Barna Hub talks with CEO and co-founder of Sharify Gemma Prenafeta

Barna Hub

Today the Barna Hub team was lucky enough to talk to Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify, a fantastic new app that allows you to share what’s happening, right now, in just three clicks. 

The beta version of the Sharify app launches today, so be sure to head to the iOS and Android app stores to download it.

Take it away Gemma!

Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify
Gemma Prenafeta, the CEO and co-founder of Sharify

A quick pitch

Sharify is a shared map of what is happening right now around us. We are a social network that lets people, businesses and brands share moments in the city – like concerts, football matches or even a coffee-break –  in just three clicks: what, when and where.


sharify app launch

Our website and beta versions of our Android and iOS apps is available from today (11 April) – so come and check it out:

We’re also looking for a Backend Engineer and a Chief Marketing Officer – if that sounds like you, you can apply here:

Down to business

How Sharify Works

What does the word “sharify” mean to you?

Sometimes, it seems to me that we are forgetting what the word “share” really means. Sharify is about recovering the word “share”.

I’m not talking about sharing a tweet, a post or a like, but sharing the experience of going to a concert, of playing some sport or of enjoying a few beers.

Sharify is about sharing real life openly, with locals, expats and tourists, through a platform that offers an open map of what is happening in the city, right now.

What inspired you to start Sharify?

When I went to work abroad in the wonderful city of London, I realised I had no way to discover what was going on in that moment.

Of course, I could look for events in Google or even look for other tourists on Couchsurfing or Meetup, but it was not geo-localised and it wasn’t very fast.

I realised it would be much easier and faster if we could share this information in just three clicks, publishing a “what, when and where” so that other people could find events, come along and take part.

The possibilities of this are endless. Sharify can help people who want to visit a museum or art exhibition, it can help people find a team to play a football match with, or even help people get together and share a dog-walk!

Social media can be quite isolating, how is Sharify bringing people together again?

Every Social Network helps us in some way; we wouldn’t know how our old friends were doing without Facebook, we wouldn’t enjoy awesome photos from all around the world without Instagram, and we wouldn’t hear about the latest worldwide news without Twitter.

But in a world where people travel more than ever, where people go to work and study abroad and where cities host a beautiful mix of cultures and events, we realised that now is the time to create the first Social Network for people who want to do something.

We’ve just started, but we will do our best to bring people together through Sharify.

Barcelona Insight

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

The world needs people who believe in change and who will work hard to achieve it. I just started, but the main advice I would give is to be sure that you want to do it.

In my case it has taken endless persistence, a lot of passion for what I do and a good team and mentors to work with.

What online resource for startups could you not live without?

Slack, definitely.

Do you ever attend networking events or conferences in Barcelona? Where should entrepreneurs go?

Barcinno notifies entrepreneurs about all Barcelona’s events. It has been very useful for me from the very beginning. I was studying International Business and Marketing at ESCI-UPF until this July and I attended every event I could after my university classes. Sometimes I didn’t understand almost anything in some of the tech meetings, but it always worth going!

For someone looking for something new and exciting to do or visit in Barcelona this Spring, what would the Sharify team recommend?

I am sure that Barcelona will surprise us, as spring always has plenty of events to discover. Although we will be still in beta for a few months, perhaps Sharify app can help you with that 😉


Find Sharify Online





Barna Hub Talks with Jasper Deprez CEO and Founder of Tradler

Barna Hub

We unfurled our deckchairs and sat down to chat with the one and only Jasper Deprez, Co-founder and CEO of Tradler Vacations.

We talked about Colombia, Barcelona and the birth of his exciting machine learning travel platform.

Take it away Jasper!

Jasper Deprez CEO and Co-founder of Trader Barcelona travel startup
Jasper Deprez CEO and Co-founder of Tradler

140 character pitch:

Tradler is a global platform that connects travellers with the best fitting activities for them, using machine learning.


Tradler Vacations Barcelona Startup
  1. Sign up on Tradler
  2. Set your preferences
  3. Get connected with your best fitting activities 

Down to business

How did you come up with the idea for Tradler?  

I was in Colombia for 10 days, visiting the country for a friend’s wedding. It was the first time I’d been to Latin America and the things I took away from it were Coconut Rice, my first scuba diving experience and a sense of purpose.

Hubbub: That’s some holiday!

We were travelling through the country. The weather kept alternating between boiling hot and tropical storms, and eventually we arrived in Cartagena de Indias. I think besides Bruges, my home town, it’s my second favourite city in the world. It’s a very colourful place and is weirdly familiar, almost like Spain, but with a few differences.

Where Barcelona has the “sexy beer amigo” sellers on the Street, Cartagena has rappers who start busting their rhymes the moment you pass by. I, as the only blond “rubio”, “guiri”, or the “Gringo” of the group, was always the target of their wonderful lyrics. They compared me to various artists such as Justin Bieber, Justin Timberlake and, weirdly enough, Harry potter.

