There’s tons of events in the Barcelona startup ecosystem, you can find all the itnig events here.

Everyone that works in startups desire a strong, growing and inclusive community. It’s something everyone benefit from, founders, VC’s, developers, marketers, the list goes on.

How you perceive a community often depend on if you’re a local or not. In Barcelona the startup community is a good mix of both Spanish people and expats from all over the world, which is a great thing.

I’ve been a member of the startup community in the city for well over a year now, and I’ve been impressed by how inclusive and fast-growing it is. To help me analyze why and how the ecosystem has been growing, I spoke to a local expert.

Want to go fast or far?

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit is the CEO and founder of MarsBased, director of Startup Grind Barcelona, and the man behind the Slack group StartupBCN. As a local, he’s seen the community grow fast for the last years, and have recognized a clear difference between certain companies:

Some companies fail to understand that an ecosystem is a perfect sum of the actors that contribute. Go alone if you want to go fast, go accompanied if you want to go far, as the African proverb says.

Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit at Startupgrind’s two year anniversary in Barcelona this year.

Even though tech startups is dependent and built by developers, it’s important that all events isn’t exclusively for this group. Bacardit says entry-level events are key in building and growing a community:

Events provided by new startups or even public administration, where you get free non-technical content, not using acronyms or tech-jargon so people can start soaking the startup vibe and culture without feeling lost.

Too many “rockstars”

As Brad Feld wrote in the well-known book “Startup communities”, inclusion doesn’t just mean to invite as many of the people you think will fit into the community, it actually means everyone, according to Feld:

“Welcome everyone to the startup community. Everyone should have the perspective that having more people engaged is good for the startup community.”

Wise, experienced startup founders are essential in all communities that want to grow, but it’s important to not forget the youngest group of the ecosystem.

Young people who’s hungry for experience with their whole life ahead of them, and with“nothing to lose”, can be an incredible resource to a growing (or a stagnant) community. They’re often not limited by the same things as older, more experienced members of the ecosystem can be. Limited time, money, pride, are things young people more rarely have, and make them more free to be active and engaged.

Bacardit explains that even though the Barcelona ecosystem is getting better every year, there’s still too many older “rockstars”.

There is an established “startup mafia” which is everywhere, pulling the strings of the community. If you’re not friends with them, you won’t make it. The biggest pitfall is the conquer-all attitude of some companies that try to gain foothold within the community without caring about other companies.

The founder believes giving before getting, is the key to growth.

An inclusive startup community is where being a competitor does not matter. At this level, companies should partner more often than not, even if they’re competitors.

He continues:

If even Microsoft and Google or Apple partner from time to time, why shouldn’t startups?

Build something that lasts

In Barcelona we’re very lucky to have an extremely strong city brand, but not all cities have the world’s best football team, and millions of people coming to visit every year. If you don’t have a strong identity, it’s easy to start drawing lines to other places that have fostered world-famous entrepreneurs.

You often hear that cities brand themselves as the Silicon Valley of this or that, but if you want your startup community to develop in a healthy way and be a reference to other communities, I think it’s important to stay true to who you are.

For instance to call Barcelona the Silicon Valley of southern Europe would look good as a title in news articles, and create a bit of buzz, but to base your brand on your own talent and success is something that will last much longer, even though it takes more time and effort.

So if you’re part of a startup or a tech company you now know some of the things you should, and shouldn’t do. And Bacardit has one last encouragement to you:

I believe most companies should host an event or two a year just to learn what it can bring them, and how difficult it is. It’s a nice way to pay the community back.

……

This post was written by Sindre Hopland, media manager at itnig.

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A.

ALTERNATIVE PLANS FOR THE MWC WEEK AT ITNIG

The Mobile World Capital and 4YFN have been cancelled! Not only it’s a shame that such a great and needed week won’t be happening, but also it’s a problem for all the people that were counting on it, bought their flights, booked hotels and had everything set to enjoy and make the most out of it. 

Because of this, Itnig is organizing a series of alternative events, workshops and activities that same week. We think networking is the main reason to gather all the entrepreneurs and startup community under our roof. 

Here are the events and activities happening at Itnig’s MWC Alternative Week:

Startup Networking Breakfast – February 25 10:00-11:30

Enjoy breakfast and coffee in a networking environment full of interesting people.  Come and join us at our Coffice space for  some pastries, coffee, juice, fruits & more.  The ticket includes the  networking breakfast + coworking space for the day. Buy your ticket here

Boosting your code quality with clang tools with Carlos Jimenez Rams – February 25 19:00 – 21:00

This talk will cover some of the different clang tools and how these tools could help you and your team to improve the code quality.  Come to Itnig Coffice to learn more about this topic while also getting to know new people. This event will be free. 

Pitch to Investors SPECIAL EDITION – February 27 18:00 – 21:00

We’re hosting a SPECIAL EDITION for our weekly PITCH TO INVESTORS. This is a pitch session for entrepreneurs to explain their businesses to investors like Bernat Farrero (CEO @ Itnig), Jordi Romero (CEO @ Factorial), Albert Domingo (CEO @ Nextret) or Juan Rodríguez (CEO @ Camaloon). 

You can either attend as a regular attendee or pitch your idea to us! You’ll need to have your ticket in hand, you can buy it here

Networking Mexican Night – MWC alternative party –  February 27, 18:30 – 23:00

Parallel to our Pitch to Investors, we’ll have a Mexican themed networking afterwork. Come to our venue to meet other entrepreneurs and networking with micheladas, nachos & guacamole! Get your ticket here

Afterwork Beers & Networking February 28, 18:30 – 21:30

To end the week properly, we’re making our regular afterwork public! It’s always time for networking, so let’s enjoy a beer, or tow, together at Itnig Coffice. The ticket includes a drink

ATTENTION: Any day of that same week you can come to work in our coworking space from 15€/day. 

So, no time for corona virus fear, let’s enjoy a week full of interesting activities and meet new people to help the community grow! 

Stay tuned for more updates and information, if you’re interested in organizing an event, or if you’re a speaker and don’t have a venue yet, let us know! We’re happy to be able to host and help the community.