LeQuid, under its commitment of the creation and development of Start ups throughout Spain as a driving force for the economy and new technologies, attended this event promoted by ESADE Business School and the Radael del Pino Foundation.
On the 26th of September 2012 in Madrid the third “Start up Spain” event was held, a conference day organised by ESADE Business School and the Rafael del Pino Foundation. It was coordinated by Javier Santiso, academic director of ESADE Geo and President of the OECD Emerging Markets Network (EmNet). This caused a great impact in the Spanish business sector for the quality of the attendants and in the selection of the theme to be debated in the round tables.
Luis Miguel de San Nicolás and Sor Arteaga represented LeQuid. The day was organized into two round tables, in which, the problems of finance were discussed from different points of view, using a close dynamic with the attendants that filled the auditorium.
The first round table was titled “Spanish entrepreneurs in the diaspora in the USA and foreign business angels sharing experiences”, and was moderated by Javier Santiso, It had both physical and virtual participants, consisting of various Spanish entrepreneurs together with business angels and investors that analysed, from different points of view, the very important question of financing of Start Ups. The attendees provided their experience and knowledge, acquired through their diverse operations and most important points in order to address the finance issues.
The speakers highlighted various obstacles that they have faced in trying to achieve financing in Silicon Valley. As there is a high cost of living there, the investment circles are difficult to access. However, they highlighted the possibility of being amongst the largest companies, in an innovation environment, being amongst the competition and knowing their plans, as well as the large quantity of money that is looking to be invested in interesting projects.
With the title of “Should I stay or should I go? Experiences in fundraising and of the Spanish and foreign business” the second round table was about the eternal doubt concerning achieving finance for Start Ups, through national and international financing. This round table was moderated by Luisa Alemany, director of ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute and teacher at ESADE, and had important examples of both types of financing.
The majority of the speakers identified the difficulty of achieving financing nationally for the first phases of the development of a business (turning to family and close friends for the financing of a project), which is made easier by being able to settle in to the market and looking for financing in order to expand. To do this, it is common to turn to foreign investors in order to obtain financing with the best conditions.
The entrepreneurs, according to the guidelines of the moderators, set out the diverse phases for the financing of projects, capturing the different journeys that they carried out for their “idea” to take shape, grow and develop. They all shared, through their own experience, the importance of complying with a series of conditions, displayed below:
- Motivation. For an idea to develop in a company, everyone agreed that the idea must be truly believed in, and that one must work without doubting anything, given that there may be many obstacles that, without high motivation to keep going, may stop the idea from being carried out. For this reason one must be very optimistic, because each phase that is faced with always seems more challenging than the last, but once they are overcome, it will be easy to realise that it is not really like that.
- Ecosystem. One must begin in a place where the product is allowed to grow, where there is interest for its development as a project and where it fits within the market. This is because if it is not in the appropriate market it is more difficult, although it may be a great idea, for it to prosper and achieve the necessary financing for the project.
- Flexibility. They all thought that the capacity for change, from the initial idea to the product that ends up being sold, was essential. Adapting to the ecosystem, the financing conditions and the advice on behalf of the professionals with which finance agreements are made. To sum up, they indicated that it is not a problem if it fails, as long as errors are capitalized.
Additionally, the investors and business angels that took part in the event, coming from all over the world, highlighted the capacity of Spanish entrepreneurs for achieving great progress with a reduced team of workers, little financing, and the capacity for starting quickly in search of clients. They also highlighted some points as to why they leaned towards deciding on investing, or not, in different Start Ups, as we show in the points below:
- Global Mentality. The majority of them considered that it was necessary, when financing companies, that there is global ambition, making most of the possibilities and facilities that exist nowadays, the possibility of entering into the largest number of markets, and therefore the scalability of the project.
- Passion. One must believe in what they are doing, work for it, and as the entrepreneurs highlighted, have enough motivation so that the problems that might be faced do not stop the project from developing. Failure should be seen as training and make the company stronger.
- Order. Within the process of creating a company, there are different phases, the investors value working in an organized and sustainable way, considering short term objectives. They expressed that one may start small, but do big things.
The event was a complete success, with high attendance as well as a high virtual following, having been a trending topic in Twitter throughout its development. It was a success above all due to the quality of the speakers, who through their experience encouraged the entrepreneurial culture of Spain.
LeQuid has a vast experience in tax and legal advice (through its commercial law, new technologies and social corporate responsibility departments) for companies in any phase of development. LeQuid collaborates with various Start Up accelerators and is committed to the company from the very beginning.
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