Fostering innovative ideas in education

Looking for bright new ideas
in learning and in teaching


Investment strategy

Zanichelli Venture is the Italian leading textbook publisher Zanichelli Editore’s 5M€ investment initiative, focusing on early stage edtech startups.

We think about edtech in the widest way: «from pre-K to gray», we’re looking for products to empower anyone – from children, parents, and teachers to adult, professional lifelong learners and their mentors and coaches – to learn and teach better.

We co-invest globally, following trusted, local lead investors.

We usually participate in pre-seed and seed rounds, but we’re ready to keep supporting our portfolio companies with follow-ons in later rounds.

We will support and finance ideas with the potential to have a positive impact on our future through education at every stage of our life. We will respectfully, discreetly stand by the entrepreneurs believing in these ideas, from the beginnings and, at least, since that impact leaves its first dent.

We care about each startup in our portfolio getting the full value a hundred years old education company like Zanichelli can offer, wherever our expertise can be a lodestar because of our history, our mission, our network, our resources; and we believe in getting out of the founders’ way otherwise, if we are not adding value.

We care about financial returns and self-sustainability and about bringing back collaboration opportunities, insights, innovative thinking and entrepreneurial energy to our company digital products designers, editorial staff and IT, searching for mutual advantages. Only in the long term, as we and the founders build trust through intense collaboration and shared stakes, and after a startup fully spreads out its potential as a maturing company, we believe in searching together for possible paths to a deeper partnership.

About Zanichelli Editore

Zanichelli has been in the textbook business in Italy for more than a hundred and fifty years.

We’ve published the first Italian translation of Darwin’s «On the origin of species» back in 1864, we invited Einstein in Bologna (where we are headquartered) back in last century’s Twenties, and we are market leaders for most scientific subjects in middle and high school textbooks.

We’ve been developing digital educational products since the late Nineties.



Zanichelli Venture hosts EdTechX Global Startup Super League’s Italian semifinal, on May, 18th in Bologna

Zanichelli Venture has worked alongside EdTechXEurope to bring the most important international edtech pitch competition to Italy.

The event will take place during University of Bologna’s StartUp Day, Italy’s leading event for youth entrepreneurship.

The winner, selected by these judges and the audience in attendance, will then receive the chance to pitch against 27 other startups in front of 900+ global thought leaders at the annual EdTechXEurope summit as part of the final Global Startup Super League Competition.

More information about the event and the call for participants (in Italian).



KiDE Science is a playful science academy, supporting children in their natural ability to wonder and question, developing play-based STEAM learning and resources to foster scientific thinking skills in 3-8 year olds.

KiDE uses stories and drama to draw out kids’ curiosity towards natural phenomena.

Every child will get to experience what it feels like to successfully experiment as they solve scientific puzzles and find answers to their own questions.


101 Edu is the next-generation active learning platform to drive STEM student engagement.

Chem101, its first product, enables instructors to engage students in the classroom, assign homework, and provide on-the-go reinforcement, thanks to unique design ideas thoroughly leveraging our interactive, mobile devices to the learners’ advantage.




Enrico Poli

As the director of Zanichelli Venture, I’m looking for nascent companies who are tilling daring ideas about education and technology and searching for pre-seed or seed funding to grow these ideas into products empowering anyone – from children and parents to adult, professional lifelong learners and their mentors and coaches – to learn and teach better.

Previously, along with a most awesome team of three, I sustained senior management at Zanichelli Editore in working out our digital strategy and I led the creation of a modern software house in the middle of our 150 years old textbook publishing business, as a sort of in-house startup.

I care about how people teach and learn, how they tackle complex or difficult information, how they get to solve problems together. I study the ways new technologies can help and not hinder them. Education offers a critical testing ground.

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Alessandro Camassa

As Zanichelli Venture’s financial analyst, I find the hidden stories in P&Ls and balance sheets, and I help the founders align their vision and their numbers.

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