On January 24th, IE Entrepreneurship Club hosted Startup Grind Madrid on Campus. A fantastic opportunity to meet Antonio Cantalapiedra, former CEO of MyTaxi Madrid and get inspired by his entrepreneurship experience. Let’s come back on this event…

Start-up Grind is a worldwide community which aims to educate, inspire and connect people in the entrepreneurial sector. Their Madrid chapter, was born only three years ago when Claus Rosenberg encouraged the initiation. Along with Roger Berdayes and Gonzalo Torres, they were skeptical that it would work due to a lack of entrepreneurial culture, but they believed Madrid’s potential had yet to bloom.

All talks that Start-up Grind organizes, are centered around the speaker’s experience. The aim is to tackle key topics that focus on the speaker’s knowledge. Sharing the same ambition and mindset, Madrid Start-up Grind and Instituto de Empresa’s (IE) Entrepreneurship Club have partnered to promote the project. In fact, the famous Area 31 has held an event on last Januray 24th, hosting the ex-CEO of Mytaxi Madrid, Antonio Cantalapiedra. He is best described as an energetic leader who excels in leading change. He was at the reins of Mytaxi Spain because of his understanding of the market that allowed him to adjust the strategy and drive the company to success.
During the talk, Cantalapiedra underlined the importance of customers’ opinion and reviews; understanding their needs and problems is an essential block to ensuring the survival of a project.

In a recent interview, Roger Berdayes explained “the so-called ecosystem, refers to the entrepreneurial sector of a given place. When asked why they had chosen Madrid, he responded that unlike other ecosystems – such as Barcelona, London, and Tel Aviv (the last one being the biggest of them all) – Madrid entrepreneurs are of a different breed precisely because of the different relationship that they have with their investors. In other words, more developed ecosystems, startups hare a higher success rate because investors know what they are getting into. Whereas here, is the financial center, founding businesses are not looking to invest into high-risk projects; instead, they are stuck in the mentality of equity funding. They look for security and start up investments are all, but safe. That’s why we wish to encourage the latent talent that there is in Madrid.” The co-founder continues: “we look at the big picture and we want to improve Spain’s ecosystem as a whole. Barcelona in particular, is doing a fantastic job, their ecosystem is older, rapidly growing in size and quality. Madrid is growing its reputation, we seek to attract more founders from both outside and within,” Berdayes concludes.

Generally, about 25 percent of undergraduate students want to become entrepreneurs, although most of them approach entrepreneurship from the wrong perspective. They think it is about owning a company and earning millions. Berdayes pointed out that “If you are an entrepreneur you don’t focus on owning a company, because most of all, you want to solve a problem, and it involves creating a company in order to solve it. It requires determination and persistence; it is not easy, but it is the most rewarding and worthwhile experience.” concludes the co-founder of the Madrid chapter. Additionally, the way they spread information is completely unconventional. They offer all the tools to be a well-rounded entrepreneur, it is up to each one of the participants to take and cherish what they need.

On another note, Madrid’s economy is growing by three percent yearly. It is perhaps the only city that did not experience significant unemployment during the Spanish crisis. The bureaucracy in Spain is less than many Eastern European cities, yet still more than Saxon countries. If you are an aspiring entrepreneur in Madrid or in another City Chapter, Start-up Grind is what you want to be involved with. It is an engaging and useful, way to expand your knowledge and network. One of their recurring teachings is that failure is temporary and should not discourage you! Get reassured by the fact that other people are going through the same struggles.

The events, together with the events and workshops organized by the Entrepreneurship club, allow for the development and exchange of ideas to foster a growing entrepreneurial community on campus and beyond.

Stay tuned for our next events!

The Entrepreneurship Club’s mission is to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship among IE students. We focus on organising events that will inspire and help entrepreneurs, especially in the phases of deciding to become an entrepreneur and turning your idea into a real company.


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