Why invest in Milan? The story of a French startupper

Italy is the country where most of my business takes place and, after having been working in Northern Italy and living between Umbria and Emilia-Romagna, I decided to base my startup Youspa in Milan.

Being French and working in the beauty industry, I am always asked why I have chosen Lombardy, being France internationally acknowledged as homeland of beauty and the place where most of the famous brands in cosmetics where conceived and founded.

Lombardy actually can be defined too a homeland for the beauty industry, because it assembles products and devices, brands and OEM products, R&D and marketing services.

There is also another big advantage in doing business in the beauty industry in Lombardy: the region is also home for wonderful spas, having both the metropolitan environment and the natural landscape, combined with the presence of natural sources of thermal water.

I know Lombardy very well, having worked in the nineties for one the biggest group dedicated to professional aesthetic care products and solutions both for hair and body.

So, when I added to my traditional activity (consulting for the setting up and the management of spas and beauty centres) a new project, I saw Lombardy as the perfect territory where to base my business. Youspa is a startup dedicated to spas, where users can find the ideal spa all over the world and spa owners find promotional tools and services to improve their performance: we found in Lombardy the venture capital, the suppliers, the consultants and also the first partners, sponsors and clients.

It was in Milan that we conceived the alliance with Digital Magics, investor, partner and incubator for Youspa, but it was always in Milan that we found a very high concentration of media and journalists dedicated to beauty and tourism topics, together with web agencies helping us to develop specific IT features in the portal.

Milan is the epicenter of the startup scene in Italy and we also appreciated the international character of the city, representing also the “live in Italy” after the “made in Italy”. Around Milan, all over Lombardy, the business community related to beauty is very rich and populated mainly by SMEs and linked to specialized services. Lombardy is a leading territory not only for cosmetics, but also for wellness and fitness industry, where Lombardy is home for more than 25% of the Italian enterprises. Milan accounts for 3,538 businesses related to wellness and fitness and in the city in the first quarter 2016 around 200 new businesses have been registered, but also Brescia and Bergamo, having respectively 1,459 and 1,264 enterprises should be taken in account.


Régis Boudon-Doris

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