In January, the American tech behemoth Cisco Systems announced a series of strategic commitments in Italy that will total $100 million over the next three years. Cisco signed an agreement with the Ministry of Education, University and Research (MIUR) to teach teachers and students through the Cisco Networking Academy.
Further, Cisco has formed a investment partnership with Invitalia Ventures, a national venture capital firm in Italy. Together with Invitalia, Cisco has the opportunity to bolster the Italian startup scene as well as get involved with the best startups in the country.
While the news has been welcomed by the many, few are connecting this with a tax reduction that Apple has received by the Italian government for their tax bill. One of Italy’s main newspaper “Il Fatto Quotidiano” reported on December the 30th that Italian Government agreed to get from Apple €318 million instead of the €800 million that the American corporation actually owed. In this negotiation, Apple might have included the opening of the new developer center in Naples.
Unlike Apple, Cisco has not received any reported tax breaks to enter into the Italian startup ecosystem. They have had to forage their own partnerships, like that with Invitalia Ventures, and are now seen as partners in the growth of the Italian economy. It will be interesting to see the number of tech interviews we can secure in the country as a representation of this new growth.