I’ve always admired entrepreneurs – their ability to step out of their comfort zone and take risks, their creativity, their capacity to overcome adversity, their visionary attitude. They say that true entrepreneurs never quit, and that they always find the strength to keep going even when times get really tough. Stories of entrepreneurs are among my favourite, because behind a great idea there’s always a profound story to tell.
The other day I came across a few of these stories while reading the newspaper. It was an interesting article about new technology-based start-ups in Barcelona, and how the city is becoming a pole of attraction for entrepreneurs in the IT sector. Among these new start-ups was King, a social games platform that has settled in Barcelona with an initial investment of 2 million euros, and Kantox, an online currency exchange platform that saves users paying bank charges. Kantox was co-founded by Antonio Rami, a former ESADE student (Lic&MBA 09). His visionary business idea, which has just raised one million euros in funding, is a clear demonstration that successful innovation can come from anywhere in the world, and that Barcelona is a good platform to push ideas forward.
Another featured story was an innovative taxi finder app business, which has just closed an investment round of 3 million euros. Perhaps the most interesting part of this start-up is how it was created, thanks to the push given in the business accelerator Inspirit Labs, founded by entrepreneur Didac Lee. His high-tech accelerator has fuelled many new technology-based start-ups in Barcelona – Spamina, Zyncro, Conzentra and The eTailers among others – which are expanding through major venture capital investments.
Did you know that every year, more than a thousand new start-ups are created in the city of Barcelona through the City Council’s business incubator Barcelona Activa? Today, Barcelona is home to some of the most well-established start-ups with a worldwide presence. The city is becoming a cradle for digital entrepreneurs, and I believe that business schools, in one way or another, are contributing to this growth and emergence of new start-ups.
If I had to convey a message to an entrepreneur who was just starting out, this is what I would tell him or her: Find the courage to pursue your dreams, believe in yourself when you go through hard times, and don’t give up. The future is full of possibilities.