The Tech Spirit Barcelona event, held in Barcelona from 24 to 27 February, attracted over 5,000 attendees, 44 entrepreneurs and more than 100 international investors. BStartup, Banco Sabadell’s support service for seed-stage and early-stage innovative tech companies, took part as one of the main partners of the event and contributed to the wide range of scheduled activities together with Banco Sabadell, InnoCells and Sabadell Venture Capital.
This one-shot event, organised by the entrepreneurial ecosystem on an exceptional basis following the cancellation of the Mobile World Congress and 4Years From Now, included more than 100 activities held in different locations in the city, with the Casa Llotja de Mar acting as the epicentre of this event for local and international investors.
Banco Sabadell has been supporting startups for over six years, in which it has so far granted over 280 million euros in funding and added more than 3,200 startups to its customer base. Its various platforms were present at Tech Spirit Barcelona, including BStartup, one of the main partners of the event, which served to bring together entrepreneurs and investors to share their plans and future outlooks.
BStartup’s director, Yolanda Pérez, highlighted the success of the initiative and Banco Sabadell’s contribution: “The city has once again shown its resilience and its entrepreneurial spirit. All public and private agents have joined forces to organise a spectacular event, in record time, which has welcomed out-of-town entrepreneurs and investors who have not wanted to miss the chance to visit the city in this year of impasse before the next MWC and 4YFN in 2021“.
.@yolandapss: “En @BancoSabadell estamos muy orgullosos de haber contribuido al desarrollo de #TechSpiritBarcelona. La ciudad ha demostrado una vez más su resiliencia y su espíritu emprendedor para organizar en un tiempo record un evento espectacular”. https://t.co/6vZfMsHsTx https://t.co/ONom9Ac7g2
— BStartup (@BStartup) February 26, 2020
Monday 24th, The Others
The first scheduled activity of Tech Spirit Barcelona provided an opportunity to introduce national and international funds to The Others BCN 2020, formed of entrepreneurial ecosystems from Valencia, the Basque Country, Galicia and Andalusia. José Carol, Chief Operating Officer at BStartup, took part in this activity, joining the panel of national and investors on “The Investor’s perspective (Local & International VC)”, where he highlighted the importance of moving away from the traditional locations of Madrid and Barcelona in search of a good deal flow in different regions throughout the country.
#TheOthersBCN20 #TechSpiritBarcelona | @Josemanuelcarol, dir. operativo @BStartup sobre cómo encontrar buen #dealflow ?️”El #VentureOnTheRoad, roadshow que impulsamos @seedrocket y @BStartup, nos permite conocer proyectos de gran valor en ciudades fuera del circuito tradicional”. pic.twitter.com/Zbp5NjZPrW
— BStartup (@BStartup) February 24, 2020
This event, held on Monday 24th, included two round tables with key players from the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Valencia, Galicia, the Basque Country and Andalusia. The first of these, “A vision of The Other ecosystems”, saw debates on the particular characteristics of these ecosystems and their distinctive advantages. It was moderated by Luis Gosálbez, Managing Partner of Metricson, and participants included Xabier Álvarez, Founding Partner of Lawesome, who highlighted the particular characteristics and strengths of the Basque ecosystem; Javier Mateo, Deputy Director of Entrepreneurship at València Activa, who spoke about the ecosystem in Valencia; Juan Jesús Velasco, Manager of El Cubo, who spoke about Andalusia; and Telmo Pérez, Chief Innovation Officer in Acciona, representing the Galician ecosystem.
The second round table, entitled “The investor’s perspective”, was used to share the views held by national and international VCs in relation to the Spanish ecosystem and why they find it so interesting and appealing. Participants included Javier Megías, President of Startup Valencia, Laura González-Stefani, from TheVentureCity; Anindya Saha, from Nero Ventures; Diego Recondo from All Iron, Jose Carol, from BStartup Banco Sabadell and it was moderated by Robin Wauters, founder of Tech.eu.
In addition, 14 leading startups from these ecosystems were able to present their projects to the jury and investors. Jeff won in the “Artist of the year” category, and Berba and Mox also received accolades.
Tuesday 25th, Casa Llotja de Mar, epicentre of entrepreneurship
On Tuesday 25th, Casa Llotja de Mar, the epicentre of TechSpiritBarcelona, began its extensive schedule of activities with the panel “Unicorns from Barcelona” where Óscar Pierre, founder and CEO of Glovo, and Maurici Prieto, co-founder eDreams-Odigeo, spoke about these two high-level tech companies, leaders in entrepreneurship in Barcelona and Catalonia, and demystified the Unicorn label. “When we talk about this category, we just mean that an investor believes in the vision of the entrepreneur. It is a fairly arbitrary label, which is just as likely to end up being given to a company that earns 300 million euros as it is to one that loses 1 billion euros”, said Business Angel Maurici Prieto.
