Milano is the Italian city which best represents the Made in Italy industry, thanks to the vibrant ecosystem of showrooms, international and emerging design brands, events, academies and training institutes.

Over 9,000 firms, 2,000 professional designers, 54,000 employees and a € 14 bln annual turnover are the numbers of the industry in Milano where 8% of the registered businesses are led by under-35 entrepreneurs.  


The Design Week and its 1,200 side-events registered in 2019 386,000 visitors from 181 countries and 2,400 exhibitors, with an overall turnover of € 350 mln.


76% of the companies and artisans of the Italian Design&Furniture sector are based in Milano region. Thanks to its advanced digital infrastructure and innovative courses launched by the Polytechnic University, domotic and design-techs are at the forefront of the local industry.

8 design schools and a network of excellent institutes for artisans, ensure your investment to access the most talented pool of resources in the country.

Incubators & Accelerators

  • Cariplo Factory

Cariplo Factory is an innovation hub based in Milano, offering to high-potential start-ups training courses, entrepreneurial mentorship, open innovation projects, Venture Capital investment. 


  • LVenture Group

LVenture is a VC investing in digital start-ups, fastening their process of prototype development to the market: through its accelerator LUISS EnLabs, it offers two 5-months programs per year. LVenture also provides seed and micro-seed investments, open innovation projects with both start-ups and corporates. It is addressed to disruptive digital start-ups in design & fashion or health & beauty. At date, 70 start-ups with €120k average investment joined the group.


  • LUISS EnLabs

Accelerator of LVenture Group, it launches 2 calls per year for a 5 months acceleration program dedicated to disruptive start-ups, providing them with seed funds up to 160,000 € but also facilities, events and advisors for fundraising and networking.


  • IBM Studios

New home of technological and digital innovation by IBM, gathering private companies, local associations, institutions, universities, research centers, designers, students, on topics as Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, cloud, IoT e security.


  • IULM Innovation Lab

It is the new business acceleration program of IULM University, dedicated to students with innovative ideas. After attending the annual course in Lean Startup & Open Innovation, students can submit their high-potential business ideas to the Call for Ideas. Those selected will attend a training course on business, marketing and fundraising and will be supported through the whole process to prototype, with one-to-one sessions and pitch marathons.


  • FabriQ

Powered by the Municipality of Milano, it offers incubation services to start-ups with social innovative impact through public calls, helping them to develop projects with positive effects on the City and its community. 


  • Impact Hub

Impact Hub Milano is part of an international network with more than 100 offices around the world. Started mainly as a co-working spaces and community building provider, it has nowadays enriched its array of services, including incubation programs and impact investing for start-ups. 


  • InnoVits

InnoVits offers different programs in order to support entrepreneurship and professional growth of startuppers. The acceleration program started in 2010 and it is based on the collaboration of a strong community of professionals active in various sectors, from industry to design. Projects applied to the Calls for Ideas launched by InnoVits are then evaluated by its community and start the acceleration program with the support of a dedicated mentor. 


  • Make a Cube

First incubator and accelerator in Italy focused on start-ups with high social, environmental or cultural impact. It offers tailor-made support within specific sectors, such as social welfare services, housing and living, 2.0 manufacturing, arts and culture, circular economy, agriculture and environment, sustainable finance, education and training. 


  • PoliHub

PoliHub is the incubator of Politecnico di Milano and is one of the world top-5 university business incubators: 185 start-ups incubated in 2019 with €40 mln turnover and €20 mln funding. It selects innovative business ideas and projects and then offers an intense business empowerment program, supporting the whole process from the definition of the business model to the research of funds and the scaling-up. 


  • Talent Garden

Talent Garden is a combination of a coworking campus, industry-driven community and an educational institute that offers different kinds of courses for individuals, companies or SMEs, and provides them with innovation programs encouraging digital transformation.


  • Le Village by CA

Le Village is the innovation hub of Credit Agricole, that offers to selected start-ups not only co-working spaces but also support to the various challenges related for example to business model, fundraising, internationalization, through mentorships, events, networking and workshops.

Le Village hosts start-ups active in specific thematic fields, such as fashion, furniture and design, fintech, future mobility, pharma or sustainability.


  • Designtech

First hub for design innovation, will be located at MIND – Milano Innovation District in 2020 and it is addressed to startups that want to grow and corporations that want to innovate. More than 20,000m2 with co-working, co-living, co-factory and co-retail spaces specifically designed to support fast prototyping and adoption of new digital technologies. 


  • Start Lab Program

UniCredit Bank offers the acceleration program “Start Lab” to innovative start-ups selected among 4 sectors: innovative Made in Italy (which includes fashion and design, agrifood, nanotechnologies, robotics, tourism), digital, clean tech and life sciences. 

The program is characterized by one-to-one evaluation meetings, mentoring, networking and training by the yearly Startup Academy; the winners will gain money prizes and banking support.


