Deep Tech Entrepreneurship and Smart Grid

Note: This Summer School programme has been cancelled.

Deep Tech startups, known for their breakthroughs in science and engineering, are attracting significant interest from investors and policymakers. The 2023 European Deep Tech Report highlights this sector as one of the most resilient in venture capital, with $15 billion invested in 2023, positioning Europe as a potential leader in Deep Tech. Deep Tech accounts for 20% of global VC funding and has one of the highest investment return rates at 26%. These startups, with their unique focus on applied research and scientific teams, differ significantly from other tech ventures in risk and development. Our summer programme aims to provide targeted insights into this sector, with a special emphasis on smart grid technology. This area exemplifies Deep Tech's impact in the energy sector, offering immense opportunities for innovation and development. Join us to explore the cutting edge of technology, where deep tech meets sustainable energy solutions.

Main Topics

Enhance your expertise in smart grid technology. We're dedicated to nurturing the next generation of innovators in this crucial field. Our program is specifically tailored for Master's and PhD students, young researchers, and professionals with a passion for deep tech and entrepreneurship. Focused primarily on the rapidly evolving domain of smart grids, our summer school is a unique blend of theoretical knowledge and practical application.

The curriculum is structured around three core pillars, each designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the smart grid ecosystem:

  1. Innovative Trends in Smart Grid Technology: Dive into the most groundbreaking research areas within smart grids, exploring how these advancements can lead to disruptive innovations in the energy sector.
  2. Entrepreneurship in Smart Grids: Gain insights into crafting robust business models centered around smart grid technologies. Learn how to navigate the complexities of turning a technical idea into a viable business proposition.
  3. Financing Deep Tech Ventures: Understand the financial aspects of launching a startup in the smart grid domain. We will cover crucial topics like venture capital, funding strategies, and financial planning for deep tech enterprises.

What sets our summer school apart is the hands-on experience you'll gain. You'll interact with experts in smart grid technology, successful deep tech entrepreneurs, and seasoned professionals from the venture capital world. Through these interactions, you'll gain invaluable insights and real-world perspectives.

The highlight of the programme is a comprehensive challenge: participants will form teams to develop and refine a business model for a startup in the smart grid sector. This exercise will not only hone your skills in innovation and teamwork but also give you practical experience in crafting a path to secure funding.

The programme culminates in a pitch competition where each team presents their business idea to a panel of experts. This is a fantastic opportunity to showcase your creativity and business acumen. The winning team will be honored with a special recognition award, celebrating their innovative approach and potential impact on the smart grid industry.

Join us for an enriching journey, where you'll be part of an engaging, insightful, and transformative experience, setting the stage for your future in the smart grid and deep tech sectors.

Intended Audience

The Summer School is open to Master and PhD students, young researchers and professionals in science and engineering, but also in business disciplines. This will allow us to have a multidisciplinary class and leveraging on different knowledge background to stimulate the creative strength of participants. Students will be immersed in a challenging environment where technology, research and business are mixed up together for crafting new ideas and business models of deep tech startups. As the programme has a focus on business innovation and entrepreneurship, there is no need to have specific technical backgrounds or any coding knowledge to join our Summer School.


The Summer School takes place at the University of Palermo Campus that is very close to the center of the city and to the UNESCO heritage locations. The University of Palermo is the biggest in Sicily and the 7th larger in Italy. Within the campus, students will have the opportunity to visit research laboratories and be immersed in an exciting ecosystem.

The city center of Palermo can be reached within 15 minutes by walking. Palermo is a UNESCO Heritage city, and the most beautiful attraction such as the Cathedral, Real Palace, Cappella Palatina are at a walking distance from the university campus. Furthermore, Palermo has a wonderful sea sight landscape such as the Mondello Beach, that is very famous for the Windsurf World Festival, that can be easily reached by public transportation from the city center. Finally, Palermo is a very reputed for the excellence of the food.


Palermo being a touristic city, offers several kinds of accommodation both in hotel and in bed and breakfast. Here the accommodations that are located at walking distance (within 20 min) to the Summer School venue:

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Co-Funded by the European Union