As BAIA turns one year old, here are five reflections of a founder:
- This week another important milestone has been reached by obtaining the official endorsement of the Italian Consulate in San Francisco. This was quite welcome since at BAIA, we are working on a daily basis to enhance and expand the existing BAIA network of affiliations and endorsements of BAIA. For BAIA, affiliations are not just a matter of credibility for the organization, but a core element of its mission: create and expand an open business network that can function as the premiere channel to innovate and connect entrepreneurs, companies and institutions between Italy and the San Francisco Bay Area.
- In the past twelve months, we have done important events and projects with the U.S. Embassy in Rome, Stanford University, Microsoft, Adobe Systems. We have addressed cutting edge topics such as corporate blogs, wikis, open source wireless to promote innovation in Italy. We have attracted highly qualified speakers, such as Ambassador Ronald Spogli, Arturo Artom, and Mauro Lupi.
- As a result of these activities, today, BAIA is a catalyst for educated managers, entrepreneurs and professionals in the 30-45 year range who reside in the San Francisco Bay Area and look for a professional forum where to share with others how to innovate and connect in California and in Italy. Web traffic stats show that we have thousands of visitors on the site each month. These are important achievements.
- In certain ways, BAIA is very similar to, and took inspiration from GABA (German American Business Association). GABA today is an international reality and the channel through which German business brings California’s innovation to Germany. Like GABA, BAIA’s strength lies in its dynamic membership and knowledge of the territory.
- In addition, BAIA has pioneered an “open source” governance model, in order to give participants the right set of incentives to join BAIA and yet maintain a system of checks and balances, so that BAIA remains independent and is not an instrument of interest.
After one year, all seems to be working well. Mission accomplished? No way, the challenge now is to take BAIA to the next level and make it a better resource for our friends in Italy!