Italiano disponibile qui.

“Life is too short not to be Italian” (anonymous)


Italians – a people of saints, poets, sailors, and … forerunners.

Leonardo da Vinci, Antonio Meucci, Alessandro Volta (proudly my fellow citizen), Guglielmo Marconi, Alfonso Bialetti, Adriano Olivetti, you name it.

The Italian people's imagination and creativity, as well as their power to transform ideas into tangible things, have consistently been widely recognized over the centuries.

And food is no exception. Some examples?


The origins of Prosciutto, for example, date back to the Etruscans, when it was discovered that putting in salt the pig legs lengthened their preservation time.

For the Parmigiano, we owe thanks to the ingenuity of some Emilian monks, who applied the curdling skills obtained in France to their needs to use the milk surplus from cows used in the fields.

And what about the absolute symbol of Italian food, the tomato? After being imported from America in the 16th century, for many years, it was considered poisonous and used as a mere ornamental plant.


So, can we say that foodtech has Italian ancestry? Definitely, yes. 

Then, over centuries, something changed, as widely discussed in the article “Italian foodtech, how is it perceived abroad?”


Nowadays, Italy cannot certainly be considered at the top of global foodtech, especially if we look at the investments, as stated in our report “Agrifood-Tech Investments In Italy”, available for download here (both in English and Italian).

Surely, Italy for global foodtech represents a kind of challenge; not by chance, so many plant-based brands love to repeat, “If we can sell in Italy, we can sell everywhere”. And I said all. 

Less diplomatically, we could say, “It’s nice to do foodtech in the Nordics or the UK, but come to Italy if you’re brave.”

Mission From God - Brothers GIF - Brothers MissionFromGod

“We’re on a mission from God'' is one of the most famous quotes from “The Blues Brothers”, but it could also aptly describe anyone working within the Italian foodtech ecosystem.

Like the 99 (+1) people listed below.