Just for the record, after this trip I went directly to the hairdresser to set this straight.

Hubbub: Well, at least you tried.

So one day we wanted to go to Islas del Rosario – a group of 27 different islands in the Caribbean sea. Like any tourist, I started doing my homework and researched how to get there.

I started with Google. Rapidly I figured out that this wasn’t the best approach as I got 3.5 million results. I decided to ask the guide at our hotel for recommendations instead. This was better – they had 7 options and the guy at the counter recommended one that was a bit more expensive, but assured us this was the best Cartagena could offer.

The next day we changed hotel and I – being quite central European – asked for their recommendation too. They suggested a completely different “best in Cartagena” provider.

I figured that hotels have commissions on what they sell, so I wanted to get more information before we spent 120€ per person. I went back online (to a popular travel information platform I won’t name!)  to see what feedback I could find.

There were  2 completely different opinions:

  1. Farida M:

Absolutely amazing I would really recommend going in February it is the warmest climate!

  1. Marco S:

Completely chaotic, do not go there!

So that didn’t really help. I had three main questions:

  1. Did they actually go on the trip?
  2. If they went, what were they searching for?
  3. And then finally, are we looking for the same experience?

Basically, I wanted to know who Farida M and Marco S were and what we had in common.

The popular travel platform I used clearly states that all the reviews are subjective.

  • Maybe Marco S is even more central European than I am?
  • Maybe Marco is 85 Years old and wanted a private island?
  • Is Farida an actual person?
  • Farida talks about the warm climates, but that really depends on where she is from. If she’s coming from wintry New York, that’s not much to go on.

I eventually went to the port in the morning to decide there. And there, with everyone shouting at me in Colombian Spanish, it was nearly impossible. So how did we choose in the end? Easy. We flipped a coin and hoped for the best.

Hubbub Labs: So that’s how you decided to create a machine learning platform that would tailor recommendations to individual travellers!


What’s the hardest thing about running your own company?

It’s about keeping focus. There is a story I read in a book called Radical Focus by Christina Wodtke about the myth of Atalanta.

Johann Wilhelm Baur - Atalanta and Hippomenes
Johann Wilhelm Baur – Atalanta and Hippomenes

Atalanta was a hunter, a virgin and Sparta’s fastest runner. She did not want to marry, but her father – a mean man – was upset by this and took matters into his own hands. He set up a race and proclaimed that the young man won the race would also win Atalanta’s hand in marriage.

But Atalanta, being so quick on her feet, begged to be able to race in order to keep her freedom. Her father agreed, not thinking even for a moment that she could win.

On race day, Atalanta was as fast as ever and she was certainly going to win. But Hippomenes, a clever boy who desperately wanted to marry her, had brought three golden apples with him. Every time Atalanta took the lead he would roll one into her path each time and she would stop to pick them up. Of course, Hippomenes edged the win and won the right to marry her.

As Wodtke says in her book:

If she had only set some clear goals and stuck to them, she might be ruling the city footloose and fancy free!

Every startup will run into golden apples. Maybe it’s a chance to take stage at an important conference. Maybe it’s one big customer that asks you to change your software for them. Maybe it’s the poisoned apple of a bad employee who distracts you while you wring your hands over what to do about him. A startup’s enemy is time, and the enemy of timely execution is distraction.

Radical Focus – Christina Wodtke (2016).

Who do you look up to in the business world?

This changes all the time and is therefore impossible to give a single answer. But there is one group of people who I have greatest respect for and look up to: the Tradler team.

The reason I look up to them is because they have a proven way of thinking: they committed themselves to Tradler at the very beginning, when there was only an idea. And now, 6 months later, it’s the first time they’ve received a salary.

The mindset is the following:

We can either go and work for a big company in an entry-level position and hope that in the next 3-4 years we get promoted. Or we build our own careers and tailor them to what we are best in.

They have chosen the second option without any doubt. I look up to the kinds of people who not only say they will make a difference, but actually do it.

Barcelona Insight

Tradler Vacations Barcelona Startup

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

90% of all startups fail, so in theory you only need to start 10 to have one which works. Start now.

What’s your favourite place to work in in Barcelona?

When we just started we had zero budget to spent on an office, so we found this amazing utopia in Gracia. A bar called La Rovira. We sat there from 9 in the morning (when they opened) until closing time.

If you were leaving Barcelona tomorrow, how would you spend your last day?

I’d be looking on Skyscanner for the cheapest tickets back here.

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

Exclusive Discounts for Top Startup Events in Barcelona

Have you got the networking blues after last week’s fantastic 4YFN and MWC?

Don’t fear! We have found some great startup events for you in March and April with some special discounts just for our readers.

Some of the codes end soon, so buy your tickets now to avoid missing out!

Read our roundup of 4YFN here – Barcelona’s Unique Startup Scene 

15% off TechTribe: food and tech panel (15/03/2018)

15% off TechTribe: food and tech panel

Don’t miss Tech Tribe this March. Its mission is to bring people together and share knowledge through events, discussions and workshops.

This month the focus is on FOOD & TECH and there will be three expert speakers. It’s being held at OneCoWork in Barceloneta, with a panel hosted by Katrina Logie and a workshop by Lauren Lovatt. You’ll also have the chance to take part in the catered networking event (with drinks), which is included in the ticket price.

Get 15% off using the code: HUBBUBTRIBE Hurry – offer ends Tuesday 13th March!

Visit the website to find out more and buy your tickets here: Tech Tribe Event Tickets

15% off Startup my Rooftop (28/03/18)

startup my rooftop Barcelona

Get 15% off your ticket to the first Startup my Rooftop event of the year!  With beautiful 360 degree views of Barcelona at the Barceló Raval Hotel, Entrepreneurs, startup enthusiasts and investors will have the opportunity to network, enjoy snacks and drinks and the Alush & DJ FONKI’s set. Also participate in the Speed Networking event, where pairs will have 3 minutes to pitch their project/business to one other – and maybe even kickstart a new business relationship or two.

Get 15% off using the code: HUBBUBLABS – offer available until the 23rd March! 

Visit Eventbright and enter your discount code.


20% off Meltin’ Labs: Empowering Digital, Innovation, Growth & Community (11/04/2018)

30% off Meltin’ Labs: Empowering Digital, Innovation, Growth & Community

Bringing startups, investors, experts and the Barcelona community together, MeltinLabs invites you to its biggest and best event yet. It will be held at the UPF Ciutadella Campus April 11.

The programme includes:

  • 4 Workshops (limited tickets)
  • 3 Panel talks with top Speakers
  • 1 Startup Pitch Contest
  • Cocktail Networking with Craft Beer, Catalan Wine and Petit-fours

Get 20% off using the code: hubbublabs20 

Hurry – offer ends Wednesday 14th March!

Visit the website to find out more and buy your tickets here: Meltin’ Lab Event Tickets

40% off Startup Grind Barcelona: 4th anniversary party (19/04/2018)

40% off Startup Grind Barcelona: 4th anniversary party

Startup Grind Barcelona is celebrating its 4th birthday and is inviting you to come along to party!

Take part in the startup open mic session, enjoy the fireside chat hosted by SUG Chapter Director Àlex Rodríguez and make a bunch of new connections during the networking event.

Get a HUGE 40% off using the code: SGBCNLOVESSOCIAL

Find out more and get your tickets here: Startup Grind Event Tickets


15% off EU Startups Summit: Annual Conference (24/04/2018)

15% off EU Startups Summit: Annual Conference


With 750 founders, corporates, angel investors, VCs, and the media, the EU-Startups Summit 2018 promises to be quite the event. Come along to watch fireside chats and follow the exciting pitch competition with 15 eager startups!

Get 15% off using the code: HUBBUB

Hurry – offer ends Monday 30th March!

Find out more and buy your tickets here: EU Startups Summit Event Tickets


Free startup events

Just looking to meet like-minded individuals but don’t want to spend money on tickets? Here are two free events just for you.

Guiri Business Drinks (21/03/2018)

Guiri Business Drinks

This monthly meetup welcomes expats from all over the world. Not only is it free – they’ll also give you the first drink on the house and provide pica pica for those feeling a little peckish.

The new location is BlackLab, Barceloneta – one of the best brew bars in town.

RSVP here to get free entry: Guiri Business Event Tickets

Tech Job Fair  (22/03/2018)

Find a tech job in Barcelona

Find work at the world’s biggest Tech Job Fair held in Barcelona. Meet the recruiters looking for talented individuals and make a great first impression – in person! At the event you’ll find companies such as, ThoughtWorks and Dynatrace.

Find out more and get your free ticket here: Tech Job Fair Event Tickets

If you are going to any of these startup events and would like to say hi – feel free to drop us a line! 

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

4 Years From Now Roundup: Barcelona’s Unique Startup Scene

4 Years From Now Roundup: Barcelona’s Unique Startup Scene

4 Years from Now (4YFN) – the startup wing of the Mobile World Congress – was a resounding success. In its fifth year the conference boasted 650 startups and 20,000 visitors. The Hubbub Labs press team certainly had a lot of networking to do.

Here are some of our highlights.

5 Top Startup Pitches

Sitting with microphone in hand we spoke to more than 30 different startups during the Pitch the Press event. Like a speed dating session, we had two minutes to listen to an elevator pitch and squeeze in a question or two.

Here are the 5 pitches that stood out to us most.

Dan Shepherd Director of Operations Hubbub Labs content and digital marketing agency
Dan Shepherd sporting his press pass

Flyshionista – “Your Passport to Style”

Flyshionista is an app that connects fashion hunters with travellers, facilitating a cheaper and faster way of shopping for items in other countries.

