News Hub – headlines and head turners

International business news

News Hub

June 24-29

Another week, another News Hub.

Hubbub Labs presents some of the most interesting tech and investment news from startups and corporates for the week June 22-29.

Lyft’s incredible funding of $600m

San Francisco – Uber-rival Lyft causes a sensation with new funding earmarked for expansion into Canada and more U.S. cities.

Along with recently added services, the $600m investment means the company is now snapping at market-leader Uber’s heels.

The on-demand transportation company currently has a valuation of 15.1 billion dollars.

Read more on TechCrunsh

Published: June 27th

Own delivery service for Amazon?

SeattleInternet giant Amazon is now driving the expansion of its own delivery service in the United States and hopes to optimise efficiency.

Amazon is now calling on entrepreneurs to invest a minimum of $10,000 to set up and run their own package delivery service, with up to 40 Amazon-branded vehicles.

Read more on NY Times

Published: June 28th

Brexit affects firm sales

London – A new survey revealed that more UK companies will be affected by the Brexit than previously expected.

With the UK leaving the EU, many companies have already put off investments and modified their supply chains.

Read more on The Guardian

Published: June 28th

Bosch partners with Mojio

Vancouver – Mojio is going to work with German Bosch.

The Canadian startup, which previously raised $40m, is set to receive an undisclosed amount from Bosch in its Series B funding round. The companies will collaborate to connect vehicles to digital services, including insurance providers and emergency services.

Read more on Reuters

Published: June 27th

Music without headphones – new future?

Israel – Startup Noveto has developed some new audio gear that promises a headphone-free world.

Noveto delivers sounds right to your ears by using its own fancy algorithms – without the need for headphones. It plans to launch the innovative tech by Fall 2019. We’re intrigued.

Read more on Business Insider

Published: June 27th

Event of the Week

Fuckup Nights Barcelona goes for a third round!

This time in Utopicus Barcelona on July 5th, Fuckup nights presents 3 professionals who plan to share their business failure stories with you.  

If you’re around on Thursday night at 7pm book your tickets and enjoy the unique vibes, beer, fun and a lot of learning!

Get your tickets now:

Hope to see you there!

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.

News Hub – summer solstice edition

Microsoft hopes to grow Bonsai and other stories; June 15 -22

Yesterday was the longest day of the year and the be-flip-flopped tourists are pinker than the flamingos down at the delta. It’s definitely summer.

With that in mind, we hope you’re ready for a fresh look at some of the biggest startup and tech stories of the week

In this second edition of News Hub we look at an interesting acquisition, a shake up in social media (Instagram, what are you doing?) and paid subscriptions to Facebook groups. Is the world going crazy? Let’s find out.

Unilever wags a finger at influencer marketing

Highlighting fraud in the influencer space, Unilever is asking marketers to clean up their acts. That influencers are buying fake followers is perhaps no surprise, but according to Points North Group up to 20% of an influencer’s fanbase can be made of bots. Icky. 🤖

Read more in the Wall Street Journal

Published June 17

Google, Lyft Uber and others work together to measure impact of self-driving cars

Would you get in a self-driving car? It seems that nearly three quarters of Americans would not.

True, we’re not talking Herbie, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang or Knight Rider. These things can kill you. The catch is, they’re probably a lot better drivers than we are. At least, that’s what Google, Lyft, Uber and other companies investing in self-driving cars are hoping to show.

Read more on VentureBeat

Published June 19

The town that Amazon Built

This article looks at the impact of tech giant Amazon has had on one small town on the US Canadian border. Examining the consequences of the company’s presence on business and people’s lives, it’s a positive feature – and worth a read.  

Read more on the Verge

Published June 20

Instagram now allows 60 minute videos

Could you handle a 60 minute portrait mode video on Instagram? IGTV is betting on it. In a world of shortening attention spans #IG is going in another direction.

I think we like it. What do you say?

Read more on the BBC

Published June 20

Microsoft hopes to grow Bonsai

Bonsai, a Berkeley-based AI startup, is having all the luck this week after Microsoft fixed a beady eye in its direction. The company focuses on machine learning, using trial and error to train intelligent systems to complete tasks,

Microsoft wants to further its own research in the area.

