illy call for innovation:


01 October
10 November
18 November
03 December
11, 12, 13 December


Passion and innovation, ever more personalised taste journeys. The passion for coffee and innovation will join in a framework that always gives privilege to many more paths of personalized taste, research and a constant strive for perfection. illycaffè S.p.A. wants to expand the world of coffee and its ecosystem by introducing a new business model that promises a transformation of the "out of home" and "at home" coffee experience. The objective will be to create a product-service, no longer linked solely to the consumption of a cup of coffee, but to services focused more on the person and their perception of taste.

Focus Area


Selection of services and products to expand the illycaffè S.p.A ecosystem and to offer an extended experience around the use of the cup of coffee. The goal will be to enrich the offers related to the consumption of coffee "out of home" and "at home", to engage the customer who will enjoy a unique, personal, but repeatable experience in every part of the world. Admixture with business models from other sectors will be considered an enrichment, a stimulus to creative thinking. Furthermore the purpose of illycaffè S.p.A. will also be to create a new community around coffee and its innovative vision: the cup of coffee will be the starting point for a new concept, proposals and ecosystem.


The call for Innovation wants to locate startup and SMEs able to develop processes and business models supported by solid technologies applicable to the sale of coffee. The final object is to guarantee a constant client satisfaction with any illy product in the world, focusing on a new coffee preparation system, that combines innovative functionalities in B2B market. In addition, the Call will focus on identifying startups/SMEs that are developing innovative content and services capable of involving the B2C market, thereby increasing the number of products dedicated to the end customer and consequently freeing the core business from being limited to only selling coffee.

Who is it aimed at:

It is aimed at startups/SMEs that propose solutions and new business models that can expand the functional aspects of the new illy coffee preparation system and its ecosystem with regards to the use of coffee "out of home" and "at home".

Technology Area

#Big Data #Data Analytics #App #Automation #Sustainability #Smart POS #Rewarding #Green economy #Predictive analysis #Robotics #Chatbot #IOT #Image recognition #Payments #Smart machine #AI #Mixed reality

How to participate

If you are an innovative startup or an SME that develops Business Models applicable to the sale of coffee in both the B2B and B2C markets, with the objective of making smart coffee through a New Retail Business Model, New Retail Ecosystem, Industry 4.0, fill out the registration form that you will find in the "Send your application" section. The module will give you the possibility of including a description of your startup or SME as well as supporting attachments.

The selection process 

After the application has been submitted, a team of experts will carry out an initial assessment and if the company is considered among the best, it will be invited via e-mail for the pitch of the 3rd of November, 2019. Invitations will be issued by the 11th of November, 2019.

Pitch day

The most promising startups and SMEs, selected at the end of the Call For Innovation, will be able to present their project on the 3rd of December, 2019 at the headquarters of illycaffè S.p.A. in Trieste, Via Flavia 110, 34147. There is a reimbursement of expenses for participation in the Innovation Day and the Co-design phase.


The co-design programme involves participation in three days of work, from the 11th to the 13th of December 2019. The finalists, supported by the managers illycaffè S.p.A. and Digital Magics, will work on the definition of a joint project. The projects will therefore be aimed at defining a service, possible technological integration, a business model and a go to market strategy. illycaffè S.p.A. and Digital Magics will provide the selected companies with the necessary know-how to define a route to integration between the project proposed during the Call (The new aroma of innovation) and the specificities of illycaffè S.p.A. At the end of the Co-design Phase, illycaffè S.p.A. and Digital Magics will evaluate the solutions that emerged during the meetings, resulting in the opportunity to create commercial and technological partnerships between illycaffè S.p.A. the selected companies. The Co-design Phase will be held in Trieste, at the headquarters of illycaffè S.p.A. which will allow for reimbursement of expenses.

“illy call for innovation: THE NEW AROMA OF INNOVATION“ RULES