#TechSpiritBarcelona Unicorns from Barcelona | @oscarpierremi, CEO de @glovo: “Gracias a nuestros launchers podemos conseguir una cultura unificada en los más de 22 países donde estamos presentes. Un punto clave donde reside el éxito de nuestra startup”.
— BStartup (@BStartup) February 25, 2020
They both highlighted the importance of corporate culture as a key pillar for a company’s success, as well as the positive situation enjoyed by Spain as an ecosystem. “Sometimes we are not aware of our geographical advantage that allows us to easily branch out into Latin America and Europe. If you are the first to enter a country you are already one step ahead of the rest and Food Delivery, with solid growth and service, works”, said Pierre. “Barcelona has a huge potential to create startups on a global scale, thanks to its quality of life, its entrepreneurial ecosystem and the commitment of its major companies and banks”, added Prieto.
eDreams was the first technological Unicorn Startup, established in Barcelona in 1999. Former employees from the largest online travel agency in Europe have gone on to help set up over 50 startups. Glovo is the most recent Unicorn, set up in Catalonia. The company is currently worth 1 billion euros.
#TechSpiritBarcelona Unicorns from Barcelona | @mauprieto, co-fundador @eDreams: “Me enorgullece ver que nuestros ex empleados han creado +50 startups, hecho carrera en grandes empresas o creado fondos de capital riesgo. Ahí vemos el efecto multiplicador de este caso de éxito”. pic.twitter.com/VblH64zXZm
— BStartup (@BStartup) February 25, 2020
Next on the BStartup agenda was Celebrando el Meetup, organised by LegaltechHub, the first global meet-up between companies and institutions from Europe’s LegalTech sector, in which Banco Sabadell took part and which aims to step up and improve the visibility of digital transformation in the legal environment on a global scale.
Yolanda Pérez, director of BStartup, explained that “our aim is to support startups and technologies that seek to streamline the legal industry”.
The final event was the Barcelona Startup Meet Up, organised by Wayra, with the collaboration of Marfeel, SeedRocket, Google for Startups and BStartup. Jose Manuel Carol, COO at BStartup, took part in the panel “VCs, corporates & startups: it’s a Match!”, together with Marta Antunez, Director of Wayra Barcelona, and Ignasi Capella, CMO and co-founder of Broomx, a startup specialising in virtual reality and partly owned by BStartup10.
“It is important to align the interests of the startup, the corporate and the financial investor or VC in order to ensure the successful outcome of the project“, Carol said.
InnoCells, the hub of new digital business and the corporate venture arm of Banco Sabadell, organised, together with Borsa de Barcelona, TreadEAsy and other firms within the sector, Fintech Spirit Barcelona, a ‘spin-off’ of the event aimed at fintech firms that consisted of a number of pitches, a networking session and three quality panels: equity crowdfunding, the relationship between fintech and banks and the influence of technology on investment markets. Julio Martínez, InnoCells’ Executive Director, was extremely positive about the experience: “It has been a privilege to enable an event as popular as Fintech Spirit Barcelona to take place, with the help of different key players in the city. We have gathered the best fintech initiatives in the country to add value to the space and environment which drive the sector”.
Wednesday 26th, Corporate Venturing
The Spirit Stage involved a round table on “A new wave in Corporate Venturing: different ways for start-ups & corporates to boost one another”. Moderated by Julio Martinez, Executive Director of InnoCells, participants of the round table included Xavier Capellades, CEO at Nomo, owned by Banco Sabadell, Jordi Pascual, head of POS terminals and eCommerce at Banco Sabadell, and CEO at PayComet, as well as Octavio Soler Bach, from Instant Credit, who shared his opinions on #CorporateVenturing, a new form of corporate entrepreneurship designed to make innovation processes more dynamic.
The Payment Innovation Hub (Pier01) hosted the Barcelona Fintech City Series, to discuss the ongoing innovation of the world of payments, which is opening the path to a cashless society. A panel of experts took part in the conference, one of whose members was Jordi Pascual.
The event was undoubtedly organised in record time and in exceptional circumstances, demonstrating the resilience and creativity of the local and nationwide ecosystem.