Read more on Tech Crunch

Published June 21

Facebook testing paid subscriptions to groups

Big news for Facebook group owners. The marketing platform is now trialling paid subscriptions to groups, offering premium users the chance to enjoy exclusive content.

This monetisation model is a first for Facebook – and could be a game changer. Presently only a select few groups are participating in the pilot.

Read more on Engadget

Published June 21

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.

A Barcelona rooftop interview with growth hacker Tim Cakir

The anatomy of a growth hacker

I was quietly drinking a nice chilled glass of Rosé on a Barcelona Terrace last Thursday when I heard a little voice coming from the guttering. “Psst! George…George…” it said, “Have you heard about tracking and hacking?”

It turns out that Tim Cakir – a Barcelona-based growth hacking expert – had surreptitiously hidden himself on the roof.

After he abseiled down, I agreed to interview him. And this is what happened next.

Tim Cakir on the @weareserviceclub terrace
Tim Cakir on the @weareserviceclub terrace

Hi Tim, how long have you been on the roof?

Never you mind.

Okay. Well…we’ll start with your move from London to Barcelona. How long have you been here?

I’ve been in Barcelona for around 18 months now.

You’re a newbie! But you’ve certainly made an impact here already, with Talaia, Restb and your own speaking engagements. So what’s surprised you most about the city so far?

Really it’s been amazing to a see a city that’s booming, with such a big startup scene, yet still with so much potential for more. There’s a lot of room for growth – which is what I’m all about.

You’ve made a significant shift in your career – what made you choose growth hacking?

I started off as a salesman – selling carpets in LA at 18 years old. I made some money, but I didn’t really enjoy it; sales is about getting people who don’t need stuff to buy stuff. Marketing is about giving people value, getting them to come to you and then they buy the things they do want.

Later on, when I got into sound engineering in London with my own studio, I was working with lots of artists, cool bands, DJs, a radio station, and we had parties with around 2000 people every couple of months. There was a lot going on –  and I found I was marketing it all.

So really for me this is a natural next step. Here in Barcelona I’ve been heading up some marketing departments and building them from scratch – as they say from 0 to 1.

I love the chaos. I like putting the right people in the right places, getting things going and teaching people how to do it.

So, for people who don’t know, can you tell me what growth hacking is?

Well, I think it’s a buzzword – I prefer not to use the term “growth hacking”. I like to call it “tracking and hacking” instead, which explains more about the process behind it all.

With tracking and hacking, you follow a certain metric, the OMTM  – or the one metric that matters. You can then experiment, looking at what affects the OMTM in order to grow it, before you start to look at other areas of the business.

So you don’t follow Sean Ellis at all? 

Some people call Sean Ellis (who coined the term in 2010) “the inventor of growth hacking” – he was clever enough to recognise that there were some extroverted marketeers out there, people who were trying new things and getting interesting results. He wrote the book Hacking Growth – which, incidentally, is great and I recommend reading.

I saw there were a couple of core elements behind growth hacking, which is why I prefer “tracking and hacking” as a description.

How do you explain tracking and hacking to CMOs?

Some CMOs and marketeers make the mistake of trying to track and grow all the metrics at once. They get very frustrated because it takes a very long time to get anywhere.

They need to understand that with tracking and hacking, there’s a lot of failures early on. In the first two to three months you can expect to fail a lot. But you need to track it so you can learn from these failures. Really you might complete 30 to 40 experiments before you start getting good at it – and that takes a bit of time.

A lot of old school CMOs don’t always catch on to this idea immediately because they expect it to be done today and to see results right away. But they soon see it’s much quicker and more reliable than a year long marketing project. It’s a lot cheaper too. Rather than asking for a whole year’s marketing budget, I’m going to ask for a small percentage – then when it starts to work, we can 5x, 10x, 20X the results!

Okay. Without taking your clothes off, can you describe the anatomy of a growth hacker?


No I said without taking your clothes off.


Charisma – Growth hackers are thinkers, doers, and speakers. We’re charismatic and constantly networking with old and new opportunities.

Courage – To always try out new things, to get what we want and what we strive for, to face the steep Stairway to success.

Experiments – Are the basis of Growth. We always experiment with new tools, skillsets, or trends to see what works best.

