On the 8 and 9th of April 2019, the city of Barcelona welcomed the international Startup Grind conference bringing together entrepreneurs, startup founders, CTOs and techies; to network, share ideas and build expertise. The team of itnig was present at the event and had the pleasure to meet many people, find out about new business opportunities and enjoy the experience Startup Grind provided.
The Event opened with the welcoming speech of Alex Rodriguez (Startup Grind Regional Director and CEO of MarsBased), soon followed by the interesting presentation on the Singularity Principles Applied to corporate business by Guayente Sanmartin (Vice-President and General Manager at HP) and the debate between Alex Rodriguez and Carlota Pi (Co-founder of Hollaluz) considering the development of bootstrap companies to fight the incumbents.
Laura Urquizu (the CEO of Redpoints) discussed with Vivien Magyar (Content Creator at Barcelona Startup News) about the growth of Redpoints since it’s launch (back in September 2014) and the use of technology innovation to grow the customer’s reach.
At itnig, we know really well about Laura’s story as she took part in the 59th episode of our podcast Startup Inside Stories.
Watch our podcast to find out more about how she grew RedPoints from 1 to 10 Million € in Annual recurrent revenue.
Laura mentioned that after the many years working as a board member in several companies, she decided to use her expertise to start her own company and grow an outstanding enterprise.
When asked by Vivian Magyar to comment on her leadership style, Laura mentioned that in such a fast-growing company like Redpoint, you don’t have the time to lose time. She considers crucial to trust her team and delegate the right tasks without having to think it twice. Laura outlined how crucial it was to align and trust your team. She envisions Redpoints’s team as very active, engaged and focused.
She shared with us how once it took her more than 8 months to find the right person to work within the team, as she wanted the perfect fit without having to make compromises.
Considering female leadership; Laura mentions that in her journey she never saw herself as a victim struggling but as someone trying to follow a very successful career. She mentioned that women should feel like they can and that they must fight in order to achieve what they want. To end the conversion on a serious note, she recognises how social media spreads superficiality among the young generations and considers that we should be focused on spreading good stuff with profound positivity and values.
This very interesting and productive morning was followed by a coffee break rich in networking, knowledge and new faces.
Mid-day conversations were focused on the venture capital and foreign investments in Barcelona and on the innovation debate between Jorge Herrero (Innovation and New Business Development, director at eBay) and Erik Brieva (CEO at Strands, President at BCombinator and 22@Entrepreneurs).
This long morning, took an exotic turn when the CTO of Zinio, Sergio Gago shared with the public how he travelled the world while building a business as a software developer. Sharing the difficulties of enjoying life, working away from the office while trying to scale a business.
Many discussions took place during the rest of the day around 3pm, It was appreciated to hear from the expertise of Eduardo Manchon explaining what made him the ‘’Grandfather of Spanish Startups’’ when he sold Panoramio to Google. Currently CEO of Mailtrack, Eduardo considers himself working within a marketplace of data-robbers and ‘criminals’ where scaling can be challenging. His Chrome-Extension is built on top of Gmail which makes it a sort of time bomb company in the case where Gmail would stop being the mailing empire it is today.
At the end of the afternoon, Startup Genome made their entry presenting their expertise considering Barcelona’s Startup Ecosystem, this is what we got out of it:
-Our city is highly connected between founders engaging higher startup performance. Barcelona was compared to a big neighbourhood where all founders know one another and where there is a real positive and engaging ecosystem.
-The number of hours investors are dedicating to startup development as highly grown in the last couple of years and the interaction between founders of our city and international hubs has highly increased, impacting how fast Barcelona’s startups are scaling.
J.F. Gauthier noted that Globally focused startups which have 50% of their customers abroad, tend to scale 2.1 times faster than nationally or locally focused enterprises; concluding that your revenue could potentially be doubled if you focus on the global market.
She used the example of Stockholm, being smaller than Chicago but yet having the highest rate of Unicorns per startup in the World; concluded by the link between their Global Connected and their growth.
Barcelona could soon be following the example of Stockholm as it’s Global Marketing Reach went from 24% to 40% between 2017 and 2019.
The outstanding presence of Smart Cities, gaming and Biotech technologies were also considered making Barcelona a clear European benchmark for entrepreneurship and startups.
2019’s edition of Startup Grind finished by the debate between Shruthi Chinladur (Leading EMEA at Criteo), Scott Mackin (CCO, OneCowork) and Juan Margenat (Co-founder and COO at Marfeel) discussing the importance of sales within startups pointing out the need to face customers, the need for feedback and a clear understanding of the customer’s experience.
To conclude, StartupGrind Barcelona was once again a great meet up for techies, startup founders and entrepreneurs that want to innovate and make the world a better a place. Thank you to Alex Rodriguez for the experience and all the hard work put into the organisation of this event by everyone involved.
See you next year!