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Simona Bielli


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Over the last year, Simona was working on a new exciting project that led to the foundation of Nesta Italia.

After an experience of almost three years at Nesta in UK and over four years between Italy, Europe and the Silicon Valley as Head of Global Operations at Mind the Bridge, she help build Nesta Italia, a partnership between Nesta and Compagnia di San Paolo, one of Italy's largest and oldest philanthropic foundations, to lead a new range of programmes and activities in Turin and Italy.

Simona is an expert in corporate and startup collaborations, her work focused on enabling large firms to innovate by harnessing the potential of successfully working with startups. As part of this mission, she led numerous initiatives, including Europe’s Corporate Startup Stars, a ranking of startup-friendly corporates, aimed to promote role models and inspire other large firms to follow suit. She coordinated two prestigious European projects, the Startup Europe Partnership (SEP) and the European Digital Forum (EDF), which are both dedicated to fostering digital entrepreneurship and building entrepreneurial ecosystems across Europe.

Prior to joining Nesta, Simona was Head of Global Operations at Mind the Bridge Foundation where she was responsible for managing multiple projects and activities aimed at nurturing the creation and development of startups’ ecosystems both in Europe and US. She has been involved with the SEP initiative since its inception, organising matching events across Europe aimed at facilitating business relationships between corporates and startups.

Since 2010, she has been collaborating with the CrESIT Research Centre (Department of Economics, University of Insubria - Varese) as a Research Fellow, where she has conducted multiple researches with a focus on entrepreneurial profiles and startup ecosystems.

In her free time, she enjoys discovering new places and loves playing all kind of sports. She has also been performing different musicals' characters for an amateur acting company for over 12 years.

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