Limits – Exceed them to find what works and doesn’t. We always strive to be the best and, if we fail, that’s just another starting point.

Tools – Aren’t for fools. They’re for smart people, like us, who know what incorporating them is key on the road to growth.

Words – Don’t come easy… to everyone. But, growth hackers aren’t everyone. We have a way with words.

Growth hacking is often talked about in startup circles – companies seeking exponential growth – but do you think more established corporates can rethink the way they do things and use the same techniques?

Yeah of course. If you think about it it, the biggest corporations in the world—even companies in the Fortune 500—need to think like startups when they’re building new projects. This is more on the innovation side of things, because they don’t need to hack the growth of more established areas.  

Corporations realise that startups have this mentality – and that need to adapt to new trends, even if they’re big  – and so many create startups within their companies. To be successful in this, they need to have a hacking and tracking mindset.

How blackhat can growth hacking go?

It can be as naughty as you like, so long as the naughtiness doesn’t effect the end user. And so long as you don’t make their life harder, it can go as far as you want. If you’re going to give them things they’re going to like, then they’ll be happy.

Word association game – GDPR:

Pain in the arse.

But it’s also one of the best things that happened to marketing. Why? Because we’re going to have so many more engaged leads. It’s better to have 1000 engaged people in your CRM than 10,000 bored ones.

So thank you to the European Commission. As I said, it’s been a pain in the arse to implement, but my marketing has always been about people giving consent anyway.

It’s about consent for content.

Do you ever take tracking and hacking techniques offline? What would that look like?

Yes, you most definitely can. Tracking and hacking is not online. It’s not digital. It’s experimentation.

I’ll give you an example – a great friend of mine was working for a churros truck and they wanted more customers. So they made a flyer and chose an area to distribute it.

But instead of blanketing the area, they went to certain streets and houses and were able to find the best market and really hack their own growth and sell a lot more churros. And this was all completely offline.

What are you doing to hack your own growth?

When I first moved here, after living in London, I thought – what am I going to do to get to know people? So I put a chatbot in place called Dux-Soup on my LinkedIn and messaged 250 people a day with a personalised message asking for help. People were very happy to talk to me and in the end I got 3800 new contacts in six months and went to lunch or coffee with 150-200 people.

What tools, resources and things do you recommend our readers to look into?

Dux-soup – which I mentioned is my one of my favourites.

Lately I’ve also been looking at It gives you all the deals for the tech tools in the world.

I also love Media Lab Amsterdam’s offline tool – they offer physical cards with a business methods toolkit and design methods tool kit. Basically it’s all the frameworks, analyses and all things you need to start a business, launch products and run projects – for about €35

Then there’s Phantom Buster, which offers cloud APIs that help your marketing – and I like it a lot.

Also there’s Instanobel automations which helps you automate your instagram and find more followers. Just be careful not to get spammy, or people will report you.

How can people find you?

Send me a message and I’m available!

LinkedIn: Tim Cakir  


Twitter – cakirtim


So what’s next for Tim, Tim?

Since I moved here I’ve had full-time jobs. But I know that a lot of people need my skills – and I don’t want to limit myself to one company.

So the next step for me? Well I’m on the advisory board for a lot of amazing companies like Spitche and Service Club.

And there’s a chance I might just be starting my own growth agency.

Mic drop.


Before we go…

Special thanks to Zeynep Demirbilek and Luz Cortazar of Service Club for their warm hospitality.

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.




News Hub – First Edition

News Hub

June 10-15

Every week Hubbub Labs shares some thumb-stopping moments from all over the world, linking to the most eye-catching tech and startup news, along with helpful articles, local events, and more.

Carrefour & Google Partnership

Paris – The supermarket chain Carrefour partnered up with tech giant Google as a move against Amazon to boost digital push.

The plan is to offer consumers in France to buy Carrefour products through Google Home, Assistant and Shopping in early 2019.

Read more on Forbes 

Google Partners With Carrefour To Sell Groceries Online

Published: June 13, 2018

Blaming e-Commerce for low inflation?

United States – More and more people are buying online.

E-commerce allows consumers to be more flexible, giving consumers the opportunity to compare prices and buy from anywhere. But to what extent does this new way of purchasing impact inflation?

