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.

CTA:

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

OneCoWork

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?

Everywhere!

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

https://www.facebook.com/OneCoWork.Global

https://www.instagram.com/onecowork/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/onecowork/

https://twitter.com/onecowork_bcn

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! smartnotifications.tid.es

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!

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 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 (https://www.ikeybnb.com/) 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

https://www.facebook.com/iKeyBnB/

https://www.linkedin.com/company-beta/10590050/

https://twitter.com/iKeyBnB

https://www.instagram.com/ikeybnb/

 

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 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: http://www.kailaniicetea.com

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:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kailaniicetea/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kailaniicetea/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10445388/

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 Quick-Fire Chat with Glovo Co-Founder Sacha Michaud

Barna Hub

Exclusive interviews offering insight, resources and advice with Barcelona startup founders and entrepreneurs, only on Hubbub Labs.

Barna Hub invited Glovo co-founder Sacha Michaud along for a mulled wine, a bit of figgy pudding, and a chat about the Barcelona-based on-demand delivery platform.

Glovo Co-Founder Sacha Michaud
Glovo Co-Founder Sacha Michaud


Glovo recently closed a series B round, raising €30 million led by Cathay Innovation, and is set to invest in its platform to better serve users, couriers and providers.

Use the app to connect with independent delivery drivers or glovers and pick up just about anything from restaurants, cafés, or shops in the city and get it delivered within an hour. All orders can be tracked in real time via a GPS monitor.

Currently available in Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Milan, Paris and several other cities in Spain, Glovo has a quarter of a million users and is closing in on order number 2 million.

Over you to Sacha!

Call to Action!

Get your first delivery for free with Glovo!

Sign up here and follow the link in the email.

Down to business

Glovo app startup Barcelona

Why did you decide to become an entrepreneur?

I love seeing an opportunity to disrupt traditional industries. Doing it yourself is the best way to get it done.

How did you come up with the idea for Glovo?

I was thinking of the need to have a real on-demand marketplace. It would allow you to receive anything in your city within minutes (more or less an Uber of things). I met my partner, who had just came back from the US and was developing a similar idea, so we decided to do it together.

What’s been the hardest thing growing a company at such a fast rate?

Early on, trying to demonstrate a real business model around your idea. Then as you grow, and the unit economics start working, the challenge becomes more about scaling all three sides of the marketplace at the same pace to grow at the speed you need to.

What’s the future for Glovo?

We are focusing on two things: profitability in mature cities and growth in new ones. Then, we will be scaling every aspect of the business to allow this solid growth.

Barcelona Insight

What makes Glovo better suited to Barcelona than deliveroo, amazon prime or other delivery services?

We offer “anything” in your city. We have the best restaurants and food delivery, but at the same time we can also deliver groceries in 30 minutes, go to the pharmacy after midnight, or even pick-up your keys you left at work. Our vision is give you access to the whole city and deliver immediately.

What do you love most about Barcelona’s startup scene?

It´s a great place to work and it is attracting a lot of International talent right now, mainly for the opportunity to join great projects combined with a healthy lifestyle.

I have been here for over 20 years so I take a lot of things for granted. But Barcelona is certainly one of the best cities in the world to combine work and pleasure.

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

Go for it, be prepared to be persistent as there is still too much bureaucracy.

Having said that, any business you start anywhere in the world will have different issues and hurdles to get over. Barcelona isn’t any different.

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

If it were spring or summer, I would head out to the Costa Brava and enjoy an amazing lunch with family and friends.

Hubbub – Thanks Sacha, great talking with you!

Find Glovo Online

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/glovoappES/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Glovo_ES

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/9262901/

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 of Curiooso and Mobile Weekend Award Winner Melissa Sävlind

Barna Hub

Exclusive interviews offering insight, resources and advice with Barcelona startup founders and entrepreneurs, only on Hubbub Labs

Shake your coco loco, break out your bermudas, and pack your best snorkel, because you are going somewhere tropical. It’s time to talk to Melissa Sävlind, CEO & Co-founder of Curiooso, a travel planning service with a difference.

 Melissa Sävlind CEO of travel planning platform Curiooso
Melissa Sävlind CEO of Curiooso (Centre)

What is Curiooso, exactly?

Curiooso is a hassle-free travel planning platform on a mission to help you organise the perfect trip.

Forget texting, bundles of surplus features, and bad user experience, Curiooso gets right down to it and helps you get going quickly, easily and in collaboration with your friends.

Melissa, it’s over to you!

140 character pitch:

Curiooso is a chat-free platform that simplifies travel planning between you and your travel buddies.

