Celebrating Italy’s Finest Computer Science & Software Engineering Students


April 4-7, 2024

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Drop in your email and we'll send you a note before the application deadline.


First Ascent is an exclusive, four-day, all-expenses-paid retreat for twenty of Italy’s finest computer science & engineering students.

  • Meet and measure up with other talented young people
  • Test your technical skills with a series of complex challenges
  • Tap into the wisdom of experienced tech pros from top tech company Bending Spoons
  • Enjoy all the fun that Lisbon has to offer!

First Ascent is organized by Bending Spoons, a leading European tech company

Bending Spoons has served half a billion people since launching in 2013, with over 100 million using its products each month. An award-winning culture and international team have made Bending Spoons a top workplace in Italy and beyond.

First Ascent is completely free—all expenses, including travel, accommodation, and activities, are covered by Bending Spoons.


Network with the best

Meet and collaborate with other incredibly talented students from all over Italy. Forge lifelong friendships and share your love of coding with equally passionate peers.

Take up the challenge

Excel in a succession of stimulating technical challenges, each designed to bring out every ounce of your engineering expertise.

All expenses paid

Travel, accommodation, food, drinks, activities—it’s all paid for by Bending Spoons, sponsor and organizer of First Ascent.

Experience a stunning city

For the first time ever, the retreat is in the enchanting city of Lisbon, where a vibrant cultural scene, celebrated culinary heritage, and iconic architecture promise a captivating experience.

”We were promised a fun event, but reality surpassed any expectation.”
First Ascent Participant
”The event was fun and stimulating. My favourite moments were the great dinner with both Spooners and Ascenders and the conversations on topics like entrepreneurship and the latest innovation trends.”
First Ascent Participant
”Had lots of fun, was stimulated, had very interesting conversations, nice event overall.”
First Ascent Participant
”Overall a great experience, with amazing people.”
First Ascent Participant

Need a reminder?

Drop in your email and we'll send you a note before the application deadline.


Getting in will be tough—only the top twenty applicants make the cut.

We value an excellent academic track record, but you also score big by pursuing cool, tech-related and/or entrepreneurial side projects.

Here’s what it takes to become an Ascender:

  • You’re an Italian university student or are undertaking a full degree in Italy.
  • You’re currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering, or you finished your degree within the last year.
  • You love challenges and you’re eager to meet equally passionate, talented people.

The whole process takes place online. We’ll announce the successful applicants by January 2024.

A thorough selection process ensures that all First Ascent participants are exceptionally talented. From pure logic to complex programming, we’ve designed each step to shine a light on your talent.

  • Screening based on CV, motivation letter and academic transcripts
  • Online logic-based and behavioral challenges
  • Online Interview
  • First Ascent

Need a reminder?

Drop in your email and we'll send you a note before the application deadline.