Read more on the New York Times

Published: June 11, 2018

Byton raises $500M

ChinaIn a series B investment round, electric car startup Byton received a total of 500 million US dollars.

With this capital, Byton wants to mass-produce its first electric car—a high-performance and range-rich SUV—further fund research & development and the introduction of new models.

Read more on the Inquirer

Chinese electric carmaker Byton raises $500M to take on Tesla

Published: June 12, 2018

Apple’s iOS 12

CaliforniaAt this year’s Developer Conference 2018, Apple promised its users an optimized operating system. Better performance than the current operating system is the focus – but what really does the iOS 12 offer?

Read more on Irish Tech News

The Good and Bad of iOS 12

Published: June 12, 2018

AT&T completes its acquitions of Time Warner

United States – The fight for the takeover of the media empire Time Warner is over.

The US Ministry wanted to prevent the takeover with a lawsuit fearing higher costs for competitors as well as customers. But the $85.4 billion deal is now sealed. 

Read more on TechCrunch

AT&T completes its acquisition of Time Warner

Published: June 15, 2018

Guides and startup resources of the week

Thanks to Cassandra Naji of Content Creators Barcelona  we found this excellent guide to writing microcopy by Dave Hall.

Poetry by design: a brief but practical guide to writing microcopy

Event of the Week

Still looking for an event in Barcelona?

Another week full of tech and startup events is waiting and we have picked one that we think you shouldn’t miss out on.

When: June 21st from 19-20h: Cómo Crear y Mantener un Blog para Conseguir Más Impacto Social

Join this upcoming Spanish-language event hosted by Antonia Villegas and learn more about generating ideas, creating the right content and achieving more social impact with your blogs.

And on top of that, of course, meet a lot of new people.

We hope to see you there!

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.

This is what you need to know about writing great blog posts

Writing the perfect blog post

In this Hubbub Labs Startup Academy post, Hubbuber Sinem Sürücü introduces 7 great tips to get you writing blog posts like a pro.

You know that corporate blogs can help companies increase their visibility online, boost their position in the search results and drive engagement on different social media channels. Just the fact that nearly 50% of buyers look at up to 5 pieces of content before talking to a sales rep. should be convincing enough to get more businesses to start blogging – and that’s just one of many reasons.

So perhaps you want to get started on your first blog post and you don’t know where to start, or maybe you’ve already had a go but didn’t see the results you were hoping for.

But first things first! There’s a lot to think about if you want to make an impact.


  1. Get their attention



No matter how excellent your blog content is, if it doesn’t have the a strong or relevant headline, you won’t get the clicks you were looking for. Or worse, your readers will click but see your content as irrelevant and bounce away into the internet ether, forever.

A good headline usually contains an average of 55 characters and highlights your topic clearly (ideally it should also include the search term under which you want to turn up on search engines).

You can use tools like Co-Schedule’s Headline Analyser – which gives you a sense of how well your headline works. But remember, it’s just a machine and your human judgement is important!

Relevant headlines will stand out on social and in the search results, earning you new followers and your valuable content will help you develop a loyal community.

  1. Keep their attention


When it comes to writing subheadings, make sure you choose a phrase that catches the reader’s eye, but at the same time doesn’t reveal too much information.

The right titles will keep your readers on the page, and will encourage them to read on to find out more, rather than just scanning the article and leaving immediately.

For example, subheading A gives everything away, whereas subheading B hints at what the reader will learn.

A: Never wash your poodle with human shampoo

B: Here’s how to keep your poodle fresh and clean

Note that you should try to keep these subheadings consistent with one another too; try not to mix questions with calls to action, or super short phrases with long ones – or it’ll just look messy.

  1. Help Google find you


A blog without SEO is like a car without wheels: it won’t get you anywhere.

Once your social media engagement has died down, you’ll end up relying on search engine results. And if you don’t turn up on the first page, you’ll be overshadowed by other more prominent blogs.

One of the main objectives for publishers is to be as high in the search results as possible. The good news is, you don’t need to be an SEO specialist to work towards that.