CTA:

We dare you to plan your next trip without messaging apps! Take the challenge on www.curiooso.com

Down to business

What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

A combination of loving challenges, problem-solving and making things happen. It has always been my career goal to run a business, as I think it’s the type of job that best matches my personality and interests.

I also think that we all have a huge potential to make a larger scale impact in this world, not just in our own lives or the lives of our friends or family. So I want to try to fulfil that potential.

Where did the idea for Curiooso come from?

Originally, I had an idea about planning trips with friends in virtual reality (VR) and applied to the startup competition Mobile Weekend at the beginning of this year.

My idea was chosen and I put a team together to work on the idea with me. We won the competition and, since then, Xavi, Pablo and I have been developing it into what it is today. We realised quite quickly that it was too early to enter the VR market, so we decided to develop this solution that is useful for people right now.

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

That’s a tricky one, I’m going to have to mention two things. The first is that a great team with a not-so-great product goes further than a great product with a not-so-great team. I think it’s really important to build a winning team, because that is essentially what drives you forward.

The second is to launch something small and have real users or customers as fast as you can. Don’t wait too long with launching things.

The users will give you the feedback that you need to improve your product. Even if you launch something that’s incomplete you’ll get real feedback about what should be improved, rather than guessing about  what should be improved.

Finish this sentence: “The biggest mistake an entrepreneur can make is…”

Losing their optimism.

You need to have an optimistic mindset. You can’t let yourself be negatively affected by the obstacles that come up along the way.

You’re going to face a lot of unexpected challenges and the moment you start believing that something isn’t possible, you will start to develop a toxic mindset.

Barcelona Insight

Logo Barcelona startup travel planning platform Curiooso
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

My first advice is do it!

If you’re thinking about starting a business, give it a try. Even if it doesn’t work out you’ll learn and grow so much in a way you wouldn’t do otherwise.

The second thing is thoroughly investigate if there is any way you can legally found your company in a different country while operating it from here.

The bureaucracy of having a company in Spain is unfortunately quite a hassle and will take a lot of energy and patience from your side. There are also a lot of unnecessary costs tied to this.

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

Connect people in a great environment. The city is so lively and full of all sorts of events, both startup-related and other types. You find something new to discover everyday.

Add to that the international crowd and you have a great talent pool with lots of synergies and interconnections.

People from all over the world pass through Barcelona frequently. Lastly, all of this happens in a great environment where you have year-round sunshine, the beach and rooftop terraces.

You’re taking your best client to lunch in Barcelona: Where would you go?

Depends on the type of person they are but most likely Flax & Kale. Their food is really delicious for being so healthy and the rooftop terrace is great on a sunny day.

Hubbub – Thanks Melissa, we’re packing our suitcases and heading to Curiooso right now!

Find Curiooso Online

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/curiooso360

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/curiooso

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 Interviews Esteban Redolfi, Director of Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship

Barna Hub

We first met Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director, at the Smart City Expo World Congress this November.

 4yfn Esteban Redolfi, Director Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director
Esteban Redolfi, Mobile World Capital Barcelona Entrepreneurship Director

 

Today he’s come along to Barna Hub to talk about startups, 4 Years From Now  (4YFN) and tell us just why Barcelona is the place to be for entrepreneurs and founders.

Introducing Mobile World Capital Barcelona and 4YFN

Following three pillars of innovation, transformation and empowerment, Mobile World Capital Barcelona is an initiative that promotes and fosters mobile and digital progress. Its aim is to improve people’s lives all over the world.

The organisation is funded by both the public and private sectors. It achieves its success through the development of a number of initiatives, including; GoingDigital d-LAB, mSchools, and 4YFN – a platform connecting startups with investors and corporations, and drives innovation through collaboration.

Take it away Esteban!

140 character pitch

We love helping to create scalable businesses with passionate archi-TECHS who happen to be entrepreneurs, investors and corporate executives.

How can startups get involved with 4YFN?

Startups are at the centre of everything we do at Digital Entrepreneurship in Mobile World Capital Barcelona.

Our next event is 4YFN Barcelona 2018 and startups can apply to be part of our Innovation Market. 

Come along to exhibit your solutions, not only to a variety of investors, but to more than 10,000 executives from Mobile World Congress. You can also get involved in many of our networking activities, including:

  • Pitching to the press
  • Meeting investors
  • Pitching sessions
  • Networking drinks
  • Mentoring sessions
  • And much more!

Down to business

4yfn logo

What makes Barcelona’s startup scene unique?

Barcelona’s startup scene is unique because of its affordable lifestyle and work force, great access to talent, as well as an early-adoption market. There is also a direct connection with the European and American market and great connection routes by ground and air.

