “Business leaders participate in the Summit to discuss the opportunities and challenges of the Italian economy, as well as to share the success stories of US operators who have invested in Italy. Each year, in each of the 8 editions we have run to date, we have laid out the opportunities that both Italy and Europe have to offer. Italy in particular is a diversified and resilient economy, characterized by large companies but above all by medium companies (€560Bn in exports) which need a bigger scale to be able to continue competing internationally. This means having access to skills and capital. In addition, it is important for Italy to start communicating directly and in English with the rest of the world to explain the ins and outs of its own economy. To date, the narrative has been predominantly monochrome: debt, deficit, anaemic economic growth and short-lived governments. This increases the perception of country risk and does nothing to attract additional investors.’
IB&II runs also:
• the BEST Program: in cooperation with the US Embassy in Italy, the Fulbright Commission and Invitalia, BEST provides young, talented Italians with the opportunity to learn how to create a start-up during a 6-month period studying and working in Silicon Valley. Upon their return to Italy (which is compulsory), students are assisted for six months in the launch of their own start-up.
• a new and innovative index, which is proprietary and trademarked: IRG (Influence, Relevance & Growth) uses parameters to enable the measurement of a company’s influence beyond its own industrial sector, in order to gauge its relevance and contribution to policy-making to encourage economic growth. The index examines and evaluates 10 parameters and is licensed worldwide to A.T. Kearney.
• The Voice of Business, the first web channel dedicated to the publication of the opinions of Italian, European and American CEOs, was launched on 1 February 2019.