Frequent flyers make some money and shoppers get their goods. It seems like a win-win to us and a new take on an old trend. Returns might be a little tricky though, so make sure that you are really sure you want what you’re buying!

Wait, how’s it work? Shoppers visit the app’s “Discovery Area” and select the item they want – it can be located anywhere in the world.

Travellers see what has been requested and set a price. If the shopper accepts, they make a secure payment and the traveller can go ahead and purchase the item. When they return, they can deliver it to the shopper at a mutually convenient time.

Check out Flysionista on Facebook

Recircula Solutions – Recycling for the Smart City

Let’s be honest, we rarely get excited by waste management companies. But Recircula Solutions did a good job explaining how its smart sensors gamify recycling and connect citizens to this essential process.

The Barcelona-based startup employs a hardware/software combo, installing sensors in recycling containers. Citizens simply scan their mobile device before they begin recycling and receive a small payment every time they do so.

Of course, the data collected also helps city councils improve their waste management processes and further develop the smart city ecosystem.

Some of the benefits:

  • Increases the recycling rates of the urban waste and pharmaceutical sector to 85-90 per cent.
  • Increases income from recycled aluminium and PET by up to 22 percent.
  • Saves a minimum of 30 per cent in diesel and carbon footprint for the delivery of 1000kg of PET, bricks and cans.


As sustainability enters the public consciousness, we can really get behind innovative (bin-ovative?!) solutions that encourage green-thinking and environment-first solutions.

Check out the pitch deck.

Brand Your Shoes 

After a group of Barcelona Castellers approached graphic designer Guillem Soldevila to get hold of some branded trainers a light bulb pinged on and Brand Your Shoes came into existence. Since then, he’s branded shoes for Twitter, Honda, Schwepps and many others.

Fashion-conscious brand managers looking for a way to kick off the year (pun intended), should look no further. Choose your shoes and send your logo. Brand your shoes does the rest.

Frankly, we fell in love with the idea of having Hubbub Labs branded shoes. We’ll be in touch Guillem!

Ciclogreen – Rewarding Your Sustainable Mobility

Another green solution – this time from Seville – Ciclogreen is an app that rewards people for moving around the world in a sustainable way. Effectively, it’s gamifying green transport, giving people points every time they cycle, walk, run or skate.

Download the app to take part in different challenges. Earn enough points and you will be rewarded with a variety of gifts, such as earphones, bike lights, discounts, vouchers and more. Surely though, the biggest reward is saving the planet?

No, no, you’re right. I want the headphones too.

In all seriousness, it’s a great idea and we hope it takes off. Sustainably, of course.

Ethical Time – Sustainable Fashion

We enjoyed chatting with Ethical Time, who gave a clear pitch on their ideas-stage startup. Founded by 19-year old Ignasi Eiriz from Vilanova i la Geltrú, its mission is to “promote ethical production practices and commerce under human values.”

Raising more than €23,000 in December 2017 in a crowdfunding campaign, development of the App is underway.

Working in the textile industry, the company aims to help consumers buy clothes from companies that operate in an ethical, sustainable way.

There are around 500 sustainable clothing/fashion companies in Spain, but would you know where to buy sustainable tighty-whities? Ethical Time aims to bring visibility to these brands and be the platform from which sustainable fashion and ethical consumers can thrive.

Find Ethical Time on Facebook

A Special Mention

We can’t end this post without a special mention for BoxMotions, winner of the 4YFN 2018 Awards. The three year old startup brings the on-demand economy to the moving industry. Its simple to use – visit the website or make a call. The company will collect your stuff, store it safely as long as you need. Then once you want your things returned or moved the company will deliver it anywhere you like.

Check out the video – (Spanish language)

Thanks to everyone we spoke at 4YFN, we enjoyed every minute. Apart from the sleet and snow. We could have done without that.

Before You Go! A Special EU-Startups Summit Discount

Hubbub Labs is on a mission to support the startup scene in Barcelona.

We will be heading to the EU-Startups Summit 2018 which is set for April 24.

750 founders, angel investors, VCs, startup fans and corporations and media will be in attendance.

Find your tickets here.  Use the code HUBBUB to receive 15% off ticket purchases until March 12.

See you there!

Hubbub Labs will be at 4YFN Barcelona – come and say hi!

A Supporting Community Partner of 4YFN

4 Years from Now (4YFN) is the startup platform of Mobile World Capital and Hubbub Labs is proud to be an official supporting community partner.

Dan Shepherd and George Chilton 4yfn
Dan Shepherd and George Chilton


We’ll be at 4YFN

This week, from the 26 to the 28th of February, 4YFN celebrates the 5th edition of its startup event, which attracted more than 20,000 people in 2017.

It brings together a whole range of startups, entrepreneurs, investing platforms and other entities to spark innovation and new ventures.

