Hi Andrea, nice to have you with us! Please introduce yourself briefly to our readership.

My name is Andrea Gattini, I’m 24 and I am the CMO of Filo. I met my co-founders during Innovation Lab, a 3 month startup competition that aims to create talent-preneurs. I truly love digital marketing, I’m passionate about Growth Hacking and everything I call Lateral Advertising: that means approaching advertising differently compared to mainstream strategies. Like Bill Bernbach says: “not being different in advertising is virtually suicidal”.


Could you please tell us more about Filo? What was the core idea at the beginning? How did it go until now?

Filo is a small Bluetooth device that helps you find your valuables in a few seconds with an app. You can attach Filo to the stuff you find important to you and find it with your smartphone by making Filo ring or just getting notified when you are leaving your things behind. When we started Filo, we were looking for a simple solution to a common problem. How to find things that we lose or misplace everyday like keys, wallets, bags etc? That’s why we created Filo! Until now we have delivered thousands of units in the B2C market. Very soon you will find Filo in the most popular electronic retail stores. In the B2B market we are closing a big deal with a company interested in embedding our technology into the Automotive Market. Even though we are a young startup we work just as hard as every company should do and we are seeing the results!


So you work on marketing for a B2C Internet of Things hardware product. Are there any insights you would like to share with fellow marketers concerning DOs and DON'Ts when you're trying to market such a product?

If you want to market a product you really need to test it among your potential customers, and you should also accept the fact that it’s actually impossible to deliver a perfect product. I believe if you are not even a tiny bit ashamed when you sell the first versions of your product, you must have been doing something wrong. Unlike SaaS solutions, hardware products are something that people need to bring with them to use it. Customers will interact with your hardware through every possible way, and you will have to delight any of their senses. This characteristic makes word of mouth more difficult to obtain, but also more powerful compared to SaaS products. So: DON’T wait to optimize the perfect and well-designed version of the product before launching it in the market. But DO ask your customers if your product is solving their problem. If at least 8/10 says yes, you have built the right thing and you can start the optimization process to make it really fancy.


You recently joined the Maker Faire 2015 Rome edition. The biggest one after the "Bay Area" and "New York" ones. Could you please tell us more about this experience?

Maker Faire 2015 Rome Edition was a great success for Filo! We realized a custom version of Filo with the MFR logo and we sold it at a special price for the occasion. At the end of the 3 days it was a pleasure to know that Filo had been the top-sold product (we overcame Arduino!). The chance to be present in such a great maker event is very valuable to learn more about your customer’s need. We learned a lot just looking at the body language of people buying our product from our stand in the Maker Shop.


Filo is based in Rome and especially in Rome we have a lively maker movement. We have Roma Makers FabLab, FamoCose Maker Space, Tech Hackathons, Arduino user groups and much more. What do you think of the makers movement? And what do you think could be a missing link between having a tech passion and starting a tech startup?

I think makers could become the entrepreneurs 3.0. We are speaking about people who are super-passionate about what they do and who often build unbelievable products just out of that passion. Anyway I also believe that it might still be difficult to find entrepreneurship skills among makers. Probably because often makers don’t build products to release them in the market or to solve a large customer’s segment need. I think it would be very interesting to link the maker movement to the tech startup ecosystem because I’m really convinced that this could mark the birth of a new kind of talented entrepreneur: the maker-preneur!


Thanks for your precious time Andrea. Would you mind telling us what you're working on right now and what are going to be some next steps for Filo?

They always told me that "if you stress data, they will speak”, so I’m trying to become a sort of mad data-marketer. Now I’m completely engaged with data, metrics and numbers because I deal with Filo’s online acquisition and growth strategy through our e-commerce for the B2C segment. Filo is keeping on improving its product with new features and we already started to work on a Filo 2.0, so stay tuned: I will keep you updated. It’s been great to share my time with you guys! Goodbye!

TWIST DIGITAL is the H2020 action, under the Startup Europe umbrella, that provides Transregional Web Innovative Services for Thriving Digital and Mobile to web entrepreneurs aiming at scaling up and competing in the global market around 4 interconnected web entrepreneurship startup ecosystems and hubs (Rome, Lille, Stockholm and Warsaw).
Startup Europe aims to strengthen the business environment for web and ICT entrepreneurs so that their ideas and business can start and grow in the EU. Startup Europe contributes to the Entrepreneurship 2020 Action Plan.
Startup Europe's objectives are:
  • to reinforce the links between people, business and associations who build and scale up the startup ecosystem (e.g. the Web Investors Forum, the Accelerator Assembly, the Crowdfunding Network) 
  • to inspire entrepreneurs and provide role models (e.g. the Leaders Club and their Startup Manifesto, the Startup Europe Roadshow)
  • to celebrate new and innovative startups (with Tech All Stars and Europioneers), help them to expand their business (Startup Europe Partnership, ACE Acceleration Programme), and give them access to funding under Horizon 2020.