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Swiss made technology chosen to protect the elegant Murazzi riverfront in Turin

Image of the Protego structure as it will appear in the Murazzi
Image of the Protego structure as it will appear in the Murazzi
Image of the folded Protego structure
Image of the folded Protego structure

USI Startup Centre

Trusttechnology, the Ticino-based startup formerly incubated at the USI Startup Centre, has recently won an important bid for the installation of its innovative self-assembling gazebos along the Po riverfront in Turin, in the elegant Murazzi district. The story of founder Tiziano Pili is about perseverance and devotion leading to entrepreneurial success.

The story of Trusttechnology started years ago. Tiziano Pili, unsatisfied with the painstaking setting up and pulling down of the cumbersome outdoor gazebos typically used as field hospitals by Civil Protection units, had an idea to innovate and to improve the existing technology. A trained mechanic, Tiziano set off to create his own company to develop a structure that would be easy to install and provide better protection against bad weather – but also comfort and style that meets the eye. Today, the 47-year-old Tiziano is at the helm of the startup company based in Stabio, Ticino, where he designed and developed "Protego", a line of smart self-assembling gazebo-like structure for outdoor use fitted with an independent central motor (powered by rechargeable batteries), allowing it to be fully opened and deployed – but also folded and stored – in a jiff.

Deal-breaking innovation

These innovative features were the deal-breaker in the Turin tender. The riverfront area of the Piedmont capital is, in fact, subject to sudden floods of the river Po, demanding that restaurants and bars pack their tables and other equipment without delay. The solution - Protego - complies with the flood emergency protocols of the city: it takes just a couple of minutes to fold a structure, in full-automated fashion, and the collapsed gazebo can easily be stored in a bar or restaurant with the rest of the equipment (a folded structure takes up about 1 m2 of space), until the flooding ceases – with no need for additional or specialised personnel to disassemble the structures. Trusttechnology will provide around 50 of its patented Protego structures that will soon be installed in the elegant riverfront “Murazzi del Po” district of the city – just as the bars and restaurants lined up along the river that crosses the city reopen after the lockdown.

The journey of a startupper

Tiziano Pili and his startup TrustTecnology is a dream come true, but also a story of hardship and devotion. A one-man-show at the onset, Tiziano began his entrepreneurial journey at SUPSI, where he spent a semester in advanced engineering studies, followed by Venturelab, where he enrolled in and through which he was introduced to the business world. Tiziano later gained access to the Tecnopolo of the Agire Foundation in Manno, where he established his firm. In 2014, he managed to obtain an international patent for his solution, followed shortly by the Swiss Made certification. In 2015, after taking part in – and reaching the finals of – the StartCup Ticino competition, the entrepreneur and his company Trusttechnology was admitted to the startup incubator of USI (CP Start-up, now USI Startup Centre). From then on, Trusttechnology has installed its innovative solution in over a dozen locations, mainly in Ticino and in selected locations in northern Italy.

“I believe that with the solution that I designed the market for temporary outdoor protective structures will change radically”, says Tiziano Pili. “The ink is still not dry on the Turin contract and already I am ready to finalise a deal with a large business entity in the nearby region of Asti, who is eager to invest in this solution”.