At itnig we do all kinds of events related to tech: dev events, marketing, big data, bitcoin etc.

When I started working at itnig this fall I knew I would arrange events, but I couldn’t imagine that I would host 25 tech events in 4 short months .

I’ve learned a couple of things along the way, that makes me certain the next 6 months of tech events at itnig will be even better!

At itnig we do events for several reasons:

  1. We like having smart (speakers & attendants) people at our place.
  2. We care about the Barcelona tech community, and want to contribute to its growth and quality.
  3. We want to show off itnig and our startups .

Speakers

The topic of your event can be super relevant, trendy or interesting, but if the speaker doesn’t have a “name” known in the community or work in a known company, you’re screwed. It’s the cold, harsh truth. I personally thought that if you have a topic that’s interesting, presented by someone with experience and merit, it would be enough, but it usually isn’t.

Having great speakers, that doesn’t really want to present will hurt the event (unless it’s Zuckerberg)

So if your goal is to attract a decent number of people to your event, you need to find a great topic AND a great (+known/semi famous) speaker.

However, don’t invite speakers that aren’t eager to share! You can always manage to convince someone really great to come present her/his experience, but if you have to struggle to convince them, or if you notice the speaker only attends because of having a hidden agenda (usually hiring) it could be reflected through the presentation. Make sure the speaker actually is looking forward to the event.

Also, if possible, try to book a speaker that hasn’t recently been around talking at other events in your city. You want the name to sound a bit exclusive. If you find it hard to find good speakers, don’t be afraid to find speakers internally, especially if you work in a well known startup or company, sometimes the best speaker sits just under your nose.

It’s not vital, but if you can, ask the speaker to stay behind after the event to chat and have a few drinks with the attendants, that’s always a huge plus, and makes the whole event experience much better.

Topics

How you choose your topic relates a lot to what your motivation is, what kind of community you have, and how big the startup ecosystem around you are.

One of the keys for me who’s hosting the events, has been to actively talk to our developers, marketers and product managers on what kind of topics they find interesting, or what new things they want to learn. This only works if your team actually follows trends and stays up-to-date with what’s happening in their field of expertise.

One of our best events last year was a Javascript Framework debate, which we did after talking to a lot of our developers about what they wanted to see.

Apart from this I try to get feedback from our community and of course follow thought leaders through social media and newsletters.

Make sure the topic has not been done by anyone else in the community, and if someone’s covered it, make sure you’re bringing something to the table. Tech is moving fast, nobody cares for hearing something twice.

No matter how interesting your topic is, try to always stay under 45 minutes. It’s just as important to open up to questions from the audience, than to lecture from the stage.

Attendants

So I’ve covered topics and speakers – two essential parts of every event, now over to the last ingredient — the people.

Refreshments (beer) is key. Or to put it more accurately, beer is the oxygen people breath at events, i.e an event without beer is like holding an event in space. Only very weird people that are super interested will show up.

You can never underestimate how important beer is for your event.

And even though these super interested weird people are great assets in all communities, you really need to appeal to the broader mass as well, if you want to build a diverse community.

To get people inside your events you’ll have to use an event-platform for announcing, informing and sign-ups. If you don’t have a big social media following, make sure your friends in the community help you spread the word.

We use Meetup which is great for certain things, but in some ways it’s a bit broken. With that I mean that most people that cares about tech (at least in Barcelona) are using Meetup and you can build a big community on the platform, but many people have little or no will to commit to events they press attend to.

This is an issue I’ve been talking with a lot of people about, and it seems like people are using meetup more like a calendar of events they are thinking about attending, and not something they’re definitely doing.

The best way to ensure that people are showing up, and not only pushing attend is to take a small symbolic fee (1–2 euros).

So, there you have it, hope to see you at the next itnig event! If you have a topic you think we should cover in 2017, let me know!

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V.

VCs come into action — Breakdown of Spanish investment activity of January 2018

January closes with €195.3 million investments in Spanish startups within 24 operations

  • The Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem is maturing thanks to investment rounds of more than €10 millions.
  • Barcelona and Madrid continue leading the Spanish ecosystem.


This is the first in a series of posts in which we will do an analysis of the Spanish startup investment landscape. We will look at the overall funding numbers and trends in the country month by month and compare it with data of the previous year.

What are the Spanish investment activities like on a month to month basis? What deals and volumes are we talking about? At what stages are startups prone to search investment and which regions in Spain attract the most funding?

The year 2017 brought us plenty in terms of innovation and investment activity within the area of technological startups, although Spain has been driven by political problems. The developments we have seen in 2018 so far are picking up at just the same fast pace.

January has closed with €195.3 million investments in Spanish startups within 24 operations. Of these funding rounds, highlights are the round of Cabify, Hawkers and Redpoints :

  • Cabify: The ride-hailing app that competes against Uber, has raised €143.3 million ($160) Series E funding round from a mix of previous and new investors, including Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity, Endeavor Catalyst, GAT Investments, Liil Ventures and WTI, as well as prominent local investors from Spain and Latin America.

When analyzing the structure of financing deals, the increase in venture capital activity in Jan-18 is noticeable in comparison with Jan-17.

#Deals and volume in the Spanish startup investment landscape in January


In terms of the number of deals closed, we have seen a slight downward trend in the country. With a broad participation of Venture Capital, there have been less deals but more capital invested in each transaction. The reason for such a boost is mostly the gigantic financing round of Cabify with participation of giants’ VCs like Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity and others.

The entry of European, American and Japanese funds investing in Spanish startups are accounting for a large percentage of the growth of the investments in Spain. At the same time, this global investment rise is making the average value of the financial rounds soar up to more than 1.5 times that of the previous year (without taking account of Cabify’s investment, that would turn this factor to more than 6 times the previous year)

The differences between January-2017 and January 2018 in terms of the increase in venture capital activity is shown below:

Startup investment deals by size of round


As we expected to see, the number of operations closed by investment size tends to a larger number in larger deals. While the number of deals of €500k or less have decreased considerably, the number of larger deals have gone up notably. This might be understood as an increasing number of companies maturing and reaching later stages of funding.

To properly ensure the aforementioned, in the following figure we show the breakdown of the investment activity by year of foundation of the company:

Startup investment activity (Jan-18) by year of foundation


Our previous statement is reinforced by this figure. The large transactions take place on established companies. In general, the more years a startup survives, the more established it is. As we observed, in average, the startups that were previously founded are those who raised more funding. That makes sense because normally an older startup has a bigger team and unless it has reached breakeven, it will need more funds to survive.

Startup investment deals by Region



Regarding the breakdown of startup investments by region, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia bolster their position in the top of Spanish regions:

  • Cataluña (mostly in Barcelona) stands with 9 deals closed and an investment of €19 millions
  • Madrid gathers 7 deals and an investment of €148 million (€143 million in Cabify)
  • Valencia up to 3 deals and €23 million (€20 million in Hawkers)

Operations January 2018: