MILAN, April 15, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Plug and Play today opened a new office in Italy together with their newest corporate partners Esselunga, Lavazza, Tetra Pak, and UniCredit. Plug and Play Italy will be based in Milan where it will launch its Food & Beverage accelerator. This office will also service key partners in the region such as UniCredit, which is also joining Plug and Play's Fintech Europe program in Frankfurt.
Headquartered in Silicon Valley, Plug and Play has created the world's largest innovation platform with over 10,000 startups and 280 official corporate partners. Plug and Play Italy plans on running two 3-month programs per year, accepting startups that are working on innovating the food and beverage space.
Saeed Amidi, CEO & Founder of Plug and Play stated: "We are proud to open our first Food & Beverage Accelerator in the heart of Italy. Plug and Play was born twenty years ago in our Lucky Building, where Google, Paypal and Dropbox were born. We are especially excited to expand to Italy and connect leading Italian corporations with our international startups, while offering the country's talented entrepreneurs access to our global programs."
Alexandre Carvalho, Tetra Pak's Global Director of Marketing and Customer Innovation Centers, commented: "We started the partnership with Plug and Play in 2017 after a visit with customers to their headquarters in Sunnyvale, CA. It had an enormous impact on the way we were looking at open innovation approaches and partnerships. Plug and Play has been instrumental in connecting relevant startups to well-established companies, We now have several projects with Plug and Play that will help us continue to drive our digital transformation."
"Innovation plays a fundamental role in our history and is an important driver of the global diffusion of Italian coffee culture," said Sergio Cravero, Lavazza Chief Marketing Officer. "We are proud to be a founding partner of Plug and Play, the main player in the sector. We will be able to speed up the process of technological innovation, becoming a key player in the largest international ecosystem of startups."
Roberto Selva, Esselunga's Head of Customer Relations, stated: "Since its inception, Esselunga has set innovation as one of its priorities: it was the first to introduce the bar code in the 1980s and the e-commerce service as early as 2000. This motivates our desire to partner with Plug and Play, an international leader in innovation. We look forward to this opportunity to engage with young startups and create a channel between our know-how and their new skills."
Ranieri De Marchis, UniCredit's Co-Chief Operating Officer, commented: "UniCredit is a simple and successful pan-European Bank and we have been building strong relationships with our customers for years, continuously meeting their evolving needs with our full commercial offering. We know that our customers increasingly want simplicity and we recognize the crucial role technology plays in achieving this. We believe that Fintechs can help support us in finding new and relevant digital solutions that meet changing client needs and the partnership with Plug and Play provides us with an additional strategic avenue for doing this."