  1. Alessandro Annovi - Manager, entrepreneur, investor, mentor. All in one. Still with kindness and willingness. Polyedric.
  2. Alessandro Romano - Biotechnology applied to fish feed? Read it this way; it could look far from Italian foodtech standards. But it is. Oceanic.
  3. Alessandro Santo - Overskilled yet still humble. Never a word less or more, except for his signature phrase, “That’s it”. Practical.
  4. Alex Giordano - One of the Italian foodtech heavyweights, often mentioned alongside great minds. The true philosopher of Italian food innovation. A thinker.
  5. Amelia Bassini – Believes that no brand reputation is without innovation and no brand innovation is without innovation. Though it could look like nonsense, it’s one of her goals. Reputational.
  6. Andrea Cova - The “Food as a ServiceⓇ”. Something started as a mission, then turned into a service, and ultimately a trademark. One of the brightest stars of the Italian ecosystem. A Precursor.
  7. Antonella Beltrame – Staying at the top in an overly challenging and ultra-masculine environment such as Italian finance is no small feat. Yet, she’s got it. Amazon.
  8. Antonio Grifoni - Spread the word about alternative proteins in Italy is not an easy mission. A Challenger.
  9. Barbara Vita - A true corporate manager, still staying well-informed on whatever turns around her…and Beyond The Core. A Visionary.
  10. Barbaro Guy Levi - One of the most atypical VCs on the global foodtech scene. Nice and kind, but by no means less rigorous. Definitely the investor we need, but not the one we deserve. A Hero.
  11. Caterina Racca - The Lady of the Oat, able to modernize a true Italian institution like the cappuccino. Bold and Forward-thinking.
  12. Chiara Corbo - “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion”. She probably knows this quote very well, considering the huge amount of data poured into the ecosystem. A Data Scientist.
  13. Chiara Ambrosi - If the greatest Italian food media company talks about foodtech, it’s thanks to her. Focused.
  14. Chiara Buratti - Undoubtedly a reference point for the innovation press, foodtech included, ça va sans dire. Spotlight.
  15. Chiara Rota - The perfect embodiment of “Innovative Made In Italy”, not only within the country but abroad. A Master.
  16. Claudia Sanna – In the early stages but a volcano of ideas, not just in the traceability field. Uplifting.
  17. David Bassani and Andrea Galassi - Two becomes one. Inseparable and indissociable. The atom of Italian VC. Meta-Physicals.
  18. Deborah Morriello – A blend of southern charm and girl power, with a dash of pure energy, served two steps away from Positano. Proud.
  19. Diana Piemari Cereda - Very few words but many facts, from Italy to Spain in the name of foodtech. A Traveler.
  20. Edoardo Imparato - The Lord Of Cricket. A skinny guy with broad shoulders. Broad enough to bear the weight of edible insects in Italy. A Hero.
  21. Edoardo Tribuzio - From the food delivery to the innovative drinks, more than a decade spent downstream, still smiling. Consumer-centric.
  22. Elisa Cimpanelli - A journalist so skilled, passionate, and curious about foodtech, a rare commodity nowadays. An Explorer
  23. Emanuela Alesiani - The retail manager who became a startupper, still with the trade marketing in the center of the viewfinder. A Queen.
  24. Emanuele Bianconi - The man showing the world that plant-based ice cream rivals the traditional one in taste and quality. Creamy.
  25. Emanuele Preve - If all the Italian shareholders and executives were like him, Italian foodtech would be unstoppable. Benchmark.
  26. Emanuele Torlonia - Surely one of the founding fathers of Italian foodtech, then evolved to embrace innovation all-round. Column.
  27. Ermelinda Falletta - The new advances in Italian agtech, still with a scientific approach. A Geek.
  28. Fabiana Martone - The new wave of girl power in Italian venture capital. Charm and kindness to shape the next generation of innovators. Gorgeous.
  29. Fabiana Surace - A sincere and long-standing friend, a powerful startupper, revered as the Princess of Animal Welfare. A Doyenne.
  30. Fabio Isaia - Power to the content for the agtech green Baron. Italian benchmark for innovation in agriculture. Agtechnichal.
  31. Federico Menetto - An angel for many startups, a devil for someone else, but still riding the wave. Dantesque
  32. Felippe Fontanelli – A Brazilian of Neapolitan origin. Or vice versa. In any case, “O mas grande du mundo”. Virtuous.
  33. Fiammetta Mataloni - Little flame in name, big flame in fact. The innovation flame that keeps burning, from Big Four to VC. Stoical.
