Who I am
This post is also available in: Italiano
Vincenzo Di Nicola
First and foremost, an Italian 🇮🇹
Mine is a story like many others that begins with the new Italian diaspora, yet instead wants to end by reversing this drain. I emigrated to the US as a young man, grew up professionally in Silicon Valley, and returned to Italy to create prosperity in my Country.
I received a Master of Science in Computer Science from Stanford University, the most selective and recognized as the best in the world for computer science. I also studied at the University of California San Diego, being awarded with Provost’s honors twice and continuing with a period of academic research studies. I earned a degree cum laude in Computer Engineering from Università di Bologna, the oldest in the world.
I have been a success story, told for years, as an intern at Yahoo! when this was the most prominent company in Silicon Valley. In the academia, at Stanford I have been an assistant of Mendel Rosenblum, co-founder of VMware, in his Operating System courses. I have led teams at Microsoft (both in the US and in China) receiving awards from Alex Gounares, former technology advisor to Bill Gates. I have been a pioneer in mobile payments, co-founding GoPago, a San Francisco startup funded by JPMorgan Chase and whose technology was then sold to Amazon.
In 2015 with Christian Miccoli I co-founded Conio, becoming the leading company in Italy for cryptocurrencies. Conio received a total of $ 20 Million in funding from financial institutions (Poste Italiane, Banca Sella, Banca Generali) and angels at ever increasing valuations. With Conio we have been the first in the world to offer integrated cryptocurrency solutions within a commercial bank (Hype, Banca Sella group) and we have entered a partnership with Nexi (the largest PayTech in Europe). In 2020, Gartner, the world’s leading company for the analysis and evaluation of technological trends, ranked Conio among the 5 most innovative companies in the world in the banking sector.
With Conio I brought real strategic competencies back to Italy, obtained patents from the US Patent and Trademark Office, created jobs with a high degree of technological knowledge, trained and given precious opportunities to many young Italian talents from the age of 16, generated professional and monetary wealth in Italy.
As a technical advisor, I have been a member of the group experts of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development tasked to help define a national strategy on Blockchain technologies. I am also a member of the scientific committee of the Republic of San Marino, assisting them on local Blockchain initiatives.
Cultural life and volunteering
I am proud of what I have built and keep building as a professional and entrepreneur. But I am even more proud of what I have built for Italy and for young people. And I want to continue.
I love the History of my Homeland. So I created the most extended digital History project in Italy, telling every day for 4 years on Twitter the “Great War” (Italian: twitter.com/lagrandeguerra; English: twitter.com/WW1fromItaly) and the “Feat of Fiume” (Italian: twitter.com/Fiume1919; English: twitter.com/Fiume1919_en). I want to thank everyone who followed, the 18-year-old students who contributed to the project, and Sergio Mattarella, President of the Italian Republic, for the honor of the invitation to the Quirinale.
Whenever possible, I teach courses of modern Computer Science geared to High School students, to make them masters of the technologies of the ’20s. And, above all, to ensure that these students are an active part of the world change, and not mere passive consumers.
Every year since 2008, I have been holding the Premio Di Nicola award. It is a competition for students of Abruzzi with a € 1,000 euro prize. I want to spur them to study Mathematics and make them aware of their skills. Many, way too many students in Italy fly low and from the get-go they deem themselves to be incapable: it fills my hearts to see when they realize the opposite, and then begin to look to the future with a brand new positive outlook.
Finally, I thank the United States of America 🇺🇸, the Country where I became an adult. Proud to be a citizen and, above all, to have learned the importance of helping the community that made you grow and the explosive strength of Courage.