On January 24th, IE Entrepreneurship Club hosted Startup Grind Madrid on Campus. A fantastic opportunity to meet Antonio Cantalapiedra, former Country Manager (CM) of MyTaxi Spain in Madrid and get inspired by his entrepreneurship experience. Let’s look at some highlights…
Startup Grind is a worldwide community which aims to educate, inspire and connect people in the entrepreneurial sector. Their Madrid chapter was relaunched three years ago when Claus Rosenberg encouraged the re-initiation after the project had been put on pause. Along with Roger Berdayes, Gonzalo Torres and Costanza Vanutelli, they were skeptical that it would work due to a lack of entrepreneurial culture, but they believed Madrid’s potential had yet to bloom, so they pursued.
All talks that Startup 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 Startup 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 January 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- 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 it implies. Whereas in Madrid, which is the financial center of Spain, investors are not looking to invest in high-risk projects; instead, they reluctant to move on to the venture capitalist mentality. 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-director continues: “we look at the big picture, and we want to improve Spain’s ecosystem as a whole. Particularly, Barcelona is doing a fantastic job; their ecosystem is older than Madrid’s, it is rapidly growing in size, quality, and team retention. Madrid is still at the stage of growing its reputation; we seek to attract more founders from both outside and within,” Berdayes concludes.
In a study conducted by the EDUCA 2020, produced by Gad3 and sponsored by where nine thousand Spaniards were interviewed. The results showed that one in five higher education students want to be entrepreneurs. In a similar study, only one thousand were interviewed, but the authors found that fifty-seven percent of the new generation wants to be self-employed. Forty percent also point out that being self-employed implies an element of self-achievement while twenty-three percent see it as a way into the job market.
Nevertheless, 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 might involve creating a company to conquer it. It requires determination and persistence; it is not easy, but it is the most rewarding and worthwhile experience.” concludes the co-director of the Madrid chapter. The way Startup Grind spreads information is 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 hubs, yet still more than Saxon ones.
If you are an aspiring entrepreneur in Madrid or another Startup Grind City Chapter, this event is what you want to be involved with. It is an engaging and useful way to, expand your knowledge and develop your 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 the upcoming events of both the Entrepreneurship Club.
The Entrepreneurship Club’s mission is to foster the spirit of entrepreneurship among IE students. The club focuses on organizing 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.
IE Entrepreneurship Club hosted Startup Grind Madrid in Area 31
Elena C. Broglia