NUMA, a New York-based startup that helps other budding startups get access to the technology education that they need, helps New York’s tech industry get ahead by offering education on the latest innovations that can help them succeed. The business to business brand was founded on the ethos that we can all help each other succeed, and lives up to that idea in its startup acceleration programs.
We sat down with Giulia Imperatrice, the company’s Director of Acceleration at NUMA New York to discuss what the company does, as well as how it wants to help accelerate the global tech and startup industry by working on a small scale in New York.
Grit Daily: For the uninitiated, what does NUMA do?
Giulia Imperatrice: NUMA is a global education brand with a focus on content-driven programming for international startups and multinational corporations. In NYC, we run a 10-Week Soft-Landing Accelerator program to support US market entry for early and growth-stage international startups and “Learning Expeditions” that expose corporate leaders to industry trends through inspiring programming and networking with industry experts and innovators.
GD: What were you doing before NUMA?
GI: Before NUMA, I lived in London, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Turin and Milan, where I supported European VCs with deal flow, consulted early-stage companies on their business model, and helped startups launch operations. During my college years, I established a non-profit organization, SO.R.TE, that has over 500 volunteers to support families in financial need, foster care, and homelessness in Italy.
GD: How did you get started with NUMA?
GI: Our New York office was launched in 2017, and I joined the company in 2018. I was recruited specifically for my expertise in supporting international VCs and startups in Europe, which was in line with NUMA New York’s mission to support international startups with US market entry.
GD: What is a “soft-landing accelerator?”
GI: A soft-landing accelerator gives foreign companies a “soft” landing pad by integrating them into the local ecosystem, providing them with insider knowledge, and providing cultural guidance to help soften the transition and accelerate their growth in the new market.
GD: Why focus on growth-stage startups?
GI: Growing and expanding abroad, especially in a demanding market like the US, can be incredibly challenging and expensive! In our experience, it isn’t until a startup has reached growth-stage that they have the stability, both structurally and financially, for successful international expansion. We recognized that international growth-stage startups don’t know where to find the right resources and partners when they take on the US market, and that other accelerators weren’t addressing these issues. That’s where we come in.
GD: What’s your biggest professional and personal success story to date?
GI: I am a strong believer in the power of communities. From both professional and personal standpoints, my greatest joy and success comes from building strong, supportive, and diverse communities. Working in a startup accelerator like NUMA has been a game changer for me. To date, I have supported 300+ startups, 50+ at NUMA, who are successfully scaling their businesses in the US. From a personal perspective, my biggest success is having created a non-profit (SO.R.TE), involving over 500 students between the age of 16-30 who work to address major societal challenges like poverty, urban degradation, homelesness, etc.
GD: What’s your favorite part of working at a female-run accelerator?
GI: It is truly empowering to work alongside such smart and determined women and to be able to contribute to the stories of so many talented entrepreneurs.
GD: What is your goal for 2020?
GI: We have a lot of new projects for this year, both in the acceleration and innovation departments. My goal for 2020 is to focus on our education products and develop a new model to support ed-tech startups within the accelerator program!