  34. Francesca Varvello – Mastering food science at its pinnacle. Tackling probably one of Italy’s most challenging foodtech sub-sectors with nonchalance. Worthy.
  35. Francesco Venuti - How daring a man who includes agrifood-tech as a major in one of the most important and reliable masters in F&B worldwide? Fearlessly pushing boundaries, even appointing the author as a lecturer. Dauntless.
  36. Gabriella Rocco - Announcing a round before everybody, including the founders, is aware of it? Soon, she could do it. Minority Report.
  37. Gaetano Giuffè - So peaceful outside, so fighting inside. An interesting blend to bring Italian VC to the next level. A Model.
  38. Giacomo Fanin - An enlighted and enlightening entrepreneur, the benchmark for the next generation of food innovators. A Visionary.
  39. Giancarlo Addario - From food scientist to manager and now VC, still with a gorgeous Lucanian touch appreciated by everybody all around the world. Beloved.
  40. Giancarlo Vergine - The King Of Crowdfunding, on the right way to becoming the King Of Crowd. A Ruler.
  41. Gianni Rusconi – Foodtech and Finance, a topic not so easy at all, but one that he can master perfectly. Honorable.
  42. Giorgia Mainardi - A priceless manager in a sector that cannot be absolutely separated by innovation. Unavoidable.
  43. Giorgio Ciron - A man who is able to bring innovation to political work groups and talk with the ministers. Priceless.
  44. Giovanni Di Mambro - Blending fondness, agritech, and Romanness, akin to a foodtech version of Carlo Verdone. What else? Unbeatable.
  45. Giulia Giovannini - Wonder Woman. Or Captain Marvel. For “par conditio”. In any case, The Girl of Venture Capital. Smashing.
  46. Giulia Silenzi - A true enabler who has been able to bring the open innovation in food to the next level. A Godmother.
  47. Giulia Marcellini - Still under construction (as self-admitted) but still looking forward with an innate desire to learn. Valuable.
  48. Giulio Martinacci - One of the new faces in Italian foodtech. Very inspiring and direct at the same time. Free-range.
  49. Giuseppe Virzi - A dreamer with a bold vision, having already taken great steps forward and gathered a bunch of super pros to bring his dreams to fruition. A Dreamer.
  50. Greta Colombo Dugoni - A reliable background for such a reliable mission. SheTech.
  51. Ilario Colarossi - An Italian working in a foodtech unicorn deserves unconditional respect. A Unicorn.
  52. Ilenia Buiatti - A cub outside, a tiger inside, with maniacal precision. Definitively, we need a dozen of her. Combative.
  53. Ivan Aimo - The creativity of Silicon Valley, the severity of Savoy, the hustle of Milan. What a mix. Multi-talented.
  54. Lorenzo Pessini – Embracing “The Nerd” title, achieving the highest food science level for the young Italian promise. A Youngster.
  55. Luca Travaglini - If the Italian foodtech has a unicorn, it will be thanks to him. A Higher Power.
  56. Luca Lotterio – Juggling Human Resources with Food Service, an unconventional pairing of challenges in recent years. Despite this, he’s still smiling. A Maitre.
  57. Luca Masseretti - The “fruit shaming” advocate. The veggies watcher. A silent hero. Paladin.
  58. Luigi Galimberti - Only a visionary and fearless entrepreneur like him could revolutionize the aforementioned symbol of Italian food, the tomato. Audacious.
  59. Maddalena Zanoni - Equally bold to reinvent another Italian food totem like the mozzarella. Speechless.
  60. Marco Gaiani - The only man on earth able to conjugate foodtech and modern art, still with an abundant dose of friendliness. An Idol.
  61. Mario Ubiali - The ways of neuromarketing and food are infinite and mysterious. But he’s able to track them. A Neuroscientist.
  62. Marta Bonaconsa - Founder, startupper, researcher, mother (of 4). No need to add anything else. She-Hulk.
  63. Marta Residori - Persistence and willingness to spread the word about plant-based products in Italy. A mission impossible. She-Ethan-Hunt.
  64. Massimo Cerofolini - Only the Italians are able to realize how hard it is to talk about innovation on RAI (public TV). But he does. And well. Ethan Hunt.
  65. Massimo Montecchi - Ag fella with a lot of ideas and a bunch of companies. One in agtech. Surprising.
  66. Matteo Loriente - The plant-based hero, from fish to pork ribs, all around Italy. Island included. Unflinching.
  67. Matteo Vanotti - Only a man could bring Italian agrifood-tech to the next level. He’s that man. A perfect blend of rural roots, technical background, and entrepreneurial mindset. A One-Off.
  68. Mattia Monti - He never attends the events but is always there. In between, he invests. Forerunner in the field of sectorial investments. Schrödinger.
