EU-Startups Summit in Barcelona
Sophia Wang, Management and Entrepreneurship MSc, shares her experience of the EU-Startups Summit 2022, in Barcelona.
I was impressed by the sheer size of the event and the breadth of topics on start-ups. The two-day event was jam-packed with workshops, keynote speeches, and panel discussions. There was also a networking party organised by the event organiser at a local disco in central Barcelona, Spain. Although it was the EU-Startups Summit, there were participants from across the world, including South Korea. I enjoyed the pitch competition, panel discussions and the rare opportunity to network with founders and investors.
I had the opportunity to talk with one investor from Amadeus Capital Partners. I shared my business idea with him, and he shared his personal story which related to my business idea and shared his opinion from an investor’s perspective. From our conversation, he advised that my business idea is a business opportunity that offers a solution to a problem however he suggested the solution could be further improved and shared some useful information, which I found very helpful.
I met two entrepreneurs from PowerUP Energy Technologies based in Estonia, one who used to work with KPMG. When I asked what the difference between working with a start-up and working with a large corporate, he advised he grew ten times faster at the start-up than he did at KPMG. Therefore, I do believe that speaking to start-ups and investors like him really does provide benefits in seeking valuable information, evaluating, and validating business ideas from different angles. Also, there might be an opportunity to team up with someone who shares the same passion and would like to start a business in a similar industry or join a start-up team. I firmly believe that the career trajectory of being an entrepreneur or working with a start-up can make a big difference in terms of career development.
Gossik was one of my favourite pitches, but it was not a pitch winner. However, I am confident that it will do well since it is a pioneer in its field. Gossik is a Swiss tech start-up founded by two Swiss graduates. It is a digital productivity assistant powered by AI technology to help young people with their productivity. Considering that numerous apps are installed on a mobile phone every day and the rich content offered by Gossik, it is not surprising the attention the product is receiving. I learned that they were bootstrapped initially when talking to one of the co-founders and their office was their parents’ home. They secured a seed fund from an angel investor who shares the same passion and were, therefore, able to move to a shared workspace for start-ups in Zurich, Switzerland. They have just finished their master’s degree in AI and Robotics and do not have an industry work experience yet. They believe in what they do, and that they will succeed. I was inspired by their passion for what they love doing, and their determination and resilience. I also liked their novel solution to the problem, which is a universal problem that a certain number of people struggle with – poor time management, task prioritisation, and surrounding distraction.
I really appreciate that both Dr. Oksana, course director of the Management and Entrepreneurship MSc, and Bettany Centre for Entrepreneurship gave me this rare opportunity to be exposed to such a start-up event, which was eye-opening for me. Also, thanks to Pam Ashpole, who helped facilitate the process of application prior to attending the event.
Attending the EU-Startups Summit truly helped to build my self-confidence and made me think about how I could turn my business idea into an MVP, that can help solve a problem. I hope one day I can pitch at this platform and will keep an eye on the start-ups that were finalists in the pitch competition this year.
Giulia Belladonna, Management and Entrepreneurship MSc, shares her overall experience of the summit:
Attending the EU-Startups summit in Barcelona was an opportunity that allowed my colleagues and I to get closer to the world of work and to have clearer ideas about the future of work and how to make it a reality.
Listening to the experiences of entrepreneurs from different countries, and learning about the various challenges they faced, was inspiring and motivating for me, as was the pitch competition. It was very interesting to see how entrepreneurs brought their ideas to the stage to make their start-ups known to the public and to always try to improve their products or service. All of this has been possible thanks to Cranfield School of Management who provided this opportunity that will help my career. I hope Cranfield University, and the Management and Entrepreneurship program indefinitely add this summit to the module. I am very grateful for the opportunity that the University and the program director Dr. Oksana Koryak have offered us. I am excited about what the future holds and look forward to more events like this one.
Finally, I hope I will join the EU-Startups Summit again next year as a participant in the pith competition and I am keeping my eye on the prize.
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