INNOVACTION STORIES: ANTONIO MUSUMECI, “WHAT MATTERS IS YOUR DESIRE TO DO, NOT NECESSARILY STARTUP”
Antonio Musumeci has been around startups since he was at university, which he finished about three years ago. In 2013 he attended InnovAction Camp,the famous one with team building on a rugby field under a downpour. Today he has his own consulting company, born from two different startup projects, and he takes care of digital marketing at the Working Capital accelerator in Catania. This is his experience as an entrepreneur.
It is never easy to work on your own projects and the one for my first startup was not successful. However, the experiences I had in that period were extremely useful in the world of work. I decided to attend InnovAction Camp after listening to the disturbing stories of some friends and co-founders who had participated in the 2012 edition. They all said that Augusto and Roberto had brought out the best in them.
Mostly it encouraged me to confront people from different parts of Italy. People whom I did not know and who had the most diverse stories. At the Camp you have five days to carry on with your project and you are forced to “pivot” all the time. It’s the biggest challenge because you have to push yourself and the other to do more. And you don’t necessarily have to go on with your startup. But in those days people get the idea that they want to be something else rather than an employee.
Here in Sicily we are trying to promote this idea, creating groups and associations, in order to spread this spirit especially among young people and urge them to do something, with their own strength, without someone else doing it for them.
InnovAction Camp was a wonderful experience, but there have been problems too. As in real life, there were people who were not used to doing what they’re told to do and changing your program unexpectedly is not easy. At the Camp you have to be 100% flexible or you won’t get to the end of it. I understood and learned so many things that came in handy when I started my consulting company.
My company was born from two different projects that were worlds apart. They shared people willing to do something here in Sicily and who refused to leave: Sportered is a wiki for sports lovers, where you can find all the useful information written by the athletes themselves; Startup Network is a platform that allows you to evaluate your social network. We put together ten people and we are working on these projects while we have our consulting business. Ours is not a startup per se, but it’s a group of people who aspire to have their startup.
I have met several of my associated through Youth Hub, a group that organizes meetings to explain young people what are the issues they will face in their projects and how to overcome them, we match people up who want to create a startup or extend their teams. This is helping us a lot because we put together people who want to do something here in Sicily, facing together all the problems we have. Several projects were born inside Youth Hub and they later became companies that have won prizes in several startup competitions.