Nova Administrator

On May 4th, our friend and Harvard MBA class of 2009, Andrea Poffe, suddenly passed away due to a terrible disease. The news shocked our MBA community.

Andrea left a heartbroken family, a successful and fast-growing Italian business called Zero Gravity, and a void in all our hearts.

To celebrate his memory and accomplishments, his family and friends recently launched a crowdfunding to promote a scholarship in his name, and include and encourage talents from all backgrounds to spread their wings.

Andrea PoffeAndrea Poffe had just turned 40 as recently as April 8th, living in his Milan apartment where he was observing the strict Italian lockdown.

He leaves a significant void to the NOVA community as to many of us he has been a colleague during his tenure at Politecnico di Milano, McKinsey, Harvard or Morgan Stanley; and to even more of us, he was a warm-hearted friend, an avid sportsman and a passionate lover of life.

His outstanding professional track record took a sudden turn in 2011, when at the age of 30, Andrea abandoned his corporate career in New York; he returned to Italy to get closer to the world of sports and to find a more rewarding lifestyle.

He founded the Zero-Gravity sports association: the first freestyle gym in Milan, to train in intensive acrobatics sports that had been an under-loved niche until that point.

After an initial attempt encountered limited success, banking on his uncanny ability to rapidly learn and pivot his business based on insights and emerging evidence, Andrea re-focused Zero Gravity in 2013.

His turn-around aimed at expanding the core audience across a broader age range, with a greater training surface area by embarking on a large greenfield development: he went ‘all-in’ with his lifetime savings, courage, and significant bank debt exposure.

Today Zero-Gravity is a well-rooted success in Milan, with more than 10,000 members and plans to open two more locations in Rome and Turin by the end of 2020.

With a dedicated following of sportsmen and young families alike, it is a unique example of social innovation, spanning across disciplines such as: snowboarding, freestyle skiing, wakeboarding, parkour, artistic gymnastics, elastic trampoline, and aerial acrobatics.


The scholarship

Much as his entrepreneurial success has been made possible by great Institutions offering reduced tuition and scholarships, we would like to celebrate his life and accomplishments, by raising funds for a scholarship in his name and memory.

Please contribute, and help us inspire and support he next generation of young entrepreneurs by sharing the following link:

In line with Andrea’s academic curriculum, his family and friends are officially looking for ways to use the raised funds for a new Andrea Poffe Scholarship at the Collegio di Milano, at the Politecnico di Milano and/or at Harvard Business School.