An easy and quick strategy to improve SEO is offered by Google Keyword Planner. This tool will tell you how often people search for a specific term on the internet and will show lots of related ideas for a chosen topic. However, you’ll need to have an AdWords account to use it.

Alternatively, Keyword is another option that helps find new keywords and keyword variations. This is handy if you want to improve your website’s SEO copy or are looking for new blog topics.

This tool is freemium, so detailed results such as the monthly search volume and cost per click are available in the paid version.

Just remember to optimise your blogs for search engines before publishing them, so you can  make it easier for people to find you and allow you to reach a wider audience.


  1. Make connections


Internal links allow your readers to be redirected to different subpages. Simply put, your visitors can find other relevant content – and they’ll stay on your site for longer as a result.

Also keep in mind that outbound links are among the most important ranking factors in search engine algorithms – so you want to use them. They capture whether your website refers to high-quality content on other websites, showing just how relevant your site is.

So inserting links to high quality content can have a positive influence on your page rank, which is exactly what we want, right?

  1. Pay attention to detail


Images are the first thing a new reader sees on your blog, even before reading the first sentence. So, in a way, they are like billboards for your blog and should be chosen accordingly.

The images should match your content and give your blog an extra something. Like cheese on your nachos. Yeah.

Make sure to use images, but be aware of copyright laws; get it wrong, forget to credit the author, or use a copyrighted resource beyond its licensed use, and you can be fined.

Check out Pixabay, Unsplash and Pexels, which offer free and public domain pictures of high quality and allow you to download pictures to use commercially and for your own website.


  1. Get them engaged


How can your readers benefit from the information you give them and what can they do with it?

When you write an article you should give your readers the chance to use the information you’re sharing. The goal is to offer added value to your readers and help them take action.

So ask a question, give a call to action, or offer a next step. You can ask them to sign up to find out more, take part in a debate on social media or to post your article on their own channels – if they love your content enough to to spread your message to the world.


  1. Always react


With luck you’ll get some comments on your posts. Feedback, whether good or bad, is helps you develop and starts a conversation with your readers.

Just make sure to react to positive as well as negative comments in an appropriate way. In the end, everyone holds different views and you’ll be showing just how transparent you are by responding honestly and professionally.

Stick to the 7 tips above and your blog will, in the long run, climb the Google ranks and drive even more visitors to your site.

Why not tell us your favourite blogging tools and tips below?

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: Meet Daysk Barcelona’s Flex Space Work Solution

Barna Hub

We finally got the chance to speak with Julien Palier, co-founder and CEO of Daysk – a Barcelona startup that recently secured a €200,000 seed round led by Finaves—the IESE investment fund—and Pearson Capital.

Daysk is a website and app that offers an on-demand solution for businesses, freelancers and other professionals that need quick access to desks, meeting rooms and other workspaces. With a range of different co-working spaces, businesses centres, and hotels at their disposal, Daysk users experience flexible & convenient working.

Tell us more Julien!

Julien Palier, co-founder and CEO at Daysk
Julien Palier, co-founder and CEO at Daysk

140 character pitch:

Daysk is an online platform (app & web) through which professionals can find and book office space and meeting rooms easily.


TRY25.DAYSK.COM for a 25% discount on your first booking!

Down to business

Can you tell us the Daysk story?
Daysk co-founders Benoit Gilloz & Julien Palier startup barcelona
Daysk co-founders Benoit Gilloz & Julien Palier

We came to the idea in 2016. I was a freelance consultant and I needed meeting rooms on-demand, mostly in between clients visits.

Ben Gilloz, my co-founder, was working remotely for a tech start-up in Cordoba. He didn’t want to be stuck working at home all the time. He wanted flexibility, but not a full time coworking space.

We built a prototype together to test the idea of an app that aggregated desks and made booking easy. After some promising testing, we committed fully to the project and went full-time in September 2016.

What was the hardest thing about starting Daysk and how did you overcome it?

Starting the company was a natural process. We started by identifying the market needs, the opportunity, and then getting into it gradually.

It was a soft launch and we’ve been continuously iterating on our first ideas. And I feel that we’ll always be into this dynamic.
Still, I think the hardest part of the whole journey is connected to the model we’re building. Being a B2B platform, you deal with a lot of constraints. From liquidity, quality and quantity of the offer, to the structure of the demand, we have a lot of challenges to overcome in order to achieve the vision we have.