What benefits can startups bring to a city or region?

Apart from the obvious economic activity that a growing startup ecosystem brings into any city or region, startups bring innovation at an astounding speed.

They introduce a culture that looks at products and services from the user’s perspective. They also bring a new work methodology, where constant learning and iteration allows projects to survive and prosper in an incredibly challenging market. What’s more, startups continually incorporate new talent.

This last point – having international talent developing projects in our ecosystem – spreads to other areas such as corporations, public entities, and traditional businesses.

Where does 4YFN fit in?

4YFN has enabled Barcelona’s and Spain’s startup ecosystems to showcase their accomplishments, projects, talent and potential to the world. Our event in Barcelona gathers 20,000 attendees from 138 countries. We have bridged our tech hub with San Francisco, Tel Aviv, Shanghai, Helsinki, London, Paris, Berlin, and a number of other important tech hubs.

We have created an investor’s only platform that gathers more than 1,000 VC members from some of the most active funds in the world. Plus, we have contributed to building a successful methodology, exemplifying how startups should be served during a B2B event.

As Director, I am very proud of 4YFN’s accomplishments and thankful for having had the opportunity to contribute to the consolidation of Barcelona as a model for the startup world.

What’s been the most memorable moment at 4YFN for you?

The most memorable moment is happening now – a few months before the next edition of our Barcelona event.

Right now, we’re receiving a lot of calls, emails, and messages. At the same time, we are juggling meetings with passionate founders, heavy players from investment funds, and representatives from corporations, country delegations, and acceleration programmes.

They are all reaching out to be part of 4YFN Barcelona 2018. Of course, they want to leverage on the event to grow their businesses, but they also bring proposals on how to create more value in the ecosystem.

These past few and very intense months confirm that we have created a platform that makes sense, and something that the ecosystem feels they want to be a part of.

Where do you see yourself 4 years from now?

Behind all the action we have created at 4YFN, there is a large international digital entrepreneur community, which is always evolving and growing.

We are already working on new projects and ideas that will tackle the new challenges that this global community will face. We know that Barcelona will have a leading role in the consolidation of Europe as a relevant global startup ecosystem.

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Barcelona Insight

What advice do you have for first time entrepreneurs here?

My advice to first time entrepreneurs will always be to get connected.

Barcelona, like any of the top ten tech hubs in the world, has entities, accelerations programmes, corporate open innovation programmes, experienced entrepreneurs and smart money investors that can provide advice, resources and support.

Being an entrepreneur is extremely tough. There is no need to face it completely alone.

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

I would come to the office to do my job. Having such passionate and talented people in my team turns every meeting into a great opportunity. It is an honour to discuss the future of the ecosystem with them, and to create new initiatives in order to contribute to it.

Finish this sentence: “The best thing about living and working in Barcelona is…”

… the opportunity to walk around and absorb the cosmopolitan and entrepreneurial spirit of the city. Barcelona is contagious and every corner, every overwhelming view of the sea, every vision of its urbanism, every walk through the surrounding mountains invites you to create something new, something big, something better.

So, why not make it a startup?

Hubbub: Why not indeed! Thanks very much for your fascinating insights Esteban!

Find 4YFN online

Twitter: https://twitter.com/4YFN_MWC

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FourYearsFromNow/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/5321378

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/4yfn_mwc/

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 passion and happiness with top coaching psychologist and entrepreneur Mara Moldoveanu

Barna Hub

Today we sat down for a cappuccino and tiny biscuit with Mara Moldoveanu, entrepreneur, coaching psychologist and founder at START THIS DAY. Mara has a BA in Psychology, an MA in Clinical Psychology, and an MSc. in Law and Psychology – and we were inspired by her passion for helping people to live the lives they want. 

Mara Moldoveanu start this day
Mara Moldoveanu, START THIS DAY

 

What does Mara do?

Professionals and entrepreneurs of all stripes are familiar with stress, burnout and anxiety. Mara’s mission is to help people bring more focus, happiness and passion into their lives.

START THIS DAY offers one-to-one coaching sessions for personal and professional development,  project and team oriented group sessions, as well as workshops, courses, training sessions, and more.

Over to you Mara!

140 character pitch:

START THIS DAY offers coaching sessions for entrepreneurs: build a life & career without burnout and where ease, flow & purpose come first!

CTA:

Take your life and business to the next level and build a life you love! Book a free strategy session with Mara and START THIS DAY!

Down to business

start this day Barcelona startup coaching
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

I began my career working in NGOs, academic research, and then in companies of various sizes. I was also involved in grassroots projects focused on social change. Looking back, I think I was searching for a place where I had freedom, flexibility and abundance. I didn’t find it, so becoming an entrepreneur was the logical next step.

