An “entrepreneurial gymnasium” designed to bring university students closer to corporate culture and stimulate their creativity, passion, and resourcefulness

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ICARO is a complimentary training object aimed at developing personal growth and bridging the gap between study and working life. The interaction with companies allows college students to begin to understand business logic and approach the real world. The experience fosters greater awareness of the application potential of the course of study; the course, together with the col-laborative comparison with other students, facilitates the focus of personal attitudes and inter-ests.

How It Works

  1. Participation in the project is free. Applications are accepted between October and November by filling out the appropriate form.
  2. The teams will work for 6 months, supported by the Fondazione Golinelli staff and a group of mentors, experts in different fields. Participants will receive training and meet with teachers, professors, startuppers and entrepreneurs.
  3. Students will face real world challenges set by leading local companies allowing teams to explore a variety of perspectives, from that of customers, to those of collaborators and stakeholders.
  4. The didactic methodology implemented is that of project-based learning, which sees learning as the result of a real and personally significant experiential path.
  5. Following the final event, the teams with the best potential ideas will have the opportunity to benefit from an additional training period to further develop concrete solutions, pilot projects and business

The Project

ICARO aims to create concrete solutions to problems and challenges launched by local and national companies, with a view to open innovation. 

The scientific direction is curated by a faculty of excellence, made up of university professors, professionals and entrepreneurs.

ICARO was conceived, created and promoted since 2016 by Fondazione Golinelli, in collaboration with Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna (UNIBO). For 2020 the partnership has been expanded and renewed. In addition to the University of Bologna, the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, the University of Parma and the University of Ferrara have also become partners.

This new edition follows a pioneering path for the Italian ecosystem, combining the approach of design thinking to the lean startup: the first brings design around the concrete needs of man, the second proposes a design inspired by the scientific method of experimenting and testing hypotheses cyclically, using available resources more efficiently.

The training course is complimentary thanks to the support of Fondazione Golinelli and its partners.


ICARO, through an experiential path, aims to stimulate, develop and enhance different soft skills related to the entrepreneurial mindset, referring to the structure proposed by the European Union "Entrecomp: The Entrepreneurship Competence Frameworks: creativity, spotting opportunities, perseverance and motivation, self-efficacy, planning and management, coping with uncertainty and risk.


The multidisciplinary course is open to all university students of Bologna, Modena and Reggio Emilia, Parma and Ferrara that are currently enrolled and that can attend the entirety of the program.


Past editions of ICARO have involved companies operating in different industrial sectors as well as covering important issues from creating a new product for a specific market, to enhancing external communication; from rethinking organizational structure, to rebranding a product or service line.



Eugenia Ferrara

Head of Educational Programming

Giulia Bariselli

Secretary Coordinator

Chiara Cenerini

Program Manager

Anna Franzoni

Beatrice Starace

Edutech Specialist



Filippo Dal Fiore
Carlo Boschetti
Matteo Vignoli
Matteo Buferli
Gilberto Cavallina
Aurora Ricci
Alessandro Saracino

Scientific Partners

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