PDAI - Business Start-Up Programme

  • What is it

    A training programme to accelerate business ideas

  • Who it’s for

    Start-ups selected at the Start-up Day, students

  • What it’s for

    Acquiring competences and taking the first steps in the start-up world

  • When


An intensive training programme for acquiring the knowledge and basic tools for launching business ideas and validating them on the market.
The full programme was designed for the start-ups selected at the Startup Day, but the meetings with experts are open to all.
A specific programme is planned for the business ideas focusing on the African markets, under the Student for Africa programme.

The PDAI programme calendar for 2021

The meetings are open not only to the winners and participants of the StartUp Day 2021, but also to students interested in finding out more about the topics related to the launch of new businesses.

14 July 2021, 10:00-12:00

Business services

with Francesca Farnararo
What do I need to implement a business idea? How can the University support me? In this meeting, you can find out about all the services the University makes available to help you turn your idea into a business.

IP Protection

with Alessandra Baccigotti
Can I tell other people about my idea? How can I protect my idea from being copied? In this meeting, we will offer an overview of the various forms and functions of Intellectual Property.


21 July 2021, 10:00-13:00

Sustainability & Business

with Piero Gualandi
How to manage the needs of a sustainable business. The market, stakeholders, customers and nature are all equally important, but how can we manage them in an economically viable project? We will be talking about the doubts and successes of a case study, with lessons and advice for people wishing to work on a sustainable business challenge!

Business model

with Laura Toschi 
Customers, suppliers, value proposition and everything else you've always wanted to know about winning business models. In this meeting, we will become familiar with these elements, talking about how they work together to create a winning model.


15 September 2021, 10:00-11:30 

System Map

with Maria Cecilia Flores
Very few business say they only sell products, without thinking about the service they also provide to their customers. Start-ups don’t work on their own, they are part of a context which, if well used, can support their development. In this meeting, we will learn about all the stakeholders and elements involved in the provision of a service.


22 September 2021, 10:00-12:00

Interactive Prototyping

with Luca Barbieri
Explaining abstract ideas in words can be difficult. Interactive prototyping is a process for exploring business ideas through an interactive experience helping other people to see your vision. In this meeting, we will find out how to build interactive prototypes to help people pitch their idea.

Live tour - @Makerspace 

Follow us on a guided tour of the University’s makerspace ALMALABOR, where you will find digital manufacturing equipment, a range of machines and a fully-equipped carpentry department where you can prototype your business idea.


29 September 2021, 11:00-12:00 

Validation tools: Interview/Surveys

with Eleonora Musca
Understanding people’s choices and behaviours is the first step to identifying their needs and designing ideas that can meet them. How can we know what these needs are? How can I be sure that what I think is the solution to their problems is actually the right one? In this meeting, we will learn to build elements for validating our ideas, answering our doubts and... discovering new demands!


13 October 2021, 14:00-16:00


with Nicolas Minuchin
Is my customer an end customer or another business that in turn sells to an end customer? What is best for me? What are the winning strategies for tackling the first sales? In this meeting, we will try to answer these and other questions, to plan a sales strategy in the best possible way. The meeting will be held in English.


27 October 2021, 10:00-11:00

Economic and financial evaluation

with Antonio Iembo
In this meeting, we will illustrate all the elements you need to draft your first economic and financial plan. 


17 November 2021, 10:00-12:00


with Valentina Iadarola
How can we pitch our idea to a potential investor? How many slides must I prepare for a pitch-deck? Are elevator pitches 1, 3 or 11 minutes? In this meeting, we will discover some of the secrets of the best business pitches, and some other hints for preparing winning slides!

Post-accreditation service

with Nicolas Sassoli
What happens after the PDAI? Who can help us? In this meeting, we will explain all the services offered by Almacube, the business incubator of the University of Bologna, and you can find out what the next steps are.

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