A profound connoisseur of technologies, brilliant in discerning their potentials and industrial impacts, and in the markets, Elserino Piol was a prominent figure in technological innovation in Italy for over fifty years.
Elserino Piol

Venture Capital and Innovation in Italy

Elserino Piol played a pivotal role in introducing venture capital to Italy by funding new initiatives in the realm of the internet and telecommunications. As the President of Pino Partecipazioni, a position he held until 2013, he financed numerous startups, including Tiscali, Vitaminic, and Yoox, through the investment funds Kiwi I and Kiwi II.

From July 2006 to June 2015, Piol served as the President of Fedoweb, the Federation of Web Operators, and in 2016, he became its Honorary President. In this capacity, he closely followed and contributed to innovation in the publishing world, identifying risks, challenges, and opportunities for information in the digital age.

In October 2000, he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Business Economics from the University of Bologna.

Elserino Piol passed away at the age of 91 on April 17, 2023.

Elserino Piol’s Experience at Olivetti

Born in Limana, a hamlet of Valmorel in the Belluno region, on December 8, 1931, Elserino Piol, a graduate in electronic engineering, grew professionally in Italy’s most prestigious high-tech industry, Olivetti. He joined Olivetti as a programmer at the age of 21 and would leave the company as Vice President in 1996. Throughout these years, Piol held increasingly important managerial positions at Olivetti, taking on challenges posed by the rapid technological developments and dynamics in the international markets of the Information Communication Technology (ICT) industry for over forty years.

He was a tenacious and sometimes gruff individual, known for his flashes of genius and quick thinking. With the arrival of engineer Carlo De Benedetti in Ivrea in the 1980s, he was appointed Director General for Strategies and Development. In 1983, he contributed to the historic alliance between Olivetti and AT&T, leading to a period of significant growth during which Olivetti became the third-largest producer in the world thanks to the supply of the PC M24 to AT&T. In the 1980s, he also managed venture capital activities on behalf of Olivetti. In January 1992, he took on the role of Director of Operations for the Olivetti Group.

From 1987 to 1996, Piol was a member of the Olivetti board of directors, serving as Vice President from 1988 to 1996. During these years, he had the insight into the importance of mobile technology-based communications, which led to the creation of Omnitel.