  • HiHack – Call 4 Solutions

HiHack is the Open Innovation program of Hi-Interiors dedicated to the technological evolution of design. The 2020 edition scouts for and selects new solutions, products, technologies for the co-working spaces of the DesignTech Hub, which will be built at MIND Milano Innovation District, in the area that hosted Expo 2015.

Education & Training

  • Politecnico di Milano – Scuola di Design

Politecnico di Milano’s Degree Course in Industrial Design was the first of its kind in Italy, in 1993. Nowadays, its School of Design it’s the main international university for the training of product, communication, interior and fashion designers, considering both the number of students (+5,000) and of teaching staff (+450 professors, 400 research and teaching assistants). 4 bachelor degree courses, 7 master degree courses, a research doctorate (PhD) are based in Milano and one Master Degree Program on Naval and Nautical Design is located in La Spezia (Genova). According to QS World Universities Rankings by Subjects, the School of Design is 1st in Italy, 2nd in Europe and 5th in the world.


  • Istituto Marangoni

Istituto Marangoni offers a wide range of courses: undergraduate and postgraduate training courses, as well as short programs, in the areas of interior design, industrial design and visual design. Istituto Marangoni boasts a strong international network, the possibility to attend exchange programs abroad and an active alumni community. 


  • Accademia del Lusso

School of fashion and design, it is located in the heart of the luxury-fashion district of Milano. It offers high-level courses oriented towards the job market, training key professionals that will operate within the fashion, marketing, brand management, fashion design and fashion communication sectors. 


  •  Università Commerciale Luigi Bocconi

One of the best Economics&Finance universities in Europe, Bocconi offers a master program in Fashion, Experience & Design Management, held in English and dedicated to those interested in a managerial career within fashion, luxury and design sectors. It includes academic training as well as field projects, extra-curricular activities and meetings with companies. 


  • IED – Istituto Europeo del Design

Since 1966, the Institute is an excellence in design both in Italy and at the international level, thanks to the high level of quality in education, training and research in the fields of design, fashion, visual arts and communication.  


  • Accademia di Brera

Founded in 1776 by Maria Theresa of Austria, it is one of the most prestigious art academies in Europe and offers curricula in visual arts, (decorative art, graphic art, painting and sculpture), design and applied art (art restoration, design for business, new technologies of art and scenic design) and communication. It hosts 3,800 students, including around 1,000 from abroad.


  • NABA – Nuova Accademia di Belle Arti

NABA is the largest private Academy in Italy, strongly focused on design and its many branches though different bachelor and master programs and with specific summer courses, all of them held both in Italian and in English. 


  • ISAD – Istituto Superiore di Architettura e Design

Established in 1980 by a group of architects as a school entirely aimed at interior design, it offers both bachelor degree and master courses, on specific branches of design (i.e. interiors, gardens, and yachts design). It also provides short workshops and summer programs.   


  • Università IULM

Founded in 1968, the University expanded its fields of study by adding tourism, arts management and design to the first core on foreign languages and communication. Nowadays it offers bachelor, master and post-master programs and a variety of high-specialization courses on Design, as well as research departments. 


  • IDI – Italian Design Institute

The Academy offers high-level courses and master programs, available also online, on a wide array of design branches, such as interiors, transports, visual, fashion and green design.

Professional Associations

  • AIPi  - Italian Interior Designers Association

AIPi was founded in Milan in 1969 as a reference point for professionals such as project managers and designers; it is the only association in this category that qualifies the Interior Designer Profession.


  •  ADI – Associazione per il Disegno Industriale

Association for the Industrial Design, since 1956 it gathers designers, companies, researchers, journalists, experts, on design and on all the related topics: consumptions, recycle, training. It aims at promoting the best ecosystem for the design development, through cultural debates and relations with institutions and companies. 


  • AII – Associazione Italiana di Illuminazione

The Italian Association of Lighting was founded in 1959 with the aim of giving scientific, cultural and technical information about the lighting sector. Its members are companies, architects, engineers, designers, utility companies, professors, working within this industry. 


  • Assolombarda

It is the largest territorial association of the entire entrepreneurial system in the country; it aims at encouraging the development of the local industry, promoting cooperation among its members and giving support on occasional issues. Assolombarda is part of Confindustria (Italian Entrepreneurial Association). 


  • CNA - Confederazione Nazionale dell’Artigianato e della Piccola e Media Impresa

The Italian Confederation of Craft Trades and Small- and Medium-Sized Enterprises, born in 1946, has over 621,000 members who employ over 1,2 million people. The CNA represents artisans, business owners, professionals and small and micro businesses in the tourism, services, manufacture, artisanal and industrial sectors, including Fashion and Made in Italy.


  • Confartigianato Imprese Lombardia

Confartigianato Imprese Lombardia is the largest organization of SMEs and Crafts businesses in Lombardia. It promotes the value of artisanship; it supports and endorses the development of networks of companies and self-employment activities on the territory.  


  • Unione Artigiani della Provincia di Milano

Since 1945, the Union of artisans in the Area of Milano offers assistance, services and consultancy to associated artisans, helping them with all the administrative requirements and promoting products and job employment. 

