Supreme leader, Chief of staff, President, believe me I’ve met them all. I’m not referring to my previous life as an international figurehead, but rather to the many and oh so varied startup job titles I’ve come across. Although these commanding titles are better suited for the military/political world, I’m seeing them adopted by startup teams, ever so slightly distorting the reality of what it’s like to work in a small team. Whether it be a power play, or just because it’s fun as shit to call yourself the Supreme Leader when you run a startup of three people, I cannot say.
I met a startup team last week at the idea stage. There were three of them– CEO, CTO and CMO. This isn’t uncommon and I don’t intend to sit on my high horse and judge, as we have similar titles at Kviar (although we are at a much later stage). What I’m interested in is why we continue to adopt these corporate titles that emphasize hierarchies within early stage startups of a few people. Do you really need to be called CEO for someone to take you seriously? Enterprise companies, are you to blame? Read more
Another organization just set up shop in Barcelona to promote knowledge-sharing and innovation. Barcelona Knowledge Hub was officially launched last week and is located in the beautiful cloister premises in the Carrer del Carmen. It is a collaboration between Academia Europaea and the Catalan Foundation for Research and Innovation (FCRI): two organizations that have knowledge dissemination in their DNA.
The Barcelona Knowledge Hub will focus on the promotion of multidisciplinary scientific activities that include the perspective of the social sciences and the humanities. Their goal is to contribute to the consolidation of a genuine European area of innovation, research, and education. A beautiful ambition, but I do hope that this new organization will not reinvent the wheel. It would be of great added value if it would clearly define its added role in the vivid ecosystem of different entities pursuing a leading real for Barcelona as Innovation HUB. Just to name a few: Barcelona Growth, Barcelona Global, Barcelona KEY and the Barcelona Mediterranean Innovation HUB. Read more
Although not a prime driver in Maslow’s hierarchy or in other motivational theories, we all like making money. If not for the buzz of being able to launch dollar bills at girls in bikinis like a wannabe rap star, then at least for preventing an explosive stress disorder when you can no longer pay any of your bills.
As a founder of any company, determining what to pay yourself is like buying your first pair of skinny jeans, you never really know if what your doing is a good idea. It seems so at the time, but when the natural high slowly wears off and you’re face to face with an empty bank account and investors who want your head on a stick, it’s most probably going to end in tears (yes, that’s an awful analogy).
First things first, let’s take a look at some of the variables that could influence the salary needs of a founder: Read more
Happy Startups Factory, a Barcelona-based incubator and accelerator for entrepreneurs, launches their last call of the year to select six new innovative projects. In a four month period, the selected entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to build a sustainable business plan for their early ideas. Located very close to Plaza Espanya in Barcelona, Happy Startups Factory offers a practical training in business development, lean startup, coaching, finance, legality, marketing and collaborative culture. In addition to this training, each project will be supervised by a coach and a mentor with extended professional experience, who will help and advise the entrepreneurs.
Almost always, the hardest part is finding investment for your project. So, they will provide the opportunity to the entrepreneurs of being followed by a group of investors, who after all the process, will decide in who they want to invest.
A group of young and professional entrepreneurs are running Happy Startups Factory, and there are also other professionals with extensive reputation and experience in entrepreneurship. Mentors as Xavier Verdaguer, Imagine Creativity Center CEO’s and Albert Ventura, Imagine Creativity Center’s Dreamer, connector and mentor in entrepreneurship’s world are collaborating. Read more
You’ve probably heard, read or asked the question “How do I value a startup?” more times than you’ve promised yourself that Monday will be the start to a new healthy regime. It’s one of the most frequently asked questions and regrettably it has no definitive answer.
The art of valuing an early stage company is just that, it’s art. A blended contextual montage of science, market sentiment and gut feeling. Value is an elusive concept at the best of times. Nothing more than its perceived worth.
So for a startup team with no previous track record and zero financial history, how does one go about setting a valuation when it comes to hooking investors and raising money? Read more
In an effort to satiate the ever-increasing demand for high-quality software engineers, a new programming school called RailsCamp is preparing to launch in Barcelona. RailsCamp is an intensive 9-week web development course with one simple goal: to give you the equivalent skill set and experience of an entry-level Ruby on Rails developer.
