Enel Takes Young Italians to Silicon Valley with BEST Scholarships

Published on Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Flying to the United States to learn how to establish and manage a startup in Silicon Valley – that's the opportunity that the Business Exchange and Student Training (BEST) programme offers young Italians under 35 for the academic year 2016-2017. Enel is a partner in the initiative promoted by Invitalia – a national agency for the attraction of investment and business development – and the BEST Steering Committee, an organisation whose members share the institutional goals of cultural exchanges between Italy and the USA.

We have been supporting the BEST programme for many years because we share its goals, and we are convinced that a country's future depends on its ability to promote young people's enterprise and will to innovate and build. We believe that opening up to new ideas and supporting whoever wishes to turn them into reality is the best way to facilitate the growth of entrepreneurship and technological innovation. This is why we offer young graduates and doctorate holders the possibility to give shape to their projects by placing our experience at their disposal and giving them the possibility to establish partnerships with companies and universities.

BEST scholarships  are offered to Italian university graduates or graduate students under 35, including those in possession of a three-year degree awarded under Italy's previous university system. The competition requires that applications should be sent before 31 March 2016, and the selection process is based on the expertise and knowhow of the Fulbright Commission, which will manage all the phases of the competition up through to selection of the scholarship recipients. When drawing up the final list of candidates to be nominated for BEST scholarships, the selection committee will give priority to candidates with qualifications in science and technology subjects such as biotechnology, nanotechnology, biomedical sciences, communications technology, engineering of aerospace and new materials, industrial design, technologies for environmental protection and energy production, art, fashion, and entertainment.

Scholarships include: 

  • university tuition
  • housing
  • a monthly salary of around $ 1,000
  •  health insurance
  • a €1,500 lump-sum reimbursement for return travel expenses between Italy and the United States and obtaining an entry visa to the United States

For the academic year 2016-17, the BEST programme will grant a minimum of 3 scholarships to attend three-month intensive courses in entrepreneurship and management at Santa Clara University, California, in Silicon Valley. The courses will be held from August/September 2016 to February/March 2017. The courses will be followed by a three-month internship at one of the US companies based in Silicon Valley. When the scholarship recipients return to Italy, they will take part in a related programme which will further develop their business ideas.