If you are attending the event please get in touch. We’d love to hear about you, your startup or latest project! You might also like to check out the programme of events on the official website.

4YFN Articles

4yfn logo

Over the past few weeks, in the run up to the Mobile World Congress and the 4YFN conference, the Hubbub Labs team has been contributing articles to the platform’s blog.

There’s a little something for everyone in this selection. We have covered a number of topics, from startup success, to mentorship, PR campaigns and even networking.

We hope you enjoy them and – if you found them useful – that you will share them with your own networks.

7 pro hacks to help you raise your networking game

How to hit the headlines with a killer startup story

Startup struggle: beating the odds to find success

6 Reasons to look for a mentor in 2018

Wait, what is Hubbub Labs again?

Hubbub Labs is a content and digital marketing agency. We get a huge kick out of working with founding teams to help you refine your messaging, develop your voice and get your ideas out there through content marketing, PR and digital ads.

We are also passionate about helping more established companies and organisations realise their potential. Our team works with creative marketers to develop content strategy. We offer in depth and valuable blog content, newsletter campaigns, lead generation assets (like ebooks, cheat sheets and more) and also set up and run your PPC campaigns on Social Media, Google and elsewhere.

Mine’s a mocha cappuccino

Remember to get in touch if you’d like to meet us. We hope to see you there!

George & Dan

Barna Hub: A Chat with OneCoWork CEO and Co-founder Ben Nachoom

Barna Hub

We sat down on the deck and had chat with Ben Nachoom, Co-Founder & CEO, OneCoWork – one of the best and brightest co-working spaces that Barcelona has to offer.

The Hubbub Labs team can often be found on the roof deck trying to sneak onto the luxury yachts, in the kitchen drinking coffees, or tapping away writing articles in the quiet space. It’s definitely one of our favourite places to work in the city.

Over to you Ben!

Ben Nachoom, Co-Founder & CEO, OneCoWork
Ben Nachoom, Co-Founder & CEO, OneCoWork


140 character pitch:

OneCoWork is Barcelona’s freshest and most exciting collaborative workspace, welcoming everyone from freelancers through to large corporates.


Our new space is opening in Plaça Catalunya in June. We’re offering 10% off your first 3 months if you sign up by the end of March!

And check out Dan Shepherd’s recent article on the OneCoWork Blog 6 things to know before starting a business in Barcelona.

Down to business


Co-working is exploding in popularity all over the world, why do you think this is?

Honestly, I think amongst other things we are seeing changing attitudes; a generational shift in what constitutes success, as well as the optimal path to achieve it. Career success is no longer based on having a large corner office to yourself, it’s about achieving something meaningful. People are realising that the path to success is all about interconnectivity, collaboration, and innovation, all of which can be achieved through co-working.

What are some of the biggest misconceptions about co-working that people have?

People think that coworking is just about a bunch of startups who can’t afford their own office sharing some space. The reality is that it is so much more. The effort that goes both into the community creation and the real estate is monumental, and slowly people are starting to realise that co-working is beneficial and here to stay. That’s probably why so many large corporates including Microsoft, Barclays Bank, and others are moving their employees into co-working spaces. Soon enough the word co-working will disappear, all offices will be like this!

With so many co-working spaces in Barcelona, what makes OneCoWork unique?

We really try to differentiate ourselves through two factors. First, the community is everything to us. Our community managers really give the love and care that our members want and need, so that OneCoWork feels more like a family home than an office. To be honest, we don’t focus on making professional connections between members right away. To start with, we focus on the personal interactions. Stronger professional interactions then happen more naturally as time passes.

Secondly, we provide really spectacular workspaces. People spend so much time at work, we want our members to be inspired to achieve every time they walk through our front doors. We have two full time interior designers who spend all their time making our spaces as beautiful and interesting as can be.

Without giving away too many secrets, where will OneCoWork be in five years’ time?


Barcelona Insight

What’s the most challenging thing about starting a business in Barcelona, in your opinion?

In the beginning it was a bit tough to adjust to the slower pace in Barcelona relative to the finance industry in London. Things take longer than in other countries, but once you get used to it it’s really not that bad!

What online or offline resource should Barcelona entrepreneurs check out right now?

Depending on the sector their in, Barcinno is great for tech and startup related events. Barcelona Global is also great for meeting industry leaders in the city. You can also come along to OneCoWork’s events to learn about all sorts of different things! We have one tech related event every two weeks, with topics ranging from Equity Crowdfunding for Startups to Work/Life balance. Come along to meet some of Barcelona’s most talented entrepreneurs!

Fill in the blank: If you’re visiting Barcelona for work or fun you absolutely have to….

Do a calçotada!

Describe a perfect weekend in the city

There’s so much to do here that it’s hard to choose. Inside Barcelona the city, there are some amazing places to eat, so I would probably wonder around the old city and hit as many tapas bars as I could! Otherwise I would jump on a train up to the Costa Brava and enjoy some of the beautiful and more quiet beaches on offer!

