Yesterday, more than 1,000 ESADE graduates came together for the 6th ESADE Alumni Annual Conference. Madrid’s Palacio de Congresos was abuzz with excitement and positive energy: excitement at reuniting with old friends and classmates, and positive energy because our guest speakers – Spanish Minister of Economy Luis de Guindos, Telefónica CEO José M. Álvarez-Pallete, and ESADE Alumni President Miguel Trias – inspired us to look ahead to a future rich with opportunity that holds a place for every one of us.
Time and again, two themes emerged: innovation and entrepreneurship, two pillars essential to stimulating the national economy and repositioning Spain’s companies and professionals on the world stage. But there’s more to it than that. As José M. Álvarez-Pallete noted in his talk on initiatives such as Wayra, we need innovation and entrepreneurship to drive transformation and growth.
Many of our alumni take the leap and commit to an idea – their idea. To be sure, launching a business means taking risks and investing time and money. But with hard work, enthusiasm and motivation, these professionals have defied their main competitor – themselves – and made their dreams come true. I’m talking about Manel Adell of Desigual, Antonio Rami of Kantox, Andrea Lisbona of Touchland, María Alegre of Chartboost, Jacinto Roca of Wuaki.tv, Pere Costa of Bicentury, Miquel Àngel Bonachera of AB-BIOTICS, José Manuel Villanueva of Privalia… and many others.
In fact, yesterday’s participants included José Manuel Villanueva’s business partner, Lucas Carné, as well as Miguel Silva, who co-founded Blusens. ESADE’s Javier Santiso, in a vibrant talk entitled “Spain 3.0”, discussed his origins, challenges and successes. I came away with two insights about entrepreneurs: their passion and their ability to say NO to fear.
Like these entrepreneurs, many of you have found support at ESADE thanks to our faculty, experts and professionals, as well as initiatives such as the ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute, ESADECREAPOLIS, EGarage and our networking events.
Did you know that ESADE BAN has raised more than 20 million euros to finance Start Up Spain? Through this excellent initiative and others, Javier and his team have showcased Spain’s entrepreneurial capacity. I am so grateful for their steadfast commitment to Spanish entrepreneurs and the innovation economy.
Businesspeople and entrepreneurs: we are dedicated to people like you. At ESADE, you can share and develop ideas and embark on new journeys. At this hub of education and knowledge, you can acquire skills for today’s globalised world and learn to shape your own future.