Its name is “Start-Up Valley” and it is the new initiative launched by Cematex, the European Committee of Textile Machinery Manufacturers, to support start-ups and to facilitate their participation to ITMA, the world’s largest textile machinery manufacturers exhibition, that will take place in Milan, Italy, on June 8-14 2023.

Start-Up Valley will allow selected young enterprises with solutions for the Textile and Garment Industry to exhibit in a dedicated area of ITMA thanks to a grant provided by Cematex that will cover the rental costs of a special design stand and fittings, as well as entitlements such as business matching. In addition to exhibiting at ITMA 2023, Start-Up Valley exhibitors can also participate in various onsite activities, including speaking at the Innovator Xchange and participating in the ITMA Sustainable Innovation Award and Innovation Video Showcase.

«We are excited to launch this initiative to attract innovative start-ups to ITMA 2023» said Cematex president Ernesto Maurer. «The Start-Up Valley will be a good complement to the ITMA Research and Innovation Lab. As the largest textile technology exhibition attracting leading textile and garment manufacturers from around the world, ITMA offers young entrepreneurs a useful platform to put their innovations in front of a global audience, to find investors and collaborators and to leverage Industry connections and professional networks».

The deadline to apply for the Cematex grant is 30 June 2022; start-ups must have a product to be eligible for it or service that is within ITMA 2023’s exhibit profile. The company should also be incorporated for not more than eight years and has either generated revenue for at least a year or raised capital from investors or grants from other incubator programmes. An essential selection criterion is the environmental, economic and/or disruptive impact of the innovation, solution or product.

Additional criteria include the scalability of the innovation and its relevance to ITMA’s theme: Transforming the World of Textiles, and the 4 trending topics:

  • advanced materials;
  • automation and digital future;
  • sustainability and circularity;
  • innovative technologies.

A panel of Industry experts has been invited to form the selection committee to evaluate the start-ups. It comprises: