Riccardo Donadon

Council member

Founder, Chairman and CEO of H-FARM

Born in Treviso, after graduating from high school he took a psychology degree course. In 1990 he started working with his father, but his great passion has always been the Internet, so halfway through 1995 he accepted the challenge to create a work crew whose purpose was to tell the story of the Benetton sports teams to the world. A few months later, the first Italian virtual mall (Mall Italy Lab) was born. In 1999 it was signed over to Infostrada and is still present in the commercial area of the Italian website Libero.it.

September 1998 marked a turning point: he left Verde Sport, together with the 8 people in his team, and founded E-TREE. With him, in just a few years E-TREE became the most important web agency in Italy. In 2001, when the company reached a turnover of 26 billion lire (more than 13 billion euros) and employed 160 people, it was sold to Etnoteam. In September 2003 he left E-TREE and spent almost a year looking after his garden, relaxing and thinking about new ideas.

In January 2005 he founded H-FARM, choosing the unique estate of Ca’ Tron, in front of the Venice lagoon, as main headquarters. H-FARM was the first company in the world to establish a model that includes education, investment and consultancy services. Today it is an innovative company that supports the creation of new business models and the transformation and education of people and companies in a digital perspective. Located just outside Venice, it hosts more than 550 people and is worldwide considered as a one-of-a-kind entity. On November 13, 2015, it was listed on the Alternative Investment Market (AIM) Italia, with the goal of sharing its commitment in helping young people and Italian companies innovate.

In 2012 he was asked by the Italian Minister of Economic Development Corrado Passera to guide the task force of experts that had the goal of improving the Italian framework for startups and promoting the development of new businesses. In 2012 Italia Startup was created: an association aimed at establishing a solid and competitive Italian startup ecosystem, of which he was President until June 2015.

In September 2016 he was appointed as legal representative of the Italian Ministry of Education, Universities and Research within the board of directors of the Ca’ Foscari University of Venice Foundation. Since 2016, he has been a Board Member of Fondazione P&R, Fondazione Università Ca’ Foscari and Endeavor Italy. Since 2017, he has also been an Associate of Ateneo Veneto and the Chair of the Board of Directors of H-FARM’s own HforHuman Foundation.

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