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Sellalab turns 8: training and support for businesses in the name of open innovation

Sellalab turns 8: training and support for businesses in the name of open innovation
A moment of BiDigital, the event organized by Sellalab in 2019, at Lanificio Maurizio Sella
12 Feb 21
Simone Marino

SellaLab the Sella group innovation platform turns eight: an important result of a reality that has been growing and consolidating over time. The company has six offices located in Biella, Milan, Turin, Salerno, Lecce, and Padua.

One of the best features of Sellalab resides in its ability to seize the latest innovation trends, ahead of times, in support of the growth of companies, and their open innovation and digital transformation processes.

2020 was a complicated year for everyone. Sellalab in its turn had to reshape its business model according to the events, and given what today is the "new normal". Since the beginning of the pandemic, all activities carried out by Sellalab evolved to be even more digital. The several events that took place every year in the local offices shifted to a webinar format. This evolution, further to avoiding direct contacts, allowed Sellalab reaching an even wider audience, thus contributing to the growth of its network and safeguarding relations, despite this particular period.

More than fifty digital events were organized during the year, involving over 7,500 participants. The fact of having converted forthwith classroom events into webinars, already in March, allowed Sellalab to keep relations alive with the community to which it addresses in Italy, and in particular in the Italian territories where its offices are present. 

The Padua office located in one of the largest and most beautiful historical squares in Italy, Prato della Valle represents a significant case. The Sellalab's activity in Padua started in April last year, during the lockdown period. It also was a sign to the territory of commitment, and trust towards the future. In the following months, these premises, equipped in line with measures set forth to contrast the pandemic were able to attract, and host co-workers in their dedicated spaces. Several additional requests arrived, throughout the year. This trend bodes well for a return to a "new normal".

Concerning the other existing co-working spaces, Sellalab refurbished them without delay, in line with the required safety instructions. This, although partially reducing the number of available desks, as a result of the distancing measures, on the other hand, has not prevented the company from continuously, providing its services to startups and professionals.

Turning to education, 2020 was the year of online training, at all levels. The topic of innovation represents an essential pillar for companies which, also due to the ongoing health emergency, find themselves forced to fiddle with their business model: from digital transformation to open innovation. It is to them that Sellalab caters for high-level training courses designed to provide managers and entrepreneurs with all the essential tools to rebuild the future of their business. A future whose rules were overturned in a very short time.

Among the many initiatives carried out in this area, the "Innovation Manager" training, aimed at CEOs and managers of Italian companies has collected the greatest interest. This led to the organization of 3 editions of it, throughout the year, and the training of over 45 managers and entrepreneurs. The course, originally designed for classroom use, turned out to be successfully delivered online. Indeed, the new webinar formula, including virtual lessons allows for better usability and greater interaction between participants and teachers. The success of this initiative is demonstrated by its fourth edition, starting these days, and the launch of the fifth, which will take place in April. Available places are running out quickly.

Training is not limited to classroom courses, such as those described above, but goes beyond the virtuous forms of an encounter between "the talent" and "the business", as it was the case for the OpenPMI course. A 4-month training, exclusively aimed at Italian SMEs, where talented, young graduates worked to identify innovative real solutions and projects suited to the needs of companies thus highlighting business opportunities not yet explored. The output of the OpenPmi paths is the creation of complete innovation projects, and relevant business plans, in response to specific requests from the company, following validation of the economic sustainability, and quantification of its financial needs. 13 companies took part in the initiative during 2020, even hiring some of the young participating talents. This, lays further grounds for the development of the future, thus allowing talented young people to take up employment, thus playing an active role in the innovation of Italian companies. The program is carried out in cooperation with the CRT Foundation (Cassa di Risparmio di Torino), Dpixel and in partnership with other third-parties, such as OGR Officine Grandi Riparazioni of Turin.

Although a very special year, therefore, 2020 pushed companies towards strong digitization, and confrontation with innovation issues. In some cases, it even "forced" them to evolve.  Sellalab, through its network, has worked alongside these companies to support them in this phase, help them facing the near future and the changes that the "new normal" will entail.

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