What is the future of remote work in your opinion?

We don’t think that remote work will become mainstream in the sense that everybody will work from home full-time.

Rather, we foresee that flexibility will be a core component of the way we work.  And it will be how every company will reinvent the way we work.

Professionals will have more opportunity to build their own “professional journey”. Some of us need to be in an office most of the time, others will hop from coffee shop to office to share desk, while others can handle “pure” remote work from home. There are as many combinations as there are people.

That’s how we built Daysk; a simple and unique access point for all your flex space needs for employees and company.

Daysk startup logo

Barcelona Insight

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

There are two scenarios:

1) You’re working for a global audience and can work anywhere. Barcelona is a good place to be because you can connect with part of your core audience (the city is really international), while saving on costs and enjoying a really great quality of life.

Also you’re quite well connected to the rest of Europe if you need to travel abroad from time to time.

2) Your business is also local, in that case you’ll need to master Spanish really well and probably Catalan also.
If your operations are local, you’ll need to manage everything regarding taxes, the legal side on – and that means fluent Spanish.

Also consider how this might impact perception from investors when going to raise funds.

What’s the best online resource for entrepreneurs?  

Any tools that can make your business operations easier are great. From a good sales CRM to direct access to services from Glovo to Uber.

Personally I love Teleport – it allows you to compare cities and places to live, sharing information like quality of life, salary, and cost of living to help you decide where you want to live and work.

What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Barcelona and why?

I love my “barrio”, which is a small park near Güell  and not very well known. Look for Parc del Putxet. Nobody’s there and you have a great 360° view over all the city without the tourists.

Hubbub: Thanks Julien!

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.

Win a ticket worth €697 to Freedom X Fest this August

Freedom X Fest: an unmissable event in northern Spain this August

Freedom X Festiva

Take a breath, that’s fresh mountain air you’re sucking in.

We hope you can join the Hubbub Labs team at Freedom X Fest this 14-19th August. The festival, which takes place in the heart of the Spanish countryside, is aimed at digital nomads, location independent entrepreneurs, freelancers, and just about anyone else interested in discovering more about startup life and remote-work freedom.

To show you just how much we want to see you there, we’re offering you the chance to win a ticket to the event worth €697! 

Enter before June 10th to be in with a chance!

If you’ve ever wondered about having the freedom to decide how, where and when you work, FXF has the answer. It’s the very first outdoor festival of its kind and with more than 50 speakers, 100 talks and 1000 attendees, you will spend up to 6 days in a quiet village in the Pyrenees mountains, making connections, learning, teaching and having fun.


  • Expert talks
  • Interactive workshops
  • Music
  • Sports (swimming, climbing, hiking and more)
  • Exploration
  • Personal development
  • …And a whole lot of inspiration

Location & Accommodation

Freedom X Fest is set in a beautiful location next to the Pyrenean village of Canalda, some 130 km from Barcelona. Your closest train station is Solsona, a short 30 minute drive away.

You can decide from a range of different accommodation options, including:

  • Cottages
  • Tents
  • And glamping 

Find out more on the Freedom X Fest Website

Why we decided to become partners with Freedom X Fest

At Hubbub Labs we’re passionate about founder stories, startup life and business growth. We work with companies big and small, international and local to help them formulate a marketing strategy that works for them.

While we call Barcelona home, our job allows us to travel. We often find ourselves working in the different parts of Spain and sometimes on the other side of the world. We love the freedom that this gives us to move, make new friends, and discover new places.

Our team is made up of international freelancers, with people working from Spain, the USA, Canada, Colombia, the UK and some other countries in Europe.

We hope that Freedom X Fest will help and give us new strategies to grow and develop as a location independent company and, of course, meet some new collaborators!

digital nomad freedom x fest
Here’s Dan on a beach trying out our least successful marketing strategy yet

Freedom X Fest is far more than just another startup event. It’s the beginning of something new.

Enter now to win your ticket to Freedom X Fest!


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 to Brand Your Shoes Founder Guillem Soldevila

Barna Hub

We met Guillem Soldevila Elias at this year’s 4YFN event and we were completely taken with his company. He is the Creative Director and Founder of Brand Your Shoes – an innovative B2B startup that allows you to design branded trainers online. After seeing a couple of examples in person, we just loved them.

