Barna Hub: Meet Daysk Barcelona’s Flex Space Work Solution

Barna Hub

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

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

Tell us more Julien!

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

140 character pitch:

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

CTA

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

Down to business

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

What is the future of remote work in your opinion?

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

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

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

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

Daysk startup logo

Barcelona Insight

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

There are two scenarios:

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

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

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

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

What’s the best online resource for entrepreneurs?  

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

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

What’s your favourite neighbourhood in Barcelona and why?

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

Hubbub: Thanks Julien!

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

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


Barna Hub Talks to Brand Your Shoes Founder Guillem Soldevila

Barna Hub

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

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

Guillem Soldevila, Founder and Creative Director of Brand Your Shoes

Quick pitch:

Custom is a new trend and we love Sneakers.

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

CTA

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

Down to business

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barcelona Insight

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

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

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

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

What resources would you recommend to entrepreneurs in the city?

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

Here are a few entrepreneur-focused resources:

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

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

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

What events people should attend in Barcelona?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You have to check out SONAR; PRIMAVERA SOUND; CRUILLA; CANET;…and discover the Catalan groups like: MISHIMA; MAZONI, NURIA GRAHAM, QUIMI PORTET, LOVE OF LESBIAN; LA CASA AZUL…

What’s Barcelona’s best kept secret?

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

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

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

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


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

Barna Hub

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

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

Take it away Gemma!

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

A quick pitch

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

CTA

sharify app launch

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

We’re also looking for a Backend Engineer and a Chief Marketing Officer – if that sounds like you, you can apply here: https://angel.co/sharifyapp/jobs

Down to business

How Sharify Works

What does the word “sharify” mean to you?

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

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

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

What inspired you to start Sharify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Barcelona Insight

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

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

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

What online resource for startups could you not live without?

Slack, definitely.

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

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

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

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

 

Find Sharify Online

Website: www.sharifyapp.com

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

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SharifyApp

Barna Hub Talks with Jasper Deprez CEO and Founder of Tradler

Barna Hub

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

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

Take it away Jasper!

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

140 character pitch:

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

CTA:

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

Down to business

How did you come up with the idea for Tradler?  

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

Hubbub: That’s some holiday!

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

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

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

Hubbub: Well, at least you tried.

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

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

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

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

There were  2 completely different opinions:

  1. Farida M:

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

  1. Marco S:

Completely chaotic, do not go there!

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

As Wodtke says in her book:

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

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

Radical Focus – Christina Wodtke (2016).

Who do you look up to in the business world?

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

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

The mindset is the following:

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

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

Barcelona Insight

Tradler Vacations Barcelona Startup

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

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

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

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

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

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

Join us for weekly Barcelona startup updates

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


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.