Civitanova Marche – 18/12/2012 – Fondazione Marche è entrata nella compagine sociale di Civitanavi Systems S.r.l. con un investimento di 200 mila euro.
Civitanavi Systems’ corporate mission is to become a European leader in the supply of solutions for inertial navigation (i.e. independent of terrestrial magnetic fields and GPS); technologies that find application in the sectors of maritime navigation, land transport, and in the vast world of mineral exploration. A fast-growing market that according to independent estimates will reach 2.6 billion dollars worldwide by 2015.
The operation is part of the “Start up Project” of the Marche Foundation, which aims to develop innovative activities capable of creating employment, a mission that the Marche Foundation has been carrying out since 2009.
“The decision to invest in Civitanavi Systems is based on the qualities of the team and is also supported by the entry of international strategic partners into the company’s capital – declares the Executive Vice President of Fondazione Marche, Mario Pesaresi – a fact that shows how the attention of foreign investors is high when there are projects of international importance”.
The operations carried out by the Marche Foundation are inspired exclusively by non-profit criteria. The founding members of the investee companies, in fact, have the possibility and the right to repurchase within an agreed period of time the shares subscribed by the Marche Foundation at the same subscription price, without any profit margin for the financing body. The Marche Foundation therefore participates in the business risk as venture capital, but not in any profits.
“To date, the Marche Foundation has carried out capital subscription operations towards five start-ups, for a total of 800 thousand euros – continues Mario Pesaresi – in addition, it has provided prizes for a total of 200 thousand euros per year as part of the E-Capital competition, the contest aimed at start-ups born from the university world. Since 2010, E-Capital has created 24 new businesses run by young graduates. The Marche Foundation has also allocated an additional million euros for scholarships in molecular medicine, so much so that the first ten selected, all young graduates from the Marche region, are already working in American research centers. That of the Foundation is a path that, by leveraging innovation, wants to make its contribution to overcoming the current economic crisis”.
About Civitanavi Systems S.r.l.
Tools for merchant maritime navigation and mineral exploration are the sectors that Civitanavi is approaching. To achieve its mission, Civitanavi has patented innovative technologies that will allow the company to revolutionize the merchant maritime sector with a product with a low production cost compared to the tools currently in use. On the employment side, Civitanavi, founded in January 2012, can already count on a team of seven employees – partners who hold stock options of the company and can therefore participate in the profits. Civitanavi is planning a strengthening in the commercial sector that will lead the company to employ an additional five resources in 2013. In 2015, according to growth estimates, there could be 50 workers employed in the company.
“The technologies of electromechanical gyroscopes, which currently dominate this market – explains the administrator of Civitanavi, Andrea Pizzarulli – have not yet been replaced due to the low purchase cost. Despite having a high maintenance cost, shipbuilders are interested in buying the tools at a low price, transferring the maintenance cost to the owner of the ship. Other technologies with solid-state sensors, on the other hand, have a high initial cost, but do not involve maintenance costs. The idea – continues Andrea Pizzarulli – is to offer the shipbuilder a system that, at the cost of traditional systems, does not require maintenance and produces a competitive advantage for the buyer of the ship”.
As for the mining exploration sector, in the Civitanavi business plan there is also the introduction on the market of the first autonomous, precise and practical product, for the detection of underground exploration drilling. It is a niche market where these technologies have not yet landed.
The founding members of Civitanavi
The partners of Civitanavi Systems have significant experience both in technology and in management.
Andrea Pizzarulli, 39, administrator and founder of Civitanavi, a graduate of the Marche Polytechnic University, worked for five years in Silicon Valley, California, within Terawave Communication, at the time the most funded among the start-ups in the San Francisco Bay. From 2005 to 2007 he worked for the Istituto Superiore Mario Boella (ISMB) in Turin. After the experience in the ISMB, he directed the advanced research department at GEM Elettronica in San Benedetto del Tronto. In the Marche region, Andrea Pizzarulli was awarded in 2007 the “Creatively” Award created by the province of Macerata.Mike Perlmutter (PhD at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology) at the end of the 90s founded a start-up, Fibersense Technologies, which represents a milestone in the development of inertial technologies. Fibersense was later acquired by Northrop Grumman (a leading U.S. defense technology company) for $43 million. Mike Perlmutter has invested in more than 20 start-ups as part of the “Common Angels” group of investors in the Boston area.
Who is Marche Foundation
The Marche Foundation was established by private entities from the business and banking world on 26 January 2009. It is chaired by Ing. Francesco Merloni. Its mission is to invest in innovation through support for start-ups and to provide international scholarships.