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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

 

Barna Hub Gets all Foodie with Delhicioso’s Founder Rishabh Lohia

Barna Hub

Today, the Barna Hub team sat down to chat with Rishabh “Rish”  Lohia, the CEO and Founder of multicultural meal delivery platform Delhicioso! and we were taken on a culinary trip around the world.

Delhicioso’s talented chefs create healthy, delicious meal plans every week. Customers can decide what they want and how they want it, and the meals will be delivered to their homes and offices at times that suit them best.

The startup, born out of Rish’s passion for food, culture and innovation, is now operating in Barcelona.

Rish CEO of delhicioso

Rish, tell us what you do in 140 characters:

Delhicioso! is a platform that connects people who love to cook to those who can’t. A fusion of fresh healthy cuisine and culture delivered daily.

An offer to the Barna Hub Community:

Delhicioso! is pleased to offer the Barna Hub community an offer of a 30% discount on your first two orders.

Simply use the discount code “WELCOME” to receive your discount. There is no limit to the number of items you can order!

Hubbub Team: Thanks Rish! We’re getting hungry already.

Down to business

Delhicioso logo foodie logo
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

Having worked as a consultant for a few years, I knew that a standard corporate white collar job was not going to cut it for me.

I decided then that I wanted to either work in a startup or to found one of my own. The excitement, result-oriented attitude and working in something you thoroughly believe in, makes all the hard-work worthwhile.

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

Communication is one of the most important things when working in any sort of a team. We use Asana as a project management platform.

It is a fantastic online tool which helps us delegate and assign tasks, set deadlines, and share files. It also helps us make sure that the entire team is organised and on the same page with what’s happening with the product, what’s in the pipeline, and so on.

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

I feel if I could have more of something, it would be contacts. A superior of mine told me when I had just started working – “your network is your net worth”.

Money will be earned, time can be found, coffee is well…. just an excuse… but your contacts are worth millions 😉 I guess you just need to know how to make the most of your network.

Hubbub Labs: Ahem. Well, if coffee is an excuse, it’s a good one.

Barcelona Insight

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

Think Twice and think hard. Not everything will work here. Barcelona is a very vibrant city with a lot of opportunity, but just as many hurdles.

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

I like to work from Sandwichez, since they have great music and the wifi is reasonably fast. I find I can’t work in absolute silence and I blame my childhood growing in extremely crowded and populated cities for that.

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

That’s hard, considering my short stay here in Barcelona –  I still have so many places that I have not had the chance to visit.

However, if such a thing ever happened, I would go to Foc i Oli. They have the best burgers in town and – I kid you not – I love burgers. I have tried a lot of places and there’s nothing like these guys.

 

Hubbub Labs: Great talking to you Rish, we can’t wait to try all your delicious creations!

Find Delhicioso Online

Website: https://delhicioso.com/

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/delhicioso/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10966042/

See more from Barna Hub

Barna Hub Talks Entrepreneurship and Mentoring with Netmentora Catalunya

Barna Hub

Today the Barna Hub team spoke to the Beatriz de Vicente, Director at Netmentora Catalunyaand got some great insight into this inspiring and extremely valuable programme for entrepreneurs all around the world.

Netmentora was originally founded in France and currently comprises 120 entities in 10 different countries. The non-profit organisation has a 30-year pedigree creating employment through entrepreneurship and helping new founders to build and develop their companies.

Tell us more Beatriz!

Logo Netmentora Catalunya: Entrepreneurship and mentoring

140 character pitch: 

Netmentora offers a free mentoring programme for entrepreneurs who want to develop their businesses & create jobs in their local communities

CTA:

We work with a network of business owners and company managers who mentor entrepreneurs enrolled in our programme for two to three years. In this way, Netmentora arms entrepreneurs with all the know-how and tools they need to develop their startups, transform them into consolidated businesses, and create jobs.

We currently have a programme seeking entrepreneurs who want to make peoples lives better. Visit our website to find out more information and to apply for our programme today. Don’t miss the application deadline: November 24th 2017!

Down to business

What are the founding principles of Netmentora?
Beatriz de Vicente, Director at Netmentora Catalunya,
Beatriz de Vicente, Director at Netmentora Catalunya

 

We work under three premises:

  1. People come first – Human values define our network of members and entrepreneurs and the person is the most important thing.
  2. Founders don’t pay – The entrepreneur doesn’t pay for the programme and the mentor doesn’t invest money in the mentored company (during the period of mentorship).
  3. Reciprocity is important – Entrepreneurship is about giving something back. At Netmentora, entrepreneurs helps other entrepreneurs. Participants in our programme are invited to join as members once the mentoring period is over.
What made you want to work with entrepreneurs and startups?