Now, as en entrepreneur, I am creating that environment for myself, and I am using my experience to help others to do the same.

What’s the best startup resource or tool online and why is it useful?

I recently discovered StartupResources.io and I love it. It has very comprehensive resource lists, including tools for everything that you need to develop your business online – and it is very nicely organised.

I use it a lot for ideas and for understanding what I need to prioritise. I definitely recommend it, especially if you don’t have a background in business.

If you could have more of one of these things in your life, what would it be and why: money, time, contacts, coffee?

At this point in time, I’d definitely say more contacts. People are the driving force behind everything we create in our society, both good and bad.

People also mean more money, more time and more coffee – so with more contacts I am choosing more of everything!

Barcelona Insight

What’s the coolest place to work in Barcelona? 

It depends a lot on your goal, whether you want to interact and meet people, or to finish a task, etc.

When I want to be focused (and not be alone in my office), I really love to go to a cafe in Barri Gòtic called La Clandestina. It is mostly quiet with good internet, great coffees, tea and food.

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you have your last meal?

I cannot stop thinking,“Why in the world I would agree to leave Barcelona?” I love this place. It is home.

But to answer your question, I would definitely go to Macrobiotics Zen. Great, tasty, healthy food with big portions and friendly staff; what else could you possibly need?

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

Build your network. Meet people. Talk about your ideas. Be open to all the opinions coming your way and always keep your personal WHY in mind:

  • Why I am doing this?
  • Why did this idea come to me?

What you will get out of this? Ideas, solutions to problems you never thought of, contacts, partners, clients, friends, clarity, a better and better pitch, feedback, confidence, fun…

Hubbub – Thanks Mara – It’s been an honour to have you on Barna Hub!

Find START THIS DAY online:

https://www.facebook.com/startthisday/

https://twitter.com/Start_this_Day

https://www.linkedin.com/in/mara-moldoveanu/

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 Interviews Dominik Pogorzelski from Restb.ai, European Top 5 AI Startup

Barna Hub

Barna Hub sat down with the charming Dominik Pogorzelski, Head of Product Management at Restb.ai. The company was recently named as a top 5 European AI startup by NVIDIA.

Dominik Pogorzelski, Head of Product Management RestB
Dominik Pogorzelski, Restb.ai

Restb.ai is an Artificial Intelligence (AI) Startup operating in the Real Estate ecosystem across Europe, the USA, and Asia.

It offers Real Estate portals plug ‘n play computer vision solutions, based on a proprietary Deep Learning Convolutional Neural Network.

This cutting-edge AI tech can detect room types, tag property features and detect watermarks and logos.

Companies using Restb.ai benefit from boosted SEO and increased web traffic, improved user experience and conversions, and the opportunity to monetise 3rd-party logos.

So it’s all pretty high tech. 

Over to you Dominik!

140 character pitch:

“AI with an eye for real estate”. We give real estate portals key insights by scanning and auto-describing each and every uploaded image

Call to action:

Check out how AI is disrupting the real estate industry by playing around with our demo

Demo AI Startup Restb

Down to business

Restb logo

Are you really a person, or are you just super convincing AI?

I’m a definitely real person. Probably.

Hmm. Okay, now we’ve got that cleared up, what made you want to work in a startup?

For me it’s mostly about the direct impact you have, both within the company and on your end customers.

Things move fast and you can often go from conceptualising a feature/product to actually launching it within a few weeks time. You’re not just some employee getting a project from some department so that you can then ship it off to another department.

It’s also a non-stop cognitive challenge because it basically comes down to you and your small team to overcome any obstacle that is thrown at you. You need to be creative, scrappy and think quickly on your feet.

What’s the best startup resource or tool and why is it useful?

A whiteboard! If there’s one thing I learnt in my years as a product manager it’s the importance of visualizations. When discussing thoughts/ideas with different people it’s crazy how much it helps to draw things out. It really anchors everyone around what it is you’re trying to say exactly. Test it out it! Next time you have a discussion, draw something on a whiteboard and notice how many times people will point to it as they’re explaining their own thoughts.

Hubbub – that’s probably the least techie thing you could have said. We love it!
If you could have dinner with one influential person, living or dead, who would it be and why?

Tesla, like the person and not the car. It’s really mind-blowing how ahead of his time he was. He challenged so many norms, both existential and scientific.

That being said, I also wouldn’t mind having dinner with Elon Musk, the founder of Tesla – the car and not the person. 🙂

 Hubbub – Elon, we know you’re reading. You know what to do.