Milano Design Districts

  • Brera Design District

The Brera Design District project promotes the commercial and cultural development of Brera, the first Italian design district for number, quality and density of showrooms.


  • Area Porta Romana

The aim of Area Porta Romana is to promote the design activities of the district, by organizing exhibitions, events and cultural discussion -not only during the Milano Design Week- giving visibility especially to young designers and small artisans.


  • Porta Venezia in Design

Porta Venezia in Design is the network gathering design, art and Liberty architecture, as well as the food&wine itinerary within the district of Porta Venezia. 


  • Lambrate Design District

From 2000, the district has seen a constant evolution: nowadays the area is the symbol of innovation, freshness and quality. During the 2019 edition of the Design Week there have been 100,000 visitors and 350 exhibitors in the 13,000 m2 area of Lambrate District.


  • 5VIE

5VIE is the collaborative project aimed at enhancing and promoting this historical district of Milano: a crossroad of workshops, crafts, galleries, shops and showrooms with an extremely rich artistic heritage.


  • Tortona Design Week

Tortona Design Week is the reference point for the design industry in Milano especially during the Fuorisalone, when it hosts over 200,000 visitors and more than 100 events. 


  • Isola Design District

Isola Design District is a territorial marketing project aimed at giving visibility to emerging international designers and local artisans during the Milano Design Week. 


  • 5 Giornate Dynamic District

Cinque Giornate Dynamic District is a new area in the city of Milan that uses design culture for urban regeneration through placemaking. It is runned by a group of professionals in the events and territorial marketing aiming at connecting inhabitants, tourists, shops, designers and artists, and offer exciting events.


  • Milano Durini Design

It is a joint project aimed at enhancing the design and lifestyle excellence of this exclusive district, which boasts 18,000 m2 flagship stores, 20 prestigious associated brands and 120,000 visitors during the 2018 Milano Design Week.


  • Zona Santambrogio

Since 2018 it promotes exhibitions and events -but also the cultural spots and the architectural attractions of the area- that take place in the District during the Milano Design Week, in order to enhance both the city and the local initiatives. 


  • Ventura Projects

Ventura Projects are curated exhibition areas that present the latest developments at the forefront of contemporary design. During the Milano Fashion Week, Ventura Projects are located in the areas of Stazione Centrale (Ventura Centrale) and Loreto district (Ventura Future).


  • Alpha District

Alpha District is a territorial marketing project, with the aim to give visibility to emerging international designers and companies. It is the former site of Alfa Romeo, along the road that connects the old FieraMilanoCity with the new one of Rho-Fiera Milan.

Main events

  • Salone del Mobile 

During the Salone Internazionale del Mobile, which takes place every year in April, many exhibitors along with the thousands of products are being unveiled for the first time, which makes it an extremely valuable event as an international showcase for creativity and a forum for industry professionals, with more than 370,000 attendees per year from 188 different nations.

  • is the communication platform related to the event Salone del Mobile which takes place in Milano every year, reference point for all the brands that launch an event during the Milano Design Week. 


  • Premio Compasso d'Oro ADI (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale)

Created in 1954, as an idea of Gio Ponti, it is the oldest and most important world design award, based on the evaluation of a committee of experts, designers, historians, journalists, ADI partners, that in more than 50 years has rewarded over 300 projects. 


  • Innovation Award of ADI Design Index (Associazione per il Disegno Industriale)

Every year the Permanent Observatory of Design selects the best Italian design products and publishes them on its webpage; only these selected projects can then apply for the Innovation Award ADI Design Index, which is dedicated to the most innovative projects, products or services. One of the three awards is reserved to young talented designers.

Online Magazines

  • Elle DECOR

Elle DECOR Italia is the international magazine about design, lifestyle, interior design, architecture and art trends.

  • Pambianco News

PambiancoNews is the most influential and popular on-line magazine in Italy, dedicated to entrepreneurs, managers, opinion leaders within the fashion and luxury sectors.  

  • Icon Design

Online magazine about design, architecture and art.

  • Interni Magazine

 Interiors and contemporary design magazine founded in 1954.

  • AD – Architectural Digest

Magazine collecting all the latest trends and key players related to interiors, art and design. 

  • Wired – design

Wired section dedicated to the main trends and news about design and architecture.

  • Living – Corriere della Sera

Living is the Corriere della Sera’s lifestyle magazine about interiors, design, lifestyle and Made in Italy, but also food, art, fashion and gardens. 

  • Abitare – Corriere della Sera

Abitare is Corriere della Sera’s magazine dedicated to design and architecture professionals, about the latest solutions and trends.

  • Condé Nast Italia

Multimedia communication company, owns 11 magazines and 7 websites on lifestyle and fashion; in Milan it organizes successful events in Milano such as Wired Next Fest, Vogue for Milano, Photo Vogue Festival, Vanity Fair Stories e GQ Best Dressed Men.

  • Hearst Italia

It is one of the main players within the magazine sector in Italy, owning, among all, Elle, Marie Claire, Cosmopolitan and Décor.