Art and Tech in Barcelona

by | May 2, 2015

Two weeks ago I found myself in Barcelona. That great beach city has a lot to offer and my trip focused on two: startups and art (wait for my post about Juan Miro!). I was invited by Google to attend the second edition of Google LaunchPad.

MediaTic, Barcelona.

Launchpad Week is a weeklong Bootcamp for early-startups (from ideas phase to more mature startups), with Product, UI/UX, Technology, and Marketing/Pitch days with the best experts in the local community. This week’s aim is to assist the startup to achieve rapid evolution in a limited time through the focused presentation, workshops, and one on one mentoring sessions with top-notch Google internal and external mentors. The Launchpad program runs in multiple countries on a regular basis and includes cities such as Tel-Aviv, London, Paris, and Madrid. If you are interested in future events checks the official LaunchPad website here.

I’m familiar with the startup ecosystem in Madrid and it was the first time for me to get to know the ecosystem in Barcelona; it was exciting to see what they have to offer. What I recognized as a key difference was that the Barcelona tech scene attracts and absorbs more international talent – more international entrepreneurs, mentors, professionals – this is, in my opinion, a big difference when trying to build a significant startup hub.

The event took place at mStartupBarcelona, a space located at the MediaTic and run by Barcelona Activa, an initiative by the local municipality to support the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. If you are thinking about locating your startup in Barcelona they are definitely a place you should check. At the entry level of the building, you have representatives of the local offices, who will give you the information you need in order to start. If you only need a place to work for a few days don’t hesitate to go there – the co-working space is open and free for everyone.

The intensive week ended on Friday and I got the opportunity to speak with entrepreneurs and learn from them about their experiences. I met Eric Marcos and Josep Coma Castelló, the founders of Dareyoo, an online platform that lets you and your friends create a bet/play game on almost any subject you choose and rewards you with benefits. I enjoyed the conversation with them and saw they are really committed to their ideas. If you have a chance, give it a try (currently it’s available in Spanish only). I also met Laia Tuzo, chief operations officer at SmartSea, the first complete and interactive guide on marinas and yacht clubs across the world – a very well-designed, very exciting concept.

Everyone I talked to was very satisfied and mentioned that this week changed the way they thought about their startup, customers, and products.

One curious aspect of the week was the documentation process of some of the startups. The documentation’s target was to create a business case that would present the change the startup went through during the week. The business cases will later be published, I have been told, for other startups to watch, learn from others, and know what to expect when joining this program. The business case documentation was made by Jaime Novoa, the founder of NovoBrief, an information and resource blog for the Spanish startup ecosystem. If you are interested in these business cases follow Novobrief and stay tuned – they will be published every two to three weeks.

If you participated in this program and want to share your experiences, ideas, and suggestions please contact me.

Pictures Source: Google LaunchPad Participants’ Twitter Accounts.


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