Barcelona Insight

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

Have a soul. There’s just something about this city that can’t be described in terms of stats or metrics. This city is alive. There’s a certain social fabric that connects everyone.

Everybody says ‘hi’ to each other. Everywhere. You can walk into the waiting area of a clinic and everyone will say “Holaaa” – you walk out of the waiting area and everyone will say “A deeeuuu”.

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you have your last meal?

I would totally cheat on this question and make a quick detour to Girona to have one more dining experience at Celler de Can Roca. Barcelona has a phenomenal food scene, but Celler de Can Roca is just next level. Sorry, not sorry. #nomnomnom

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

Be patient, like veeeeerrrry patient. A NIE officer once told me with a straight face that I needed a private health insurance to get my NIE but at the same time needed a NIE to get my private health insurance. We then stared at each other blankly until I flinched, lost the stare down and went to get a private health insurance, somehow…

Also, find a good Gestor ASAP. Like before even booking your flight, no joke. I think officially they’re like accountants but essentially they’re your “how-to” guides for Spain. He/she will basically help you navigate this sea of maddening bureaucracy.

Hubbub – Absolutely spot on. Thanks  for your great insights Dominik. I hope we get to talk to you again.
Adeuuuu!

 

Follow Dominik and Restb.ai online:

Dominik’s blog:

https://medium.com/product-management-tips-and-thoughts

Restb.ai social media:

https://www.facebook.com/restbai/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/restbai/

https://twitter.com/restb_ai

 

Bonus!

If you’re not sure what Dominik means about bureaucracy in Catalonia, please see Intereconomia’s take on it

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 Explores Sharing Academy with CEO and Founder Jordi Llonch Esteve

Barna Hub

Jordi Llonch Esteve, Founder & CEO at Sharing Academy, is an airline pilot, entrepreneur, and educator from Barcelona.

We had the chance to sit down and talk to him about his startup tutoring platform for university and high school students in Spain.

Jordi also shows us how he created a viral video that reached more than 1 million views on YouTube in just one week. Pretty fascinating stuff, if we don’t say so ourselves!

140 character pitch

Sharing Academy is the first peer-to-peer tutoring marketplace for university students in Spain.

Call to Action

If you are studying in any Spanish university and are struggling to pass your exams, we have the tutor that will help you succeed. Sign up now at sharingacademy.com!

Down to business

Sharing Academy Jordi Llonch Esteve startup Barcelona
Jordi Llonch Esteve, Founder and CEO at Sharing Academy
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

Like a lot of people who go on to become entrepreneurs, it was a matter of personal frustration and negative user experience.

I wanted access to a transparent platform that could put me in touch with a tutor easily, but it didn’t exist. When I see problems, have a natural impulse to want to fix them – and so I had to create the tool for myself.

It’s a great moment when you realise that anyone can do anything they set their minds to. When you start building something, and it all starts falling into place, you feel invincible.

What’s the best startup resource or tool online and why is it useful?

It’s definitely not a secret – but for me it’s Youtube. It’s an amazing vehicle for promotion. Anyone, regardless of budget, can create a successful promo video with very few resources.

I worked with my brother to make this video, which had over a million views in just one week, to promote Sharing Academy. As a result we got a lot of media attention, and of course it really gave our startup a big boost in its early stages.

The viral video (Spanish):

 

Explanation of the video (Spanish):

Of course, the videos are in Spanish, but you’ll get the idea even if you don’t speak it!

If you could have more of one of these things in your life, what would it be and why: money, time, contacts, coffee?

Time: If you have time you can do anything in the world. Of course, you also need to be an organised person with boundaries. Sometimes, when you have all the time of the world, you don’t use it efficiently.

Barcelona Insight

Sharing academy logo Barcelona Startup

What’s the coolest place to work in in Barcelona?

The Sharing Academy offices!

Hubbub Labs – They’re definitely cool, and you have a great location in the University of Barcelona.

Yes! I wake up every morning eager to go to my office. The co-working space  is part of the students’ residence at Penyafort Montserrat.

It’s a community of 500 students co-living and co-studying together and it fuels the young spirit of the company.

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you have your last meal?

I don’t have a favourite restaurant in the city. I’d probably eat a homemade meal at my parents, my mum cooks really well!

Hubbub Labs – sounds good. We’ll see you there at 8, is that okay?
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Find a community where your business fits in. It’s very easy to get lost in dozens of entrepreneurial communities and lose focus.

The faster you meet your peers, the sooner you will start doing business and the easier it will be.

Find Sharing Academy Online

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sharingacademy

Twitter: https://twitter.com/sharingacademy

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sharingacademy

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/sharingacademy