INNOVACTION STORIES: FEDERICO ZAMBELLI, “BEING AN Entrepreneur is an option that everybody has”
Federico Zambelli did InnovAction Lab in 2011. Not just the program, but also the Camp. He is 25 now, He is studying Economics in Bologna and is currently working on his dissertation, but once he’s done he will go back to startups.
Since I did InnovAction Lab I have been obsessed about entrepreneurship. Until then I did not know that everybody had the opportunity to have a company. I was convinced that I had to study, graduate, attend a stage and then start looking for a job in somebody else’s company. Thanks to InnovAction Lab I understood that anyone can have their own company.
In this period I am working with LmK Music Production, a project for music production that promises to become a startup. I deal with marketing and communication, while I am trying to finish my studies as soon as possible.
After attending InnovAction Lab everything changed in my life. To me it was a revelation. I had always thought that entrepreneurship was something for a small elite, for those who had the means to afford it. InnovAction Lab changed the way I looked at life. That’s why I left my studies in Industrial Chemistry and switched to Economics. I liked Chemistry but I could not see any prospects after graduation. I said to myself: “You know what? I could switch towards the world of entrepreneurship.” Right now, I would never go back.
When InnovAction Lab started I was thrown in a world that I did not know, doing things that I had never done before and talking to people that I had never met. It was a very educational experience, even if the startup project I had worked fell through. More than what I learnt during the seminars, the most important thing was the change in my attitude that InnLab has instilled in me. Previously I was too introverted, while now I have broadened my horizon.
Criticism, for example. I was very sensitive before and I struggled with accepting criticism. Now I listen to negative comments because I know that it can give me good ideas to improve. It is something that I would have never learned if I had not gone through the pitch sessions, where you are standing there in silence, while everybody criticizes you and you don’t have the right to reply.
Those where some tough moments. At InnovAction Lab everything is tough, but there was not a single moment in which I thought that it was not worth it and even today I can’t stop telling that to all the smart people I know.
In the four years that have gone by since I did InnLab a lot of things have happened and I am not just talking about the change in my studies. During my second year at Economics I met Daniele Gazzola at an event for entrepreneurs. He was there to pitch his idea and he was looking for an economist. I introduced myself, we met and together we launched CellDynamics, a biotechnological startup for which I did fundraising and lead generation. We applied to the Spinner competition and we got ourselves a grand for 50.000 euro. I have worked at CellDynamics for a year but then I decided that I wanted to go back to studying because I wanted to finish my university career and I was too far behind. Moreover, I had some disagreements with the team about how the project should evolve.
Now my main aim is to graduate. I would love to start my own company and I am working towards this also with my project of LmK Music Production.