Salvatore Palella is an Italian-American business executive and technology entrepreneur. He is currently the Founder and CEO of Helbiz, a global intra-urban electric micro-mobility company, headquartered in New York City.
Born in Acireale, Sicily on September 29, 1987, Salvatore completed high school and moved to Dublin at the age of 17, getting his first work experience in the fast food industry. Following a series of impactful jobs, he attended business school at Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore in Milan, where he built his first company, Witamine, a vending machine operator serving fresh squeezed orange juice. In the following years, Salvatore became the youngest owner of a professional soccer team in the world, Associazione Sportiva Dilettantistica Città di Acireale 1946. He was president of Acireale Calcio from 2012 until 2013 when he decided to focus on his business endeavors.
In 2016, Salvatore founded Helbiz with the mission to solve first- and last-mile mobility needs in cities around the world. Through an innovative and scalable transportation rental platform designed for the sharing economy, Helbiz launched as the first shared electric scooter service in Italy in October 2018, paving the way for the legalization and formalization of the national shared micro-mobility decree. The decree implemented clear regulations for the usage of electric micro-mobility devices in the country and their execution across all major cities in Italy. Salvatore’s vision for this data-driven micro-mobility transportation business includes a focus on rider safety, the ability to reduce our carbon footprint and an approach that works in close collaboration with city leaders regarding regulations and deployment.
With over 400 employees globally, the company is proud of its local, on-the-ground expertise, with teams in each market it operates in. While Helbiz is the established market leader in Italy with over 1.5 million users in 17 cities, the company is expanding rapidly around the world, serving 24 cities with the United States being its second biggest market. Currently in seven cities in the US including Washington DC, Miami, Arlington, Alexandria, Atlanta and more, Helbiz is working towards an ambitious expansion plan by the end of 2020.
Salvatore currently resides in New York City with his fiancée and young son.