I attended the EU-Startups Summit in Barcelona, a trip sponsored by the Master’s in Management and Entrepreneurship programme at Cranfield School of Management. After finishing our taught module, the trip came as a hands-on experience to see the real networking world of entrepreneurship and innovation.
The EU-Startups Summit 2022 gathered over 1,600 attendees varying from founders, start-up enthusiasts, corporates, angel investors, VCs, and media from across Europe. All of whom had the sole purpose of networking for two days with the help of the dedicated networking app (which was more addictive than Candy Crush), there were several meeting points for aspiring entrepreneurs and investors who are aiming to build international tech companies. Through the dedicated app you can view profiles of all the event attendees and request a meeting to have a chat.
I met many founders with whom I share common interests, we talked about sports, blockchain, fintech, and the future of work. It was a great opportunity to discuss business ideas with likeminded people and hear constructive feedback from someone who is equally passionate about the industry. Many founders that I have met are working on disruptive innovations that would change the industry that they operate. I love that I was surrounded by people who also like to dream big and see the world in a different colour. Speaking of colours … Networking was made very simple with the help of the colour-coded lanyards, these helped identify who is at the event to enable prompt conversations.
The companies’ presentations were like a dream park for every aspiring entrepreneur. I met people who worked in the field of law in the start-up world, admin support, and many others. I benefited the most from meeting companies that did mobile applications for both IOS and Android devices for start-ups to launch their MVPs. We talked about a possible collaboration and agreed to stay in touch afterwards.
In addition, you had the opportunity to meet VCs, business angels, and accelerators and pitch your start-up on the spot. Talking to them and listening to their feedback gives a better sense of the market and how to move forward.
Other than networking, the two-day event hosted many fireside chats with successful international founders and insightful keynote speakers. Field experts talked about very interesting topics, the most notable ones for me were a discussion about the Metaverse and how it will shape the future. The focus of the chat was on how to make the Metaverse accessible for people in the future. My favourite fireside chat had to be Yannis Niebelshutz the Co-founder and Managing Director of CoachHub. He talked about the importance of coaching and how to develop the right leadership mindset, a trait that every founder should have. He emphasised on how to make employees feel valued and that will eventually result in business success, and how coaching can be a fundamental part of this.
The main event is the Pitch Competition, 15 finalists out of 1300 applicants, were chosen to pitch their ideas in front of 10 investors from VCs, accelerators, and incubators. The pitch was electric, it was amazing to hear such innovative ideas on stage. My favourites were LEGID, Greenbytes, and MEGI.
LEGID is a platform that acts as a smart legal marketplace that gives users a lawyer in their pockets. The app connects users to a specialist in one click.
Greenbytes is helping retailers to save money and reduce waste with a cloud-based solution. The start-up has developed a web app that breaks down data to predict future food consumption. With their innovative and socially changing ideas, Greenbytes has won 135,000 Euros in this annual competition.
Megi is a virtual cardiovascular care assistant that aims to give patients back their confidence, quality of life, and peace of mind. The product combines clinical expertise with behavioural science and Al to enhance engagement between doctors and patients and personalised care.
The experience that we had at the EU-Startups Summit was truly exceptional. After finishing all taught modules at Cranfield University, this was the cherry on the top. We learned about entrepreneurship finance, social entrepreneurship, and corporate entrepreneurship; everything was demonstrated perfectly at the summit.
Until next year. Stay tuned to hear more from my classmates on their experience of the EU-Startups Summit 2022.