The first event to promote and spread the entrepreneurial culture and innovation in the Canton of Ticino was the BSI Award, intended for the best business idea, awarded from 2009 to 2013. From 2014, the BSI award became «StartCup Ticino, the prize for the best business idea in Ticino », awarded only to one winner in 2014 and 2015.
In 2016, the StartCup Ticino formula was reviewed, rewarding not only one, but the five best projects that reached the final stage. This new formula fits into the context of the indirect measures envisaged by the Law for economic innovation in Ticino.
StartCup Ticino was an initiative of the USI-SUPSI Start-Up Promotion Center (CP Start-Up) today known as USI Startup Centre, promoted by the Regional Innovation System, to reward the most innovative and promising new business projects, conceived or implemented in the southern part of Switzerland. The purpose of the initiative was to promote entrepreneurial spirit in the region.
In 2017, in order to improve the degree of preparation of the finalist projects and foster entrepreneurial culture and innovation, it was decided to offer to 25 projects, in collaboration with Agire Foundation, a coaching period lasting about 3 months. This period of acceleration was aimed at providing support to the development of the business idea and to increase the quality of the projects to be presented to the juries.
From 2018, the pilot phase of the first Cantonal accelerator become a reality and the entire program becomes Boldbrain Startup Challenge, which includes the accelerator as well as the final competition.