Innovation Village

Are you a startup and would like to participate in Expo Riva Schuh Innovation Village Retail? Read the announcement of selection and send your application.

1. Premise

Expo Riva Schuh is the most important international trade fair dedicated to volume footwear which will be held at the exhibition centre in Riva del Garda from 15 to 18 January 2022.

Organised by Riva del Garda Fierecongressi SpA, Expo Riva Schuh has been the point of reference for the world of volume footwear for years, and is recognised by the world’s most important manufacturing areas as the ideal meeting point for the massive international range which is produced in this product category.

The backdrop provided by Lake Garda adds value to the product range at Expo Riva Schuh by harmonising with the excellence of local produce and suggesting a different way of doing business: through meetings and exchanges with a business-leisure soul.

Within the event Riva del Garda Fierecongressi is organising a collaboration with Blum. Business as a medium and Retail HUBExpo Riva SchuhInnovation Village Retail, an award and an exhibition area dedicated to start-ups and innovation. During the event the best innovative start-up in the industry will be nominated.

Expo Riva SchuhInnovation Village Retailis the place where the innovation ecosystem can meet, discuss and compare experiences. A village open to start-ups, companies, institutions and professionals where they can share the culture of innovation and create networking and business opportunities among new arrivals and established players.

A selection committee will identify the finalists for the award, among all the start-ups presented as candidates, who will have the opportunity to exhibit free of charge at the Expo Riva Schuh Innovation Village 2022. The aim of the award is to help all the new entrepreneurial initiatives contributing to innovation in the footwear sector to rapidly make contact with industrial partners capable of bringing their products to market.

Participating start-ups will be entitled to:

  • Stand provided free with standard equipment by Riva del Garda Fierecongressi SpA including:
    • display screen;
    • desk + 2 stools;
    • personalised front desk with logo;
    • personalised panel with company information;
    • wi-fi.
  • Virtual display on Swapcard, the digital platform of the trade fair which allows our community to maximise participation in the event through a product catalogue with advanced filters and functions, the chance to make new business contacts, to arrange one-to-one appointments and collect onsite contacts with barcode reading technology
  • Distribution of promotional material in the Buyers Lounge
  • Publication in Foto Shoe 30, the official magazine of the fair.


The competition is open to all companies which innovate in the fashion retail sector or applicable to it. 

It will be advantageous, but not compulsory to enter the competition, to present an innovation (product or service) specifically applicable to retail in the footwear, leather goods and accessories segments. The applicability of the innovation  (product or service) also for these product categories is however an essential requirement.

The innovation project presented must therefore involve one or more of the aspects of the retail system in the fashion sector, whether in B2B or in B2C. So innovations (product or service) can be presented relating to all aspects of management, product distribution, sales data analysis for strategy, creation and management of both B2B and B2C clients.

Just as examples, projects may be presented on the following subjects:

  • Stock management
  • Sales data analysis
  • Logistics and lead times between production and retail
  • AI applications
  • VR and AR applications
  • Smart customer management (B2B or B2C) across multi-platforms
  • Systems for the improvement of the assertiveness of the offer at PoS in relation to fashion/sales trends
  • Integration of distribution formats in omnichannel systems
  • Management of hybrid (physical/digital) sales systems
  • Management of multi-brand retail wholesale

Among the projects presented the innovations selected will be dedicated either to large/medium retail, to small, independent retailers or to small chains in the fashion sector or otherwise applicable to the footwear, leather goods and accessories segment.

Participants are further invited to clearly define which specific problem/s the project they present aims to provide a solution for, and what results they expect to achieve (where possible quantified/measured).


2. Requirements, conditions and how to participate


  • Start-ups are defined as companies with head office in the EU founded in or after 2016 whose main business is strongly focused on innovative elements
  • All start-ups which offer innovative solutions applicable to the fashion sector and specifically to the footwear, leather goods and accessories segment
  • The start-ups which intend to enter the competition for the award have to complete the form published on the event website; all material should be submitted in both Italian and English languages.
  • Entries must arriveby 6pm on 3 December 2021
  • By 15 December 2021,a technical commission will select finalists for the award among the start-ups, who are called to exhibit their services and products within Expo Riva Schuh from 15 to 18 January 2022
  • When entering the competition, the start-ups are expressly asked to be present, if selected as finalists, at theExpo Riva SchuhInnovation Village Retail with a personalised desk made available by the organisation. The commitment to be present for the duration of the event is a requirement to access the finals for the award.
  • The start-ups are not required to make any financial contribution.
  • During the event each of the start-ups will have the opportunity to pitch and present to the jury and to the public. All the start-up finalists will participate in the event to elect the winning start-up of Expo Riva Schuh Innovation Village Retail.


3. Prizes

The overall prize for the winning start-up as awarded by the jury consists of the opportunity to exhibit at a free stand set up during the June 2022 edition of Expo Riva Schuh and to publish content/interview in the official fair magazine, Foto Shoe 30, due out in March/April 2022.


4. Contacts 

Segreteria Organizzativa/Organising Secretariat
cell: 324 5827909