Hubbub: Thanks Ben!

A post shared by Hubbub Labs (@hubbublabs) on

Find OneCoWork online

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

Barna Hub Talks with Smart Notifications Intrapreneurs Nicholas Aguilar Sayaan and Anshul Kudal

Barna Hub

Today on Barna Hub we were lucky enough to sit down with Intrapreneur and Business Analyst Nicholas Aguilar Sayaan and Intrapreneur CEO Anshul Kudal at Smart Notifications, which is a startup within leading Spanish broadband and telecommunications company Telefónica.

So tell us what Smart Notifications is all about!

Nicholas Aguilar Sayaan Business Analyst | Telefónica I+D
Nicholas Aguilar Sayaan


140 character pitch:

Smart Notifications uses AI to predict the best moments to send Push notifications, improves CTR & conversion for Apps & reduces spam for users.

Check out Smart Notifications:

Grow your brand by quickly and easily engaging your users in the right moment for them. Check out our website to begin the integration process!

Our test app, Boredom Fighter, is also available from either the Apple Store or Android Store. It’s a fun way to check out how Smart Notifications’ models send you push notifications in the best moments for engagement.

(This app is unrelated to the Smart Notifications service, but it helps our scientists improve our algorithms while entertaining you!).

Download Boredom Fighter on Android

Download Boredom Fighter on iOS

Down to business

Smart Notifications logo
Nicholas, you’ve been a neuroscientist, a film director, an innovation lab director and now an intrapreneur – all roles that combine curiosity, creativity and a methodological approach. Is that how you see entrepreneurship?

In a nutshell, absolutely! I guess the long answer would be that the goal of all of those roles is to find a way to create value, whether that be analytically, emotionally, or financially.

Entrepreneurship is a combination of all three, but more than that, you have to do all three very well, whether you’re fighting for clients, for funding, or for more runway, all while you’re on fire, and while you’re trying to put out fires, and all the while trying to convince your investors that everything is as it should be and that your run rate is on track. Yeah, something like that.

Intrapreneur CEO Anshul Kudal Smart Notifications
Intrapreneur CEO Anshul Kudal


Anshul, you’ve worked at HSBC, Amazon, Barclays and now for Smart Notifications in Telefónica. How do corporate and startup challenges differ in your opinion?

I think it mostly depends on two things: one – how much the company is willing to invest in innovation which is not very close to the core business.

And two – how good are they at actually implementing or launching in-house  innovations to their customers.

The first question tells you how much freedom you will get and the second tells you whether your product will ever reach users or if it will be stuck in the innovation sandbox.

You’re both in quite an unusual position, having a startup, but also working in one of the largest companies in Spain. What are the most rewarding things about being an intrapreneur?

Nicholas: For me, many of the upsides of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship are the same, and equally rewarding. Specifically, building a product/service from innovation frameworks, constantly designing, testing and iterating, and then finally bringing something to market and having clients really like (hopefully love and pay for).

You guys work in a fascinating area – Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine learning (ML). It feels like we’re at the beginning of an AI revolution that will soon make all our lives better and more productive. But AI is not as pervasive as it might be. Where will AI ML be 5 years down the road, in your opinion?

Nicholas: Just as IoT is becoming ubiquitous, AI will be along for the ride every step of the way. In many ways, we will see this manifested tangibly from a user perspective. For example, autonomous devices and vehicles will be roaming the world and moving us and our goods around with their navigation managed by algorithms that keep everything moving efficiently.

The majority of our AI managed world, however, will be unnoticed by end users. Smart Notifications is actually a good example of this. We currently live in a world where we are bombarded by information, both voluntarily and involuntarily.

AI will be necessary for us to filter what information we want and when we want it. Predicting behavior and and then delivering exactly what we want in those moments might, at first glance seem invasive, but it will become crucial to how we navigate our increasingly data-cluttered world.

For an initial view of how this works now, many social media feeds (Instagram), media content platforms (Netflix), and e-commerce platforms (Amazon) already have algorithms that help us get the most out of their services, i.e. finding what we want quickly and perhaps before we even know we want it. Much of this happens without us even noticing.

Elon Musk once said:

With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon. You know all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water and he’s like, yeah, he’s sure he can control the demon? Doesn’t work out.

 – Vanity Fair

He’s being pretty melodramatic here, but does he have a point? Should we be worried about the increasing and potentially dangerous power of AI?

Nicholas: No, as long as you are okay bending the knee to our new silicon overlords. In all seriousness, there are many technologies that have been developed that have the potential of all sorts of apocalyptic outcomes, but I think it would be a great disservice to not explore a technology because it has the potential of being abused, growing beyond our control, and/or if it has ethical ramifications.

