By Luis Rivera Gurrea-Nozaleda, Co-founder and Managing Director Spain, Startupbootcamp
The entrepreneur in us sees opportunities everywhere we look, but what sets the successful ones apart is their amazing persistence.
Many often claim they were made to be entrepreneurs. But what about those countries where entrepreneurship is not always inherent in our DNA? This is the case in Spain where startups not only lack some of the essential resources needed to develop, but the overall environment to nurture and breed these startups is virtually non-existent.
Why? Youth are almost never exposed to the idea of entrepreneurship as a profession. In the educational system it is barely mentioned and far from encouraged. With so few young people trying to start something early on, there is a loss of capacity to compete with their global counterparts, especially the Americans.
Does this mean there is a lack of initiative in Spain? Absolutely not, the driving factor has been the lack of an ecosystem that, up until this point, has hindered the potential of some extremely talented and brilliant individuals. Thanks to initiatives such as Startupbootcamp, Tetuan Valley and IBM SmartCamp we can say that things are changing in Spain.
Students are starting to explore new career paths and instead of working for big companies, some are beginning to work together and enter accelerator programs. The crisis has driven laid-off or unemployed developers to seek out new opportunities with positions on startup teams. Talent attracts talent, and an entrepreneurial network is slowly emerging.
Startupbootcamp Madrid, an IBM SmartCamp partner, is part of a pan-European accelerator program that provides startups with the necessary tools to rapidly and successfully launch into the global market through mentorship, startup cash and access to investors. Startupbootcamp is about collaboration and acceleration, giving teams from not only Spain, but all of Europe a competitive advantage against the more established “ecosystems”. The program currently runs out of Copenhagen, Berlin, Dublin, London and Madrid with further expansion underway.
Teams who are seeking to increase their chances of participating in Startupbootcamp can apply to IBM’s second edition of SmartCamp, held on June 14th in Barcelona. Five finalists from the competition will be selected and one will be invited to compete in the finals with other selected teams from SmartCamps all over the world. The 5 finalists will have access to investors, mentors, and networks. Additionally, they will be considered as possible candidates for the Madrid edition of Startupbootcamp.