The series Startup in the Net collects interviews done to innovative startups which are part of the EmiliaRomagnaStartUp network and that ART-ER supports in their development process.
Before them, no one had combined IT know-how and structural engineering to assess buildings in case of earthquakes.
Builti is a spin-off of business skills founded in 2018, but that actually is the result of a long and articulate journey that started years ago when Enzo Castellaneta, TLC sales technician, during his years of work with the then Provincia di Bologna, found a project whose potential he immediately recognised even in its early stages.
“In 2008 the Provincia and the University of Bologna had defined a methodology to analyse all buildings in the area from a seismic point of view" says Castellaneta, one of the Founders of Builti. "This model proved to be valid: the 2012 earthquake in Emilia showed its efficiency in a dramatic way, putting it to the test”.
In order to become truly virtuous, the cycle the scientific research and the Provincia have initiated only needed an entity that could make that intuition, that was only on paper then, grow. At that point Castellaneta and Massimo Bava, General Manager of an important IT group, met and decided to take on this challenge.
“In 2016 we made a deal with the creators of what we continued to refer to as RE.SIS.TO. - Resistenza Sismica Totale and we decided to invest in the necessary resources to develop it further" continues the entrepreneur, Founder of Builti together with Bava and Luca Brozzi, CTO. "It's a rapid methodology that analyses the seismic behaviour of a building showing its level of safety through a chromatic scale from green to red. We basically defined a business model and, thanks to our skills, we developed the software that guarantees a standardised result independently from the professional using the tool and the structural characteristics of the building”.
RE.SIS.TO. is a multi-device software platform, that can be used from a smartphone, tablet or computer, and involves simple steps that require few but clear data.
“For people to use our service, we require compulsory training as the professional figure that handles it needs to be capable and certified" Castellaneta specifies. "Furthermore, purchasing our software isn't necessary: one can pay annual subscriprions to access training updates and for single use licences”.
It goes without saying that where no competitors were on the market, a product like this one immediately becomes very appealing both for professionals, who enter an international network, and for the customers, who can obtain standardised results and information from many experts thanks to the platform.
Amongst the benefits of this product there are certainly the net savings in terms of costs and time (-80%) and the possibility to identify priorities for action without over-ruling the preventive measures required by law.
“These first years have taken us to the development of three more methodologies - RE.SIS.TO. Plus and STATICO in the buildings department, whilst Bridgin-IT applies the same principles to bridges - thanks to the continuous and advantageous exchange with the world of universities, companies and professionals. 15% of our dividends is re-invested in Research and Development" the startupper highlights. "We look for skills in various fields - such as industry, public amministration and university - and we bring them together because this is the only way to make progress”.
Builti doesn't lack the ability to look further. There is a lot going for this startup which is a resident at the incubator Serre di ART-ER and is part of the Cluster-Built of Regione Emilia-Romagna.
“Thanks to the Cluster we can network with institutions, companies and universities, whereas ART-ER offers us the opportunity to face other realities like ours to look for sinergies" Castellaneta clarifies. "We are also taking part to the program Climate-KIC Startup Accelerator with a project that aims at evaluating separately on the one hand the risks caused by climate change, and on the other hand is able to predict the interaction between these elements: the final goal would be to formulate a methodology to manage emergencies in cities so that the Protezione Civile, in case needed, would have everything they need at hand”.
Obviously, a software alone won't be what secures a fragile estate such as ours, but in times like these, it is surely of great value to understand its characteristics.
“What we want to trasmit is a level of awareness: we place ourselves between not doing anything and a very complex evaluation, this way we can talk of prevention and awareness" Castellaneta adds. "One doesn't go to the doctor only when in need, but also to have an understanding of their general health conditions”.
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Author: Giorgia Olivieri, freelance journalist. Works in business development since 2003 having curated communications projects for Progetti d'Impresa, for BAN Bologna, for the Metropolitan City of Bologna, for Incredibol and for Almacube. She collaborates with ART-ER since 2017 on various projects including StartCup Emilia-Romagna.