There were two things that really motivated me. Firstly, Netmentora’s mission – to help entrepreneurs to consolidate their startups, grow their business and create jobs – was inspiring.

Secondly, the success rate of Netmentora’s methodology is striking. In fact, 90% of the startups that take part in the Netmentora programme are still running after three years and 78% are still operating after five years. Not to mention that each startup we work with creates an average of 13 jobs after five years.

How do you encourage entrepreneurship and develop startups at Netmentora?

We offer them three things:

  1. Mentoring: as I mentioned, we offer two to three years of free mentorship, which is carried out by highly experienced volunteer business owners and company managers.
  2. Funding: we also offer 0% interest loans of up to €25.000 to our entrepreneurs in order to help them find more funding.
  3. Networking: and not only do entrepreneurs and business owners become part of the Netmentora community here in Spain, but they are also introduced to many others in the 120 associations that form part of Netmentora/Réseau Entreprendre around the world.
What’s the best startup resource or tool online and why is it useful?

We’re currently helping Daysk, an app that lets you book an office or work space on demand, online.

It’s a really useful tool, especially for location-independent people, people who work from home, at coworking spaces, or even those who combine office and home work.

Barcelona Insight

Where’s the coolest place to work in Barcelona?

CREC coworking, for sure! It’s a cute space and really central. You have everything nearby, there’s a great working environment and the team is very welcoming and helpful. Most importantly, they organise a vermut on a Friday once a month!

If you had to leave Barcelona tomorrow, forever, where would you spend your last day?

I’d probably spend it at the beach with my dog Señor. Sometimes we don’t realize how lucky we are to have the Mediterranean sea so close by.

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

Analyse, plan, and listen, but then take the decision by yourself and go for it!

Hubbub team: 

Thanks Beatriz, we can certainly get behind that advice!

Find Netmentora Online

Website: http://www.netmentora-catalunya.org (Spanish language)

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/company/10507057/

Twitter: @NetmentoraCat 

See more from Barna Hub:

 

Barna Hub: Startup Interview with Spitche’s Matthieu Astarita and Kévin Markowski

Barna Hub

In this installment of Barna Hub we are lucky enough to talk to the co-founders of Spitche. Kévin Markowski (CEO) and Matthieu Astarita (CMO) have recently launched their brand new social media management and ambassador engagement tool all rolled into one.

As if that’s not enough, the pair are also the co-founders of the popular Meltin’ Afterwork Event – a regular Barcelona networking night where you can meet other entrepreneurs, startup founders, and a lot of great people.

Take it away guys!

Spitche social media and ambassador platform

140 character pitch:

Spitche gamifies social media management for brands & their ambassadors, offering rewards to fans who share content with their friends.

CTA:

Come and meet us Tuesday 24th of October at the next Meltin’ Afterwork Event

Listen to some great talks and meet like-minded entrepreneurs and startup enthusiasts based in Barcelona! Our partner AmoVino will be present as usual to serve you some top Catalan wines.

Down to business

Kevin and Matthieu from Spitche
Matthieu (L) and Kévin (R), co-founders of Spitche
Why did you want to found your own startup?

Before Spitche, we both used to work for large companies. Making changes or improving procedures would take forever and often needed approval from above. This lack of freedom was frustrating, because we are the kind of people who are full of ideas and want to create new things.

We like it when things move quickly and make things better for everyone. So we decided to partner and create our own company.

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

For us, the best resource is our network and the people supporting our startup. We know people with a lot of experience in creating startups and successful businesses, as well as in fundraising and digital marketing.

That’s why we created Meltin’ Afterworks networking events here in Barcelona. It has allowed us to meet new people in the same industry who can give us feedback and also find potential partners who we can work with and exchange ideas.

The startup scene is growing fast here in Barcelona, let’s all hope it keeps going like this!

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

Definitely Time.

It’s horrible to see how fast the days go by – it seems like we don’t have enough time for anything. It’s essential for us to prioritise tasks every single day and make sure the business is moving forward. If a day could last 48 hours, that would be amazing.

Hubbub: Tell us about it!

Barcelona Insight

What’s the coolest place to work in in Barcelona?
cloud cowork
Startup Event at CloudCoWorking, Barcelona (Photo: Dan Shepherd)

There are a lot of places with great work environments here in Barcelona.

The OneCowork at the marina has amazing views of all the yachts. Then there’s CloudCoWorking, which hosts a lot of international events.

