Aspiring entrepreneurs and potential investors converged at IESE's Entrepreneurial Tech Fair, held on the Barcelona campus yesterday. The leaders of 10 ambitious start-ups were on campus for the event, organized by IESE's Center for Family-Owned Business and Entrepreneurship.
The fair featured 5-minute business pitches, followed by a speed matchmaking session. IESE students and alumni provided feedback and collaboration with participating entrepreneurs.
The nascent business projects spanned various sectors, including biotechnology, waste recycling and energy. Two of the companies involved had developed interactive web platforms for runners and other athletes. Another was showcasing an innovative online platform for resolving conflicts between businesses and their clients, a service that is fast growing in demand among internet retailers.
Almost all of the companies involved were spin-offs from projects conducted at some of Catalonia's leading research universities. This was especially the case for the biotechnology and cleaner energy projects such as Microlitix, a spin-off from research at the Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona now looking for funding to market its innovative antibacterial surfaces to companies in the pharmaceutical and food and beverage industries.
One of the most eye-catching of the startup projects presented was Reactable S.L., a groundbreaking new electronic musical instrument that has picked up international awards both in the art and design worlds and whose customers could potentially include professional musicians, museums, events organizing companies, film music producers and interactive designers. The technology has already received a major endorsement, when in 2007 world-renowned pop singer Bjork used a reactable on her world tour.
Organizing the fair was Mathieu Carenzo, the managing director of the IESE Center for Family-Owned Business and Entrepreneurship. Also providing support were ACCiÓ, Parc de Recerca UAB and Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya.
The objective of IESE's Center for Family-Owned Business and Entrepreneurship is to support and promote entrepreneurs and entrepreneurial activity through a wide range of educational, research and networking initiatives.
IESE and Entrepreneurship
IESE seeks to fuel entrepreneurship, through the center as well as key activities for executive and MBA students.
On Sept. 28 and 29 on IESE's Madrid campus, Prof. Juan Roure will lead a Short Focused Program covering issues that concern experienced or "mature" entrepreneurs and investors. The program will cover topics such as how to valuate companies, the buying process and negotiating with venture capital and other financial entities. Prof. Roure will also lead a Continuous Education session for IESE alumni on the same topic at the Barcelona campus on Sept. 30.