The project

Kilowatt is now beginning its fourth year at Le Serre, the metropolitan hub for innovation and  for the promotion of Entrepreneurial Culture, a place for start-ups incubation, coworking, exhibitions, training, events and aggregation, and services. A project – coordinated by Municipality of Bologna with the contribution of the Emilia-Romagna Region, the Golinelli Foundation, Kilowatt and ASTER – which comes to life in 650 square meters inside the Giardini Margherita.

The goal is to give life to a community of innovators in order to promote public and private programs, to organize inclusive cultural events and to offer the city a place for cultural growth, contamination, education and integration.

In order to create and maintain this ambitious project Kilowatt is investing about 400,000 €, with a 50,000 € co-financing by the Emilia Romagna Region. This investment is necessary in order to redevelop a public space received in concession for 15 years and to return it to the city after a long period of abandonment.


The model

Le Serre dei Giardini are based on a hybrid model:

  • on the one side Kilowatt works with institutional and non institutional subjects and with the public and the private sector in a place where companies, communities and informal groups are all welcome: Kilowatt works in partnership with the Municipality of Bologna, the Golinelli Foundation and Aster as an “incubator and community accelerator”, with the aim of working as a bridge between innovative subjects, without a formal structure, and more institutional ones.
  • the governance includes profit activities that balance non-profit ones, with a greater social impact but with a lower economic sustainability: this model makes it possible to maintain in both cases a public value and also to ensure maximum accessibility;
  • the shared spaces at Le Serre create opportunities for interaction and contamination between different worlds and people: entrepreneurs (social and not), startuppers, families, young people and even children, who can grow up in an educational setting designed especially for them with the best teaching materials and multilingual library. The so called “cobaby” is the result of a collaboration between Kilowatt and the Department of Science for the Quality of Life of the University of Bologna: the aim is to promote “cross fertilization” or, in other words, the mutual exchange of points of view, an approach that represents a tremendous value and constitutes the basis for metropolitan growth.
  • The hybridization between the public and the private sector and between profit and non-profit activities is the basis for a business model with a strong social vocation that guarantees the creation of value in a participatory way and a redistribution toward the community without being a burden for the public.


This model is an experimentation, in line with the evolution that social entrepreneurship is living, both in Italy and in Europe. The aim is to find new models able to respond to social needs and, at the same time, to be sustainable on the market.