Today, we got to sit down and talk to him about business, Barcelona and music festivals! Read on because Guillem also gives us some excellent insight into local accelerators, startup support, resources, and entrepreneurial opportunities in Catalonia.

Guillem Soldevila, Founder and Creative Director of Brand Your Shoes

Quick pitch:

Custom is a new trend and we love Sneakers.

Brand Your shoes is an innovative B2B startup from Barcelona offering a new Branding-Fashion concept. Our service allows you to customise shoes with your logo or design on your smartphone and come away with some very cool, personalised sneakers.


Hubbub Labs’ readers will have free designs and a 10% discount. Contact us to find out more!

Down to business

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

How did you come up with the idea for brand your shoes and how has this evolved?

The idea struck me after I was approached by the Castellers de Vilafranca, who asked me to design a brand concept and make some personalised shoes for them.

After designing the shoes and making some customisations, I realised we were the only ones offering this service.

Hubbub: And it was a pretty cool idea!
Why do you think the idea has taken off?

We’ve been going for two years, but right from the beginning I saw this as an opportunity to build an international project.

It’s unique and people just love the concept. We’re not tied to any particular niche either; there wide range of clients, including some very big international brands.

Where do you see brand your shoes in 4-5 years’ time?

We are growing and we know that there’s a lot of hard work to be done in the next 2 years. Presently, we’re looking for partners and distributors. We are also working on six to eight new sneaker prototypes for this year.

Barcelona Insight

What advice would you give to someone thinking of setting up a business in Barcelona?

Catalan people are very creative and I think we have an open culture. It’s easy to create synergies with businesses here – and it’s a very cosmopolitan place.

The city has transformed over the last 10 years and today we have one of the most advanced industry sectors in Spain. If you go to industrial places (like 22@Barcelona) you’ll see lots of very interesting startups, design and maker spaces spaces as well as local companies that have developed very strong ties with Europe.

And of course, Barcelona has become a smart city and is well known in the innovation and entrepreneurship sectors.

What resources would you recommend to entrepreneurs in the city?

There are lots of accelerators here, but you should be careful about choosing the right one for your project. I’d recommend getting in touch with 4YFN, which is a good place to get know how they work.

Here are a few entrepreneur-focused resources:

Acció Catalunya a government initiative to promote Catalan businesses, helping entrepreneurs to find a USP and product fit in an international market.

IMPACT accelerator – this is led by ISDI & FundingBox and offers startups a VC and equity free funding and mentorship for different phases of startup growth.

Barcelona Tech City Promotes Barcelona’s technology sector internationally, encourages investment, and connects companies with opportunities and talent.

What events people should attend in Barcelona?

Anything related to creativity, graphic design or fashion! I’m very curious and I always recommend researching and going to fairs.

#MWC (the Mobile World Congress) and the 4YFN fair have together become one of the most important events in the city over the last 10 years. An absolute must!

Also check out 080, a popular fashion event in Barcelona.

Design Hub is also very interesting; it displays temporary exhibitions and has lots of excellent designs. And you will see why Barcelona is a design capital.

NewCo. Barcelona – I love participating in this – the organisation gives you the chance to choose and visit selected smart companies and their founders in the city for 30 minutes. It’s hard to pass up!

Rec Igualada – this is a outlet fashion festival full of new fashion designers, young people. It’s also a good day to go shopping!

Then I’d recommend checking out Palo Alto Festival in Poble Nou. It has shopping,  food music and fashion, which is a good combination.

 I’m also a live music lover. I’m lucky because we have loads of great Music Festivals and events all over the country.


What’s Barcelona’s best kept secret?

CATALONIA! Sometimes we locals take things for granted. Last year I was talking to an Argentinian guy and he was amazed by the fact that you have the mountains, by the sea, or in the city all so close together. It’s a real asset. Discover Catalonia, there’s a lot to see just one hour from the city.

Thanks Guillem! You’ve given us so much to go and research and opened our eyes to a new design-focused Barcelona. Hopefully we’ll catch you at a music festival this year!

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 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.