From "Frisco" to Gualdo "for a handful of software"

Story of Marco Matarazzi and Andrea Sprega, 30-year-old talents returning from Silicon Valley

It all started in Gualdo, and everything came back to Gualdo. The heart of Umbria, you know, offers continuous surprises, including astonishing landscapes, good food, solid history, wonderful art and concrete culture. Passing through Gualdo Tadino, you may come across a building that at first glance looks like one of many, with a hardware store on the ground floor, and the usual tools on display. Still, climbing just one floor you can take a dip in Silicon Valley. It's exactly the spirit that Marco Matarazzi and Andrea Sprega, both computer engineers, both returned to their Country after a stars-and-stripes work experience. A spirit you can guess even from the open space, general headquarter to them and their small army of technicians. Kitchen with fruit and snacks fully available, small indoor gym, and go-go videogames, for this little Google of Umbria called Vendini, a design software house called "cyber paradise on the Apennine" by Confindustria.

Marco left Gualdo almost by accident, a degree in engineering from Perugia University and the assistance of a relative (information is power, and word-of-mouth is its prophet) for an internship in an American company that, shortly after, encountered problems in development of an iOS app. With 20 days to finally solve the problem, Marco remembered of his friend, Andrea, who in the meantime was finishing studies in Bologna. Andrea not only accepted the challenge, but had brilliantly settled it in the exact half of the time it took, earning a ticket to San Francisco. A year later, the company had offered both the opportunity to work remotely: a chance that made exactly the pair with their nostalgia for Italy.

It's been seven years since then. Today Marco and Andrea, italian talents returned home from Silicon Valley, have their own company in the very heart of Umbria. Average, 33 years. 20 computer engineers, all on industry-metalworkers permanent contract, selected in collaboration firstly with the Engineering Faculty of Perugia University, and more recently also with the Ancona Polytechnic. Because the local road network has improved over the years, and as a result, Marco and Andrea have expanded recruitment and investment. The Vendini army created Slope, a software for 360-degree hotel management, and on balance is doubling its ROI, year on year. "Going to the fairs to present our software, we always bring someone much older than us, even if they are not experienced of what we do" they admit in the interview given to, "because in Italy, many potential customers do not trust a company with young governance, and they don't stop at the stand if there is no adult person in the team proposing the product."

But ROI and results speak for themselves. And both, according to Marco and Andrea, come from a single element. People, real company heritage. "If at night an attacker came inside the office with a baseball bat, at most he would destroy a few computers, doing repairable and limited damage," they add, "the only irreplaceable resources are the people, the head and passion putting on everyday job." And they say, "bringing a human resource elsewhere, is the real damage you can do to a modern company." Brain circulation lessons from a small Google in the heart of Umbria. Come on, talents!