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Two unicorns with Italian roots

  • 30 Sep 2021
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Donato Enoteca, Redwood City, CA


  • Special price for members. See the Membership page for details.
  • Regular (non-member) price. For the discounted price, first apply for membership.


Thanks for coming to this SOLD OUT event! Did you miss it, or want to watch it again? Here is a video recording. You can find more event videos on SVIEC's YouTube channel.


SOLD OUT  - Registration is no longer available as the event sold out.

For the first time, the Italian community can rejoice to have not one but two companies with Italian founders that have reached "unicorn" status, i.e. a valuation of over $1B.

At this event you will have a chance to hear directly from some of the founders how it all happened, what they learned through the process, and where do they see things go from here.

Loris Degioanni and Augusto Marietti

*** AGENDA ***

  • Introducing the SVIEC Foundation: why, what, and how you can help
  • A tribute to whom started it all: Jeff Capaccio
  • The importance of working together: Sergio Strozzi, Italy's new Consul General in San Francisco.
  • Two unicorns with very strong ties to Italy: an open discussion with Loris Degioanni & Augusto Marietti on what it means for them and for the next generation of Italian entrepreneurs.


Kong, founded by a trio of young Italians (2 from Milan and 1 from Rome) who moved to San Francisco, with a one-way ticket in 2009, raised $100M in Feb 2021 at a valuation of $1.4B.

Sysdig (founded by Loris Degioanni in 2013), instead, went through its last round of funding in April 2021, raising a total of ~$380M at a valuation of $1.19B.

The similarities between the 2 stories are plenty.

Both projects are B2B, both at the core of the cloud infrastructure, both evolved or “pivoted” over time. Kong started as Mashape, a marketplace of APIs, and totally changed its business model, whereas Sysdig was initially called Draios, did not contemplate containers or cybersecurity in their offering.

Most importantly, all co-founders have proved to be superstar entrepreneurs. With a precious mix of vision, technical abilities, and persistence – those founders embody the quintessential hustlers who can go a long way in Silicon Valley.

The proof is, both companies got backed very early on by the top Sand Hill VCs: Accel and Bain Capital for Sysdig, Index, and Andreesen Horowitz for Kong.

What now?

Reaching the unicorn status is not an end, but rather one of the stepstones of a successful entrepreneurial journey. Both Sysdig and Kong are headed to a much, much bigger future: while they already employ hundreds of people, they can grow in the thousand, if not tens of thousands – potentially after a successful IPO.

However, the wave of impact they can have can go well beyond.

They can create a generation of young professionals who have experienced the unique Silicon Valley hypergrowth. They will have the wealth, the experience and the passion to go on their own, as operators or investors, and try to emulate more tech success stories. And the cycle and its ripple effects will continue.

*** Safety Protocols ***

  • In-person capacity is limited.
  • Masks are required in the building.
  • We follow best practices laid out by the CDC and state and local guidelines.


Corporate sponsors - together with donors  including Founders Circle - help fund our Programs, so we are deeply thankful to them.



Partners support the SVIEC Foundation by providing free or heavily discounted products & services. A big Thank You to them!

The SVIEC Foundation is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Organization. Tax ID: 24-1468921. Donations are tax-deductible.

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