Celebrating Italy’s Finest Computer Science & Software Engineering Students

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Copenhagen or Milan (Depending on travel restrictions)

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September 23-26, 2021

What is First Ascent?

First Ascent is an exclusive, all-expenses-paid, four-day retreat for twenty of Italy’s finest Computer Science and Software Engineering students.

  • Meet and measure up with other insanely talented young people

  • Test your technical skills with a series of complex challenges

  • Tap into the wisdom of experienced tech pros from top app developer Bending Spoons

  • Enjoy all the fun that Copenhagen has to offer!

Who organizes first ascent?

Leading European app developer Bending Spoons organizes First Ascent.

With more than 350 million app downloads, Bending Spoons is the creator of category-leading products like 30 Day Fitness and Splice. In both 2019 and 2020, the company was awarded the title of Italy’s Best Place to Work (50-149 employees) by the Great Place to Work Institute.

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

Why first ascent?
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Network with the best

Meet and collaborate with other incredibly talented students from all over Italy. Forge lifelong friendships and share your passions with like-minded peers.

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Take up the challenge

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

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All expenses paid

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

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Experience a stunning city

Discover the city of Copenhagen, a legendary Scandinavian gem, where vintage and cutting-edge architecture co-mingle to create a stunning backdrop for the retreat.


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:

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You’re an Italian university student or are undertaking a full degree in Italy.

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You’re currently pursuing a degree in Computer Science or Software Engineering, or you finished your degree within the last year.

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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 June 30, 2021.

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.

Applications open March 5, 2021