Marcello Petitta is one of the founders of Amigo s.r.l., a startup based in Rome, Italy. Amigo is the first Italian company working in the sector of climate services, an ever growing market in the climate change era. The core of the company is a handful of highly innovative data scientists and engineers coming from all over the Peninsula to live and work in the Eternal City. Moreover, Amigo has several collaborators spread around the globe, making it a dynamic and multi-cultural startup working at the edge of research and consultancy.
Can you tell us how the idea for your startup began and about your team, where you are from, and where you work?
After a few years as consultants, my co-founder and I realized that there was a growing market for climate services, and an increasing request for experts in climatological and meteorological data. Amigo is meant to fill this gap, and to use highly innovative techniques to translate climatological and meteorological data into ready-to-use information. When you talk about climate services, you imply dealing with Big Data. Diving into a huge amount of data is the first step, then it is necessary to extract the key information, and to visualize them into a user-friendly interface. To make things even more complicated, people and companies are mostly affected by natural disasters, meaning very intense as much as rare events. Amigo is specialized in spotting and shedding light on those events.
When we came across the Ubimet challenge within the EDI incubator, we got really excited.
It was about meteorological measurements, Big Data and weather extremes. Our cup of tea!
We are the perfect team to face this challenge, I thought. Marco Cucchi has a wide experience in extreme event analysis, Sara Dal Gesso is a highly qualified climatologist and modeller, Elisa Arnone has an extensive expertise with Machine Learning, and myself following the business and managerial part. EDI gave us also the opportunity to have Marco Venturini, an expert ICT engineer, joining us at Amigo. That was it, we were ready to go. Challenge accepted!
During the last few months you were completing the EXPERIMENT stage of EDI, developing your data solution even further. How has your startup evolved during this process alongside the EDI challenge?
The EXPERIMENT stage was the time when our product SOON came to life. SOON stands for Station Observation Outlier fiNder, and that is exactly what it is. I have to admit that Amigo grew with SOON. The company and the whole team got exponentially knowledgeable during the EXPERIMENT stage. Starting from a comfort zone, day by day the awareness and the curiosity to explore new technological solutions drove the product to a new
dimension and to be Big Data “compliant”. The aid of EDI was crucial for us to achieve this, not only for the fundings we received but also for the services, the support and the many webinars provided.
How did you feel when you found out that you’d made it through to the EVOLVE stage? What was it like pitching in Bilbao?
Incredibile! Pitching our solution in Bilbao was very exciting. We knew the potential of SOON, and wanted everybody to realize that it was ready for the EVOLVE phase. However, the level of all startup solutions was extremely high. So it was extraordinarily rewarding to be one of the 6 startups getting to the EVOLVE phase. Now, it is time to put thing into practice, get into the market and pay off the trust that EDI put in us.
What will be your focus during the last 2 months of EDI? What do you want to achieve?
The market strategy and the business development of our product SOON will be the main focus of our activities for the next two months. Within the Evolve phase of EDI, we will test the product with our clients, we will set our business strategy to identify new potential clients, we will disseminate our product. Testing the product with the data provider and other clients
will allow us to demonstrate the agnostic aspect of our tool. The ultimately target are setting a selling strategy, reaching new clients and increasing the value of our company, which aims to count on new investors.
Finally, what would you say to a startup thinking of applying to EDI?
EDI has been a great opportunity to address new challenges. We developed a new and innovative product thanks to a valuable co-design approach with the data provider, to the beneficial and exciting coaching sessions. EDI allowed the company to increase the number of employees and to further exploit the expertise of the existing team to respond to given challenges. To a startup thinking of applying to EDI, we would simply say: go for it!