Today’s startups are tomorrow’s IPOs—companies that will grow, become established and have an impact on the economy. And a venture capital advisory firm in Italy is urging budding Italian entrepreneurs to support the use of Sardex, a new currency based on bartering, in order to expand its use and help Europeans face their financial challenges.

The firm, dpixel, advises and helps both established and pre-revenue online startup companies, and it helped develop, the first and largest business-to-business trade exchange network in Sardinia. The site was founded in 2009 and currently serves 500 business owners, with hopes to double that number in the next 12 months. So, along with supporting the currency, dpixel has a vested interest in its success.

As the eurozone continues to struggle, affecting the global economy, exchanges and investor sentiment daily, representatives at dpixel urged their investors to fund Sardex earlier this year. They view it as complimentary currency and system, and as part of the overall solution to current economic problems facing Italy, saying that it will help businesses afford marketing campaigns, boost sales and stay afloat.

The representatives of dpixel, in an online statement made after Italian newsfeeds leaked their plea to investors, said they support the currency option in the face of “shortages of cash and high unemployment rates. The euro is shaking, dragged by the situation in Italy, and though we have a qualified government, we want to get in shape [for global investors].”

For example, a restaurant owner could provide a meal to one of the marketing or consulting businesses within the Sardex network. He can then use his credits to buy advertising or tech support.

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