  69. Mattia Nanetti - Even in the middle of a storm, he would never lose his cool and direction. A Captain.
  70. Mauro Germani - The zen side of the ecosystem, still able to control his temper to reach his goals. Admirable.
  71. Mauro Bellini - The father of foodtech journalism, with an immeasurable politeness. The man we need. Unmissable.
  72. Max Leveau - A French touch is always welcome, every time, everywhere. He’s not only adding a touch but making a huge contribution to the ecosystem's growth.
  73. Micaela Illy - A long-standing career from Italy to the UK, in the name of food (and coffee), with an irresistible humour. Enjoyable.
  74. Michela Petronio - The Woman. If Italian food sticks on top, it’s thanks to forward-thinking executives like her. A Spirit Guide.
  75. Michele Ardoni - The FoodService Italian Master. Misteryous.
  76. Myriam Finocchiaro - The manager every employee needs. The mentor every startup deserves. Gold dust.
  77. Nicola Grolla - Wherever and whenever there’s food, he’s there. And not just to eat but to write. Ubiquitous.
  78. Olivia Burgio - Switching from startup founder to fund associate represents a huge jump. But she did it. Still standing. What an Athlete.
  79. Paola De Bernardi - The most “academic” face of agrifood tech, shaping the next generation of food leaders. Academic.
  80. Paolo Bulgarelli - Young, bright, rampant, curious, innovator. The type of manager that the Italian food industry needs. A Futurist.
  81. Peter Kruger - Polish roots, South African origins. Foodtech, AI, and Geopolitics guru. Rumors say he even plays piano, makes pizza “scrocchiarella,” and paints abstract paintings. Simultaneously. Universal.
  82. Pierluigi Giuliani - Vertical growth for vertical farming in Italy thanks to a vertical man with a vertical mind. Horizontal.
  83. Rana Edwards - The perfect example of a luminare in nutrition and founder of one of Italy’s most important food retailers that don’t brag. Impressive.
  84. Riccardo Bottiroli - The Nerd. The Zuckerberg of foodtech, who everyone envies. Foodtech-nologic.
  85. Riccardo De Sutti - I personally never saw him doing less than three things at the same time. A Multi-tasker.
  86. Sara Roversi - “First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Gandhi’s signature quote perfectly matches her path in Italian foodtech. A Pioneer.
  87. Sharon Cittone - In a world of appearance, she still loves to stay behind the curtains, analyzing all the possible scenarios and variables. Holistic.
  88. Silvia Tovo - Like a fable. Third of five sisters who dropped everything to focus themselves on family business. A Fairytale.
  89. Simone Bertin - The Lord of Strange Beers. You need nuts to bring innovation in one of the most “testosterone-smelling” sectors in the world. And he’s got them. A Brewer.
  90. Stefan Zwicky - The Swiss precision in a very chaotic environment can be considered like the cheese on macaroni (the icing on the cake). Helvetic.
  91. Stefania Quaini - The investor every female-founded startup needs and deserves. Shining.
  92. Susanna Potenza - Power in name and in facts, with a vocation for food impact. Powerful.
  93. Thomas Marino - Straight to the point of making Italy an aquaponics nation. And he’s getting it. Aquaman.
  94. Tommaso Cinquemani - Nothing happens in agriculture without him knowing it. A Pro-Reporter.
  95. Valentina Altobello - Conjugating foodporn with fitfood is now possible. Thanks to her. A Creator.
  96. Vincent Spaccapeli - A sustainability manager all-round, food included, of course. Impactful.
  97. Virgilio Maretto - A painstaking work in networking, even by politics, needs a huge dose of peace. And he has enough to give away. Dead calm.
  98. Virginia Castellucci - The future of food goes even through biodiversity and she’s targeting it in the right way. The Queen of the Bees.
  99. Vitaliano Fiorillo - Food begins in the field, so even the agricultural sector needs a managerial approach. And he’s shaping the next generation of managers in agribusiness. A Professor.

THE +1 OF ITALIAN FOODTECH (switching to the 1st person)

Those who know me understand my aversion to self-promotion. On one hand, 100 would be a perfect number, but including myself in the 99 would have made it too obvious.


Make it a foodtech family

So, I declare myself the 100th most influential person in Italian foodtech. I invite everyone to unleash his/her creativity and contribute their own definition and adjectives/nouns to this designation.

And do not forget to follow/connect on my social channel

Have you enjoyed this article? Please feel free to comment and/or share it with your network.

Food is good...but Foodtech is better (myself)

Antonio Iannone