I first learned of Alfonso Zamarro (BBA 2014), an exemplary innovator whose idea has been recognized in both investment circles and the media, through the EGarage on our Sant Cugat campus.
In less than half a year, Alfonso’s start-up, DEA Drones, has gone from promising project to winner of the Adecco Prize for ‘Brilliant Ideas’ and finalist for the Smart City Award, garnering features on the front pages of the leading Spanish newspapers. These accomplishments have no doubt also awakened investors’ interest in the company.
The story reminds me of the twists, turns and dogged ascents that mark the histories of ground-breaking business ideas. Alfonso’s case is that of an entrepreneur, who, from ESADE’s classrooms, dared to dream and to build the stepping stones he needed to make those dreams come true.
The social use of drones
DEA Drones was founded on the ESADE campus and currently operates out of ESADECREAPOLIS, an ESADE start-up accelerator and innovative business hub. The project’s most salient feature is its use of drone technology, more commonly associated with warfare, to deal with medical emergencies.
After countless meetings with insurers, clinics and various professionals and businesses, the DEA Drones Barcelona pilot project was validated by the directors of SEM 112, the Catalan emergency medical responder service. The tests with real drones began soon after and recognition was not long in coming. The project won the Adecco prize, endowed with €10,000, and was a finalist for the Smart City Award. It was also the only Spanish company to compete.
Alfonso’s time at ESADE was marked by his innate entrepreneurial drive, from his start as president of the ESADE Entrepreneurship Club (E3) to his internship at a start-up incubator in Thailand. ‘To learn to work hard, to keep at it until I achieve my goals and to have confidence in myself’ were his guiding premises.
Transforming how things are done
I have spent years meeting different types of entrepreneurs; it is a subject I am passionate about. I believe that visionaries are people who are able to see a clear path where others do not yet see anything. They guide their team towards a future that has yet to be created, because they themselves are building it as they make their way.
Alfonso is one of these ESADE-style visionaries. His ideas are inspiring, they make you believe that processes can always be improved and transformed, sometimes even dramatically. I’ve been wanting to write this post for a while now, in order to congratulate him and encourage him to keep doing what he’s doing. Let these words stand as testament to the fact that he has already gone above and beyond his goal.