It sounds like one of the typical “ilikeucoz” messages, but this time I dedicate it to a place I just discovered in its full glory and which really blew my mind. Actually, it’s more than a place – it’s a mentality, an attitude. It’s the coolest Italian start up incubator, named H-Farm. Where could a place with such name be located? Go figure, in a completely renewed farm in the middle of the fields between Venice and Treviso (this google earth image is quite old but gives the idea). A stunning and charming place, a smaller scale Googleplex, a place to fall in love with. In different circumstances I wished ilikeucoz was born there.
There are 160 people working there, the vast majority of whom from the numerous start ups incubated or participated by H-Farm. A real inspirational place, believe me. Not only Italy could use more places like that (not just for the place but for the mentality and the values it fosters), but UK too.
TechCrunch talked profusely about a London hub for start ups (here and here for example) and for sure there are areas where the concentration of start ups is higher (Old Street, Shoredicth, Soho, Bermondsey/London Bridge, etc) also thanks to start ups like Huddle, Moo and Last.fm which are hosting other starters. However, how cool would it be to have a place outside London where to group all these start ups and create even more synergies than those created by the buzzing networking events? After all H-Farm is 15 minutes away from 2 airports, 2 hours from Milan… a location around Brighton would be ideal. And the cost of living / office space would fall dramatically. I’m not saying that it must be done, but given my short experience at H-Farm I’m sure it’d be amazing and very productive. I was seriously impressed by each company I met there and I want to remind everyone that Italy is NOT the friendliest place on earth to start up an internet business.
Some pictures of the almost-surreal H-Farm HQ are here, but their site offers other shots and also a very nice video too.