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Intangible capital as a core value for startups

Why should young companies also protect their intangible heritage? This is explained by Metroconsult, sponsor of Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta 2020

Intangible assets and intellectual property rights have become the real engine of the modern economy ("knowledge economy"). They are not only a differentiating element that influences the success of a product on the market, but if properly protected and enhanced they can acquire a real economic substance and represent a source of growth and funding for companies.

This is what clearly emerges from an analysis carried out by Ocean Tomo[1] on the evolution of the market value of the 500 largest capitalization companies in the USA (S&P500); in the last 50 years "intangibles" have acquired more and more economic and strategic value. Whereas in the 1970s, intangible assets and intellectual property rights represented less than 20% of a company's market value, today that proportion has been reversed. Intangible assets, such as the brand, the patent portfolio, but also the reputation of the management, the "know-how" of its employees and the partnerships with customers, partners and suppliers, count for more than 80% of the company's value. Tangible assets, such as industrial buildings and machinery, account for less than 20%.

This shows why these companies pay so much attention to the protection and enhancement of their intangible assets and in general to what is commonly called "Intellectual Capital".

If this is true for highly capitalized companies, it is even more so for startups that own few tangible assets and base their entire ability to generate value on "intangible assets".  It is therefore surprising when startups do not pay due attention to protecting and enhancing their main asset: inventive and creative power.

Metroconsult, a company specializing in intellectual property consulting services, has been working successfully for years with university spin-offs and startups, not only assisting them in identifying the form of protection that best protects the individual invention from possible plagiarism, but above all helping them to develop a culture of patenting and enhancing their intangible assets that helps them attract funding to grow.

Promoting a culture of protection and valorization of intellectual property has always been a point of attention for Metroconsult. With this in mind, the company has decided to support the 2020 edition of Start Cup Piemonte Valle d'Aosta offering startups participating in the "Metroconsult Special Prize", a prize with an indicative value of €6,000 provided in the form of consulting services for the protection of their rich intangible assets through tools such as trademarks, patents, design and other intellectual property titles.

For more information:

Felice Fulvio Faraci, President & CEO of Metroconsult


In order to compete for the special Metroconsult prize, it is necessary to apply for your project by sending the Business Plan, the Executive Summary and the Intellectual Property document by 6 p.m. on July 23, according to the template available on the "How to participate" page.

[1] Analysis conducted by Ocean Tomo, a merchant bank specializing in intellectual capital, which for more than a decade has been comparing the value of tangible and intangible assets of major companies listed on the Standard & Poor 500 (S&P 500), the most important North American stock index. For further information:

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