You may not have heard of him, but 22-year-old Italian Matteo Achilli is quickly making waves in the European tech scene.
Egomnia, the career-focused social network Achilli founded in his first year of college, is getting so much attention in Europe that one magazine has gone so far as to call Achilli the “Italian Zuckerberg.”
Egomnia helps to match employers with job seekers who are best fits for the job. People who use the site can access rankings of companies based on how well suited they are to work there.
As of this month, Egomnia has more than 250,000 users and 700 companies accessing the site to find potential hires. And though Achilli still attends business classes at Milan’s Bocconi University, he’s also working on closing partnerships with such giants as Google and Microsoft.
Achilli came up with the idea for his company while in his last year of high school. Italy doesn't have a system of venture capital and incubators, so he enlisted the help of some student coders to build an algorithm. His dad was his first angel investor, helping him to reimburse the coders.
Achilli was a student at Bocconi University when Egomnia was ready to be unveiled. He made the most of the prestigious business school's network, and when the site launched in February 2012, 1,000 students and 20 companies had signed up by the end of the day.
Things really took off when Achilli appeared on the cover of Italy's Panorama magazine, who referred to him as 'Italian Zuckerberg.'
It wasn't long before Egomnia caught the attention of major global companies. Achilli, who recently turned 22, is currently finalising deals with Microsoft, Google, Vodafone, and Ericsson, among others.
As of this month, Egomnia has more than 250,000 users and 700 companies using the site to find employees. Here, Achilli meets with wellness company 6+, an Egomnia partner.
Egomnia quickly expanded its workforce, opening more offices like this one in Matera, in southern Italy.
Achilli has been expanding his business abroad, too. In March, he traveled to Singapore to meet with potential partners.
And the company has received requests to make the service available in Korea, the U.K., Spain, Colombia, Greece, Germany, South Africa, Nigeria, and Nepal. In just a few months, Egomnia will open an office in Sao Paulo, Brazil, its first outside of Italy.
Achilli says he plans to make the site available in English as well. He got a taste of the U.S. during a trip to Silicon Valley last summer.
He met with many startups during his time in Silicon Valley, including those based at tech incubator Draper University in San Mateo.
Back home in Italy, Achilli has spent a great deal of time in the spotlight. Here, he's being interviewed at Rome's RAI television studios.
And here he speaks with a reporter from Corriere della Sera, one of Italy's oldest and most respected newspapers.
But Achilli is sure to make the most of his downtime. He rides a scooter past the Colosseum in Rome.
Despite the success he's had, Achilli intends to return to Bocconi University in the fall. 'Sometimes I forget I'm 22 years old,' he told the BBC. Here he's seen working during the train trip from Rome to Milan, where he attends classes.
Achilli considers his youth an advantage, not an obstacle. 'Now we are writing the history of the internet. The real experts are the young people, people who don't have white hair,' he told the BBC. 'It's a very real innovation that a 22-year-old is doing this. At the beginning I thought my young age was not good, now I understand that my young age is my success.'
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