The abilities and consequences of scientific developments are becoming wider-reaching and more complicated, not less, so the onus and responsibility is then on us and our best minds to fully understand all the implications of a technology and then move forward in such a way that we manage risks effectively while still using science and technology to better our lives.

Okay, we’ll take it a little easier on you now! What app could you not live without at work?

Nicholas: A calendar app and caffeine. This is the only way to know when my meetings are and how I can survive them.

Barcelona Insight

What brought you both to Barcelona and what is it about the country that made you want stay?

Nicholas: I came to Barcelona for my MBA at ESADE, and I stayed because of lifestyle. The attraction is really a combination of a lot of little things, for example the food/bar culture, the architecture, the vibe (both personally and professionally), the Mediterranean at your doorstep, I could go on forever.

I am originally from Los Angeles, and as much as I love that city, it’s just more awesome in Barcelona. My initial plan was to go back to LA after my MBA, but after two weeks in Barcelona, I knew couldn’t leave.

What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?  

Nicholas: Neighbourhood / block parties. The barrio festivals here are the best (my favourite is Festa Major de Gracia).

What do people who have never been to Barcelona need to know about the city?

Nicholas: When you get invited out for a drink in the evening and someone says “solo una copa,” that really means you will be arriving home after sunrise.

Hubbub – we learned that one early on! Thanks so much for taking the time to speak with us!

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Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

Barna Hub Talks Entrepreneurship, Barcelona & iKeyBnB with CEO Nikolaos Christianos

Barna Hub

Today we sat down with Nikolaos Christianos, the CEO & Co-founder of iKeyBnB  and spoke about business, Barcelona and a great selection of networking events in the city.

iKeyBnB is an exciting startup based in Barcelona. Founded in January 2017, it offers hosts and holidaymakers the opportunity to hand over keys securely, without wasting time.

Nikolaos, it’s over to you!

Nikolaos Christianos iKeyBnb Co-founder (L)
Nikolaos Christianos iKeyBnb Co-founder & CEO (L), Athanasios Bitsinis COO & Co-founder (R)


140 character pitch

iKeyBnB is a secure 24/7 automatic key exchange service for vacation rentals, saving you time and offering convenience!

The iKeyBnB Offer

Visit our website ( and sign up and with the coupon hubbublabs to get a FREE trial of the iKeyBnB service.

If you have family, friends or colleagues who might be interested in exchanging their keys in a secure and easy way with their guests, spread the word!

Down to business

ikeyBnB logo startup barcelona


What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

I grew up in a business environment and I think the fact that both my mother and my grandfather were entrepreneurs made it easier for me to take the decision and start iKeyBnB.

Also, working in multinational companies for more than 5 years and experiencing the corporate environment meant I wanted to see something different.

I can tell you now with certainty that building your own startup is indeed quite different!

How did you come up with the idea for iKeyBnB?

The idea for iKeyBnB was born 2 years ago. My co-founder and I had different experiences as Airbnb hosts and guests and, after talking, we realised that people waste a significant amount of time during the key exchange.

The fact is, at some point we’ve all had a delayed flight, been stuck in traffic, or we’ve just not been available at a particular moment. These delays can cause big problems for you when you’re an Airbnb host waiting to give someone the keys.

I remember an instance when a friend of mine wanted to stay in my flat in Barcelona in August, but I was away on holiday, as were all of my friends, so I had no way to hand over my flat keys to them.

With iKeyBnB we want to solve this problem and give back to people some of their lost time.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given when it comes to business?

Do it and don’t be afraid of trying out your ideas, however crazy they might sound!

I think this is really important, because the most difficult part of any business is the first step – the part where you make up your mind and actually say “Go for it!”.

Barcelona Insight

What Barcelona events (business or otherwise) do you regularly attend?

Barcelona is a city with a growing entrepreneurial ecosystem and there are lots of business (and non-business) events every day. This means selecting the ones that really add value to you can be a really challenging task.

After almost a year here, I have attended the Facebook Marketing Barcelona MeetUp, Vacation Rental events, organised by VrTech Events, various events organised by MOB, events from Access Silicon Valley and Barcelona Lean Startup Circle, as well as the Barcelona Startup Grind ones.

Then, when I want to relax and exercise at the same time, I play basketball at Barcelona Basketball Meetup.

What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?  

In my opinion Barcelona provides the perfect work-life balance – and this is not easy to find in other places in Europe.

This balance, together with a developing startup ecosystem, makes Barcelona a really attractive place to live in and start a business.

What do people who have never been to Barcelona need to know about the city?

Barcelona has its own unique identity as a city. It combines the Mediterranean and southern European mentality with the central/north European organisation.

It is also a multicultural city and people who come here for the first time fall in love with it. Often so much so that they try to find a way to move here, which is what happened in my case!

Hubbub: Thanks Nikolaos, it was great chatting with you!

Find iKeyBnb Online


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Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.

