27 October 2020

LA4G: a new ring for the Luiss tech-entrepreneurship ecosystem

LA4G (Luiss Alumni 4 Growth) is an Investment Club of Luiss graduates, conceived to bring out the best of the vast human capital that Luiss University has generated over its 40 year history.

The Club pairs Luiss graduates interested in investing in promising Luiss-related startups – right alongside the University (or rather, a wholly owned university company acting as an Advisory Board) to help promote growth of Luiss-related businesses. “In short, we’ve put in place a real mechanism for Alumni to co-invest along with the University in a way that allows them to see actual social benefits and give back to the Luiss community,” explains Daniele Pelli, past president of ALL (Luiss Alumni Association) and Investment Club Advisor.

The Club aims to first identify select startups naturally with Luiss ties – either founded or co-founded by a Luiss graduate or enterprises that may have been incubated or accelerated within University-related frameworks (Luiss Enlabs in primis) or perhaps supported by Luiss graduate business angels. Projects deemed worthy of investment will become part of an potential investment portfolio for Club members, open to graduates for making an initial investment together with Luiss as well. Together, Club investors can help support business enterprise goals for expansion in European or even global markets.

Once the startup growth begins to generate even greater value, is when the Investment Club takes on an even more “special” role: When the time comes to disinvest (as one hopes) because the company’s value has reached a certain value, Club members can turn around and with their earnings, allow Luiss to use the funds toward giving back to the community through socially beneficial programs focused on enhancing social mobility, for example, or identifying talent around the world or in assisting disadvantaged communities by helping youth with university admissions and ultimately becoming Luiss graduates themselves.

Operationally speaking, the Club is focused on startups in post-seed and pre-venture phases, with the objective to support their growth and thereby realize dual goals: grow businesses of the future and generate economic resources to invest back into the community. Serving not only to enhance social mobility, the LA4G projects also aim to attract international talent to Italy while at the same time providing a place where entrepreneurship thrives.

In short, the LA4G is a decidedly ambitious program and one founded on the spirit of giving back. It provides a means for alumni to give back in part to their University who  in turn gives back to the community at large.

At the helm of the Investment Club is Emma Marcegaglia, President, along with Giovanni Lo Storto, CEO, and with them, successful Luiss graduates Luca Maestri, Riccardo Zacconi, Patrizia Micucci and professors such as Michele Costabile. Daniele Pelli, head of ALL acts as dvisor to the Investment Club.

In less than 18 months since its founding (pandemic included), the LA4G portfolio has grown to include five promising startups operating in various sectors:

•  Insoore   An innovative platform that allows insurance companies and firms managing fleets to optimize the handling of accidents by way of a unique technology and innovative inspection process

  • Neosurance Offering tech solutions for data enrichment and CRM analytics to help insurance companies (and other firms) in providing micro-policies to their clientele (or instant insurance / situational insurance policies) through push marketing campaigns
  • Keyless Thanks to modern biometrics, the software offers simple and safe authentication methods through any device
  • Skinlabo Revolutionizing traditional supply chains by offering the very first direct-to-consumer brand of cosmetic products (and one of the first in Europe)

and, the latest entry into the Club

  • FrescoFrigo Founded in 2018 with the aim of developing a whole new concept for retail that allows people to improve their food choices and wellness customer experience, thanks to (IoT) technology adopted to fresh and healthy foods.

At the end of 2019, the Club had roughly 40 Luiss Alumni as co-investors in the program. Their numbers have since grown to 50, and are now expected to reach 60 Club members by the end of 2020 –just two short years after launching the LA4G initiative.

Over the last 10 years, Luiss has proved itself as a dynamic and viable experience laboratory, offering a variety of innovative initiatives for startups through the fusion of entrepreneurship and innovation, foundational pillars of contemporary business ecosystems. “Thanks to the active participation of our extraordinary Luiss Alumni,” asserts Prof. Michele Costabile, “we were able to launch, select, evaluate and support Luiss community startups through a crowdfunding model that makes the LA4G initiative a truly unique smart startup investor.

Contact LA4G: info@la4g.it