The software artisans from Sicily conquer New Yorkby Silvana Calcagno - 2014.03.21
EdisonWeb, a software company founded by young Italian entrepreneurs, is based in the hills of Sicily. The team is proving to be invincible thanks to a blend of innovation and sustainability that is fuelling a new model for mobility. Luca Naso, chief technology officer for the company, had a good education and a glittering start to his career travelling around the world – but he chose to return to Sicily, sensing the potential of a company that wants to exceed its limits.
The brains behind EdisonWeb define themselves as 'software artisans' because, as Luca explains “we take the same care and have the same passion as a craftsman who wants to make something with his or her own hands – and we have the same calm in the pursuit of perfection as a zen master. We are makers, people who create and get our hands dirty to reach the ideal result.”
Slowly but also with surprising speed, the small Sicilian company is conquering Italy, Europe and – it doesn't seem an exaggeration to say it – the world. They started with taxi advertisement, an ingenious platform that customises communication inside a taxi cab and improves the service. The idea was so clever it has been adopted in New York. “Our interest in sustainability developed progressively and from a marketing project we went on to develop a system to make public mobility more efficient and sustainable. The challenge is to beat the price of public transport, while offering a better service to users.”
How does this work? The Microbus is a cross between a bus and a taxi. It runs on fixed routes but is connected to a satellite geolocation device, which makes it flexible, fast and low cost compared to urban public transport. “The aim is to decongest the streets of major cities, bringing substantial benefits,” Luca explains. The whole project is sustainable from an economic point of view for the end user and environmentally because it uses low-emission vehicles. With less traffic, roads would be safer and only qualified personnel would be able to run the microbuses. Finally, the project also creates jobs: Microbus drivers become 'micro-entrepreneurs' who are self-employed and provide their own vehicle.
EdisonWeb's innovative idea has already attracted international partners and approval. It was recently presented to get access to funding from the European programme, Horizon 2020. Luca believes that entrepreneurs have a burning desire that drives them forwards: “We have to constantly fuel that fire and follow our passions. With a lot of effort and hard work, you can get results.”
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