RailsCamp is tailored towards beginners with no prior programming experience. Over an intense nine-week timespan, students receive more than 500 hours of hands-on training, basically 55 hours a week not including home study. The school employs an “explain-challenge-review” methodology that ensures an interactive teaching environment, however, the program doesn’t stop at just learning. RailsCamp is collaborating with local companies and recruiting partners to help you find a new job before graduation. They have already partnered with Teambox, Season and itnig here in Barcelona and they are building relationships with organizations throughout Europe. Read more
Right now in Barcelona, there are several programs focused on creating the right ecosystem for business, technology, education and consequently innovation and economic growth. Just to name a few: Barcelona Growth, Barcelona Global and Barcelona KEY.
The first one, Growth, wants to promote economic growth by making Barcelona the ideal environment for businesses. How? By strengthening the ‘Barcelona brand’ and supporting entrepreneurs. The second one, Global, involves the private community in “making it happen”. Increasing the cities competitiveness by uniting stakeholders both multinationals and research institutes as entrepreneurial advisors and individuals to create an attractive city that will attract business and talent from all over the world. Today we shine a spotlight on Barcelona KEY (Knowledge Economy Yard) after having a talk with its director Miquel Barceló. Read more
Silicon Valley Startup Academy heading to Barcelona
Silicon Valley Startup Academy will be in Barcelona from October 28th-30th. It is a unique opportunity to learn from top speakers about how to grow your business faster. There will be possibilities to discuss with business owners, investors and entrepreneurs key issues addressing your business plan.
The goal of this event is to learn from the experience of experts from Silicon Valley and Spain. A main figure in this space is Tim Berry; guru, co-founder of Silicon Valley Startup Academy and author of several books on startups and planning. He has been included in the list of the top 20 global entrepreneurs to follow in social media for The New York Times, Business Week and Business Insider. Berry will come to Barcelona to unveil his theory “plan -as- you-go” that is the basis in his experience in planning successful startups. The theory is simple, efficient, and designed to be applied in any business. But of course, many other speakers who excelled in Silicon Valley will also speak during the three-day event to share their insight. Read more
How do you do everything at once and get it all done on time without neglecting family, work or your newly founded addiction to hand gliding? Even with the feast of theories and solutions on how to be more productive, time management is still one of the top challenges for most entrepreneurs. I’m looking at you!
Just as a one-stop shop for startups doesn’t exist, neither does the magical key to ‘the best way you manage your workload’ treasure box. We all do things at a different pace and feel comfortable managing our time in different ways. That’s not to say that some of the options on the market such as the 5 hour work week or the 3 second day don’t work for certain people. These methods are geared towards making us more productive although I can’t comprehend why all of them focus on putting in as little hours as possible, I mean how much work can you really get done in 3 seconds? Again, it comes down to finding the right balance and what works for you, somewhere in between the work rate of Elon Musk (works 23.99 hours/day) & Sheryl Sandberg (supposedly goes home at 17h every day…). Read more
We always talk about innovation. It is everywhere and everybody wants to be innovative. To get a better understanding of the dynamics of innovation, the Meetup Group Barcelona Internet Startups invited Eric Reiss to share his view on innovation versus best practice. Are they like oil and water or complementary to one another? He has 6 laws of innovation to provide some insight.
Eric Reiss on the 6 Laws of Innovation
First of all, it is a pleasure to hear Eric talk. He is a funny, inspiring and interactive speaker that can share insight about lots of topics in the business, more specifically advertising world. He does not give a presentation, he provides the audience with an almost standup comedian show: complete with different characters and voices.
In order to talk about innovation, it is important to have the right definition. Definitions differ a lot. From the introduction of something new: an idea, method or device to a long term strategy to solve problems being achieved after a period of experimentation. Reiss stresses the importance of innovating for the right reasons: the only reason to innovate is to solve a real problem. Having said that, it should be easy to explain the ‘why’ of an innovation: the one and only unique selling point (USP). Note that the “U” stands for unique: there can only be one. So if you’re advocate of innovation, don’t sum up a dozen of so called a ‘unique’ aspects, that’s a contradiction.
To help navigate through the jungle of invention, iteration and innovation, Reiss designed 6 Laws of Innovation: Read more