The Estrellan Damm venue in Barcelona was so full it left people standing on the sides, all of them there to celebrate the 2nd anniversary of Startup Grind.
The monthly event has been growing steadily over the two years, and gathered well over 200 people Thursday evening, where Trovit founder Iñaki Ecenarro spoke on his experiences and the €80 million sale of Trovit in 2014.
The director of Startup Grind Barcelona Àlex Rodríguez Bacardit was exhausted after the event, but was very clear:
“Running Startup Grind does not feed us, we all have our own businesses, but it’s worth it”, he explains.
Changing the culture
Apart from the usual program, the founder and CEO of Startup Grind Derek Andersen was there over Skype, and praised the Barcelona team for gathering such a crowd and was wondering how many of them were related to the hosts.
Jokes aside, Andersen told the audience how proud he was to see how much the Barcelona chapter has grown.
“It takes a lot of work to change a culture”, explains Rodríguez about the Barcelona ecosystem. Apart from Startup Grind he’s also to be seen in many startup events in the city, as well as being the founder of MarsBased, a development consultancy offering end‑to‑end web & mobile apps based on Ruby on Rails and AngularJS.
Challenges and free beer
On the question of what kind of challenges director Rodríguez has met through running the Grind over two years he says:
“Beginnings are hard. People are not used to pay for quality stuff. People think they pay for the food, but the actually pay to make the event happen and increase the quality over time”.
Barcinno has been around long enough to remember the first meeting, and our editing in chief, Scott Mackin, remembers one of the early meetings:
“The event featured Toni Mascaro from eMascoro spoke, and I was invited to give a presentation on content marketing for startups. I remember finding the networking very inclusive, with a great mix of people. And of course, free beer!”
Rodríguez does not have any specific predictions for the future of Startup Grind, apart from one thing:
“We’re never going to quit!“.