Earlier this year, Europartner became a shareholder of our company, completing another step after thirteen years of a prosperous relationship and multiple collaborations. We decided to interview Edoardo Lucini, a Consultant and Business Developer in this company. Europartner was born in 1990 as a company that specializes in getting SME funding from National and Regional services. And we have been collaborating with them for more than ten years. Our story together started the best way possible, spontaneously. In 2007, Europartner was looking to give their clients a complete service to apply to the FP7 for research and technological development after a good client of theirs asked for the European financing opportunities. According to Luccini, to work in the right direction and successfully, you need to have technical capabilities and solid international team experts in European grants because of the complexity these programs have. And Inspiralia had all that. And around that time, Inspiralia with the Chamber of Commerce of Milan organized an event to encompass this subject. Edoardo recalls he went there and met Alfredo, Inspiralia’s CEO. Edoardo believes the first impression is what leaves a footprint on someone. At that moment, you know if you will have a long-term or short-term relationship. His first conception of Inspiralia was so positive that we never stopped changing lives from that moment. From the beginning, we started to have many successes together. According to Edoardo, some of the biggest hits are that we had many SMEs research projects funded, and Europartner received more trust from its clients. This service made them stand out among their competitors as they were the ones to offer the best European grant service in Italy.
But what is behind this successful relationship, apart from an excellent friendship. Europartner and Inspiralia have the same value line; Edoardo says the collaboration was effortless. They felt like they had found a company they could be in tune with. For Edoardo, the best part of collaborating with Inspiralia is that they have increased their knowledge and can understand the needs of our clients from an international view. Finally, Europartner concluded that when a client works with Inspiralia, it will be in the best hands. They were able to delegate the international part of their company altogether. After more than ten years of success together, they invested as shareholders. The achievements, the friendship that grew between our teams, and the feeling that we are like family is the secret behind this fantastic partnership. Working in the international markets is a great challenge. It does not depend on having the right team; it’s finding those unicorns in this world of innovation and changes. And in this part is when Europartner comes to action. They are constantly looking for those hidden innovators in Italy. The biggest challenge, according to Edoardo, is to find the right leads, the right companies, and SMEs. And change our minds, and get out of our comfort zone, the same way we had to learn how to transition from Horizon 2020 grant requisites to Horizon Europe. To learn how to adapt to different situations and learn new things. We have to become innovators too.
According to Edoardo, the network is critical when selling European grants consulting services. An example of this is how Europartner finds its leads through its robust and vast network of clients and associates of SMEs. And their clients, after seeing their professional and successful work getting grants, spread the word between their network and brought new leads. And day after day, its network grew. The SMEs association and business partners’ cooperation for Europartner cover 90% of their market in Italy. We are still adapting to the process and learning. On the other hand, they have to learn how to identify the startups and SMEs that are an excellent fit for each EIC grant opportunity. Some of the characteristics, Edoardo says, are being proud of the innovative product they are offering, having a market plan, and a clear strategy. When we talk about businesses and selling our services, Edoardo says that Inspiralia is one of the number one in Italy. We are the name everybody knows, and it’s like the Ferrari for European Program. The brand value is easy to sell on its own. That, combined with our success stories, makes Europartner feel like they are selling trust because they trust the professional achievements we can have together. But the true secret in selling our consulting services is, according to Edoardo, in the attitude we have. He says one of his secrets is his mindset. Even if he has already sold a hundred programs, he always thinks he is staring at zero. Every startup or SME is a white book, a new opportunity. It would help if you got out of your comfort zone.
From the experience of Inspiralia and Europartner collaboration, the learning process is crucial, and it will never stop; you must be aware of all the EIC updates. Also, don’t forget your clients; they can teach you how to be better, they could be ready for other opportunities, etc. We are looking forward to many years more of successes and changing lives together. What we have been doing is essential because it is the experience on which to base the challenge of today and tomorrow! But the most important victory is the one that is yet to come!