In terms of cafes we are very fond of Generator and Bicioci bike cafe in Gracia. But don’t tell anyone, we want to keep them just for us 🙂

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

MakaMaka.

This is where we like to take our friends who come to Barcelona on holiday. It’s the perfect place to relax and enjoy a great Maradona Burger, stunning views of Barceloneta beach and some cool drinks.

Hubbub Team: Sold.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about starting their own business in Barcelona?

Just go for it! It costs almost nothing to start a business today – you can even do it on the side while working or studying.

Our motto is you never fail, you only learn! The only thing that you need to start is a good network – you’ll only miss out if you don’t try.

Leave us on a cliff hanger:

We’ll soon have some great news about Meltin’ Afterworks for people who are at the very early stages of their businesses.

Hubbub team: We’re intrigued! It was great talking to you guys. We’re off to MakaMaka right now. 

Follow Spitche online

https://www.facebook.com/SpitcheCommunity/

https://www.linkedin.com/company/10370913/

https://www.twitter.com/yourspitche

 

See more from Barna Hub with this interview with Bida’s Priscilla Lavoie.

 

Barna Hub: Startup Interview With Bida’s Priscilla Lavoie

Barna Hub

Barna Hub is a new blog series from Hubbub Labs, shining a spotlight on the Barcelona startup scene. In our very first Barna Hub interview we are excited to speak to Priscilla Lavoie, the Founder & CEO of Bida.

Barcelona startup Bida app

140 character startup pitch:

Bida is Barcelona’s hottest new mobile app where members receive a free drink every day at awesome bars all around the city for 9,99/month.

Bida special offer:

Because you’re part of the Barna Hub community, Bida is giving you *ONE MONTH TOTALLY FREE* (that’s up to 31 free cocktails) on their app! All you have to do is download the app from https://bida.app.link/BARNAHUB  and use the invite code “BARNAHUB” at signup to claim your free month. This offer is for new members only and lasts till Oct. 31st, so don’t miss out!

Down to business:

Priscilla Lavoie, Founder & CEO of Barcelona startup Bida
Priscilla Lavoie, Founder & CEO of Bida
What made you want to be an entrepreneur?

I’ve always been attracted by entrepreneurship. My parents were entrepreneurs, and I remember being a “hustler” as early as 9 or 10 years old, buying lollipops in bulk at WalMart and selling them at school for a dollar a pop (until my teacher made me stop…).

Maybe this is a bad thing, but I see problems and inefficiencies everywhere, and constantly think about solutions to these issues. It’s just something innate to me, something I believe makes me who I am.

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

Your network!!! I’m a huge advocate of making use of the world of contacts around you. I take advantage of so many opportunities to connect with new, interesting people. And with the proliferation of online social networks in our day and age, there’s really no excuse.

I think your network as a startup resource is even more powerful in Barcelona — this city is full of supportive, intelligent, experienced people who are happy to chat and help. It’s one of the things I love most about this city.

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

Certainly time. I always complain that there aren’t enough hours in a day — it’s the biggest stress in my life. As a result of this, I consider my time extremely valuable. One time, a friend was 30 minutes late to meet me for no good reason at all, and I decided to stop hanging out with her.

I also feel that time is intertwined with the other things in this list/question — with more time you have more opportunities to make money and grow your number of contacts, and more moments for coffee, of course ;-P

Barcelona Insight

Where’s the coolest place to work from in Barcelona?

I kind of don’t even want to say this here, because I want it to stay the way it is, but Soho House is hands down the coolest place to work from in the city. The inspirational atmosphere, the network of people there, and the members’ events are simply phenomenal. My happiness level has definitely increased since I started working from Soho.

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

Damn that’s a tough one — there are so many amazing food spots in this city… but I think I would have to choose Enigma… even though I’ve never been, haha! I’ve been dreaming of that 40-course meal for the longest time. Can someone take me, please?

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

Try to be patient. The bureaucracy and inefficiencies are no joke. I kicked a wall once because of how frustrated I was with the system here.

Also, try to enjoy Barcelona whilst you’re building your empire. I know from experience that, especially when starting a new company, you want to put your entire heart and soul into it, and can easily get lost in your work, leaving no time for real life. I also know from experience that if you do this in Barcelona, you’ll get so caught up in the negative aspects of doing business here that you’ll quickly lose sight of why you came here in the first place. This city is just f*in amazing and has so many great things to offer. What’s the point in living here if you don’t enjoy it?

Thanks a lot Priscilla, we had a great time talking with you!

Follow Bida online:

https://www.facebook.com/bidaapp/

https://www.instagram.com/bida_app/

https://twitter.com/bida_app