We were at the EU - Startups Summit in Barcelona for the first time. We had already heard many positive opinions about this conference before, so we’ve decided to find out for ourselves this year. And now we can say - It was worth it. We have prepared a short summary with a lot of interesting insights. Welcome!
Workshops. How to growth, how to build a winning team and how to find investors
The workshops we attended made a great impression on us. Let us share with you what we learned. We began our two-days experience with "How to form the winning team", an eye-opening seminar on effective team building strategies for leaders. Dr. Petra Mayer (a Senior Lecturer for Applied Sciences for emotional intelligence, culture and team development at the Salzburg University) shared with us a very interesting concept. Namely, while creating a team it’s important to make sure that each of the members share a common goal and a coherent vision, but at the same time, it’s healthy to encourage them to differ from one another in order to contribute with different points of view. Only then can the team develop, innovate and build up to new solutions. Interesting approach, right?
It's not everything. To follow, we participated in the workshop - "How to generate and keep up with fast growth". The example of the TransferWise startup was presented. As we know, many startups are being created based on a specific problem that the founders had encountered and struggled with in their own experiences.
In this case, Kristo Käärmann and Taavet Hinrikus had noticed the issues related to the high commissions applied on international payments. So they set their mind on it and decided to solve it. They have created their own product that responds to these challenges. A money transfer service that allows people to transfer money safely from abroad without the high fees applied by most banks. I must admit that they did a brilliant job :)
Another interesting workshop was a meeting with Guillermo Gaspart from Byhours. The topic - "Where and when to find the right fit for your startup". The speaker noted that startups should choose VCs that are tailored to their business model. Example? If your startup works in the e-commerce industry, choose those VCs that have plenty of experience in this field. If you work in the proptech industry, focus on VCs that work mainly in this industry and continue to do so. Venture Capital is not only financing startups, but also offering significant help and consultation to make sure they keep up the progress. Remember that.
Inspiring meetings and conversations
The knowledge gained from the seminars is not everything. A lot of investors from the United States took part in the EU-Startups Summit. They came straight from the well-developed Silicon Valley, seeing great potential in Europe.
We had many stimulating conversations with inspiring people who emphasized that, at the stage of fundraising, one should first create an MVP product, develop a business model and then look for financing. Many startups, on the other hand, approach it the opposite way. First, they try to get founds, and only later they start creating their product. This is definitely not the most efficient way to go.
Let's move on. Now a little 'fun fact' that you may have never heard of. Did you know that startups in Spain most often decide to develop their products using PHP? It turned out that there are no Ruby specialists on the market there, and the few ones available are usually demanding much higher rates than PHP specialists. Startups have no way out and end up choosing the PHP language. Puzzling.
During the EU-Startups Summit in Barcelona you could meet a lot of marketplace and PropTech startups. There were many feedbacks suggesting that these industries are currently developing the most dynamically. A good example is mietwise, a company operating on the real estate market. By the way, we took part in the discussion panel "The future of the online flat rental market". We learned a great deal about the topic listening to three great speakers - CEOs of Badi, Spotahome and HousingAnywhere.
Let's focus for a moment on Badi. The story of Carlos Pierrre (CEO) is really uplifting. While he was living just outside Barcelona a few years ago, he found an internship at a company in the city so, like many others, he had to deal with the bothersome daily commute. Thanks to this experience he came up with the idea of creating a startup that would help people find and rent rooms for their business. And that's how the story of this great start-up startup began. Amazing how the inspiration for business can come even from a simple routine like the work commute.
Finally, I would like to mention the Pitch Competition. It was also a really valuable point of the conference. The Tribe company won the entire competition against other nine startups. Their profile and product is really worthy of attention. The Berlin-based startup provides lifelike avatars with the ability to read and express emotion for customer service. Tribe brings conversational AI to life giving it a face and human emotions. The jury had to take a tough decision, but finally this startup took home the prize package worth €75,000. You can read more about them here.
As you can see, it was worth the visit. Shout-out to EU-Startups Barcelona Summit for a successful conference. We managed to get a lot of interesting information, get to know amazing people and got the chance to be inspired. We sincerely recommend you to check it out if you are interested in the startups business or if you are just looking for a priceless networking experience. We will definitely be back next year.