WhatsApp Launches Free Business App

WhatsApp B2C messagingWhatsApp Launches Free Business App

Things are going to change around here. At least, that’s what WhatsApp is promising SMEs and corporations with the roll out of its new business messaging service.

WhatsApp is offering easier business to customer (B2C) communication, the capacity to separate client and personal communication, and the opportunity to build “an official presence”. The goal is to improve customer experience and business efficiency.

A feature-rich experience

WhatApp’s business app promises a range of services, including a business profile with contact information and website and email details.

The familiar messaging facility will also include automated greetings, away messages (so you can switch off if it’s time for a nap or your afternoon tea), and quick response answers to FAQs.

For the data obsessed, you’ll have access to stats, though we’re not sure why you’d need this exactly.

Verified business number are also soon to become a thing and will match official business numbers to WhatsApp accounts. This is being beta-tested right now and will likely roll out WhatsApp-wide in future.

Soon to be global

To date, there are 1.3 billion monthly active users of WhatApp.  Crucially, regular users will not have to download anything extra and will be able to interact with businesses just as easily as they do with their friends and family.

This zero-friction approach to B2C communication almost guarantees its success.

Moreover, the app falls in line with the new Europe-wide GDPR act, which will become official in late May. Offering end-to-end encryption, it will only allow businesses to contact clients who have given them explicit permission to do so.

The WhatsApp business app is now available for businesses  to download for free, on Android and is currently available Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, the U.K. and the U.S.

It will start to come alive in the rest of the world in the next few weeks. And we’re emoji-excited to see it reach Spain.

Good Timing

The announcement comes soon after Facebook’s move to demote Business Page reach. Businesses looking for new, more direct channels of communication with customers and leads should be thrilled at the prospect of a purpose-built user-friendly and feature rich service.

And with more businesses adopting a mobile-first approach, it looks like WhatsApp is destined to be one of the biggest players in the B2C eCommerce space.

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Barna Hub Chats with Guy Morley, Founder of Kailani Ice Tea

Barna Hub

In the first installment of Barna Hub this year, we sit down and enjoy an ice cold drink with Guy Morley, the founder of Kailani Ice Tea. Meaning sea and sky in Hawaiian, Kailani is a brand that embodies the long hot summer days, beach life, health and nature.

Guy Morley founder of Kailani Ice Tea
Guy Morley, Founder of Kailani Ice Tea


Take it away Guy!

140 character pitch:

Kailani Ice Tea comes in 3 flavours; black tea & lemon, green tea with lime & ginger, and white tea & peach – it’s healthy, natural and tasty!

Try it today:

What should people know?

You can find us in Barcelona, Madrid, the Balearic Islands and the Costa Brava. Our drinks are also now available in Prague.  

As a natural ice tea brand we are always interested in collaborating with new, brands and people who are interested in wellness and natural foods and drink.

Down to business

What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

Before coming to Barcelona, I was a media lawyer dealing with the disputes of the some of the biggest stars in the music industry in London.

Changing careers was a big decision, but I always had the feeling that there something more to life than the office. Frankly, I wanted to start my own business rather than advising others on how best to go about theirs.

Why is Kailani Ice Tea a great place to work?

Kailani Ice Tea is a great place to work because it’s never boring. Being a startup means having new challenges to overcome and new solutions to find.

The philosophy of the brand is natural, sociable and active, and so are our projects. We get to collaborate with some really interesting people from different entrepreneurial worlds, but are united by the same will to find beauty in our everyday.

We also try to be as eco-friendly as possible. Our team collaborates with environmental NGOs like Surfrider Foundation and local associations like Yotuba, Centre de la Platja, etc. It’s rewarding to contribute to the conservation of our natural surroundings.

What’s your favourite quote when it comes to business?

“It’s always better to be underestimated”.

What online or offline resource could you not live without?

For us, it’s Social media. It is important for us to be the voice of a community that knows that working hard is as important as enjoying every moment.  

Barcelona Insight

Kailani icetea Barcelona Startup

What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Barcelona is a great place to start a business as everyone is really helpful. You can find a number of different organisations, entrepreneurial groups and projects to help you build your network and find the right contacts and partnerships you need to grow your business. It’s important not to be afraid to contact people in the city when you need help.

What does Barcelona do better than anywhere else in the world, in your opinion?  

In Barcelona people are genuinely optimistic, innovative and curious about new trends. With its amazing location between the beach and the mountains, everyone is really active and they realise how important it is to take care of nature.

What do people who have never been to Barcelona need to know about the city?

Barcelona is beautiful and very international. There is a great melting pot that gives rise to innovative and unique projects, events, food fusion all the time. It’s important to be curious and open to new experiences so you can make the most of the city.

Find Kailani online:




Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

Interested in hearing about other entrepreneurs and startups? Head over to Barna Hub, a new series of blog posts, interviewing some of the most inspiring entrepreneurs, startup founders and CEOs in Barcelona.