At Campus Madrid, there is an atmosphere of cooperation, entrepreneurship, guidance, but also work, effort and perseverance. The students of the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation experience these sensations first hand, together with a group of entrepreneurs who belong to EAE LAB. The visit was organized by Karel Escobar, a tutor for students working on their Master’s Thesis and CEO at Tetuan Valley, with the participation of Jorge Urios, a lecturer on the same program.
Despite the entrepreneurship boom, in 2009, the year that Tetuan Valley was founded, the term “startup” was widely unknown, which did not, however, mean that there was any lack of entrepreneurs or talent. However, there was no institution that acted as a unifying platform or offered guidance. This was the purpose with which Tetuan Valley originated and, in particular, the Startup School program.
Camila Polensvaig, the Program Manager of Tetuan Valley, explained to the EAE students that, since it began, the program has been based on creating a “community of entrepreneurs, made up of people who have participated in previous editions, who know Tetuan Valley and who, as entrepreneurs, are aware of the difficulties and needs that are faced at the beginning”. This community has gradually grown thanks to the success of Startup School: more than 7 years with the program up and running, 27 programs, more than 500 graduates and 53 mentors in Spain and abroad.
Startup School is particularly designed for entrepreneurs in the initial stages of their venture. Over the course of six sessions, with one session per week, the goal is to start, grow, obtain the first prototype, the first users and the first customers. The topics covered on the program include giving presentations, value proposition, business models and metrics, product and UX development, legal and financial issues, and investment, basically “everything an entrepreneur needs to know about getting started”.
After an overview of Tetuan Valley’s Startup School, Camila answered the students’ questions, who were keen to find out more about the phases of the project, what they had gained over the last seven years and when future editions will be held. “What sets us apart is our focus on people’s talent, our commitment to the entrepreneur and the community”, explained the Program Manager at Tetuan Valley.
After this presentation, it was the turn of Karel Escobar, a Master’s Thesis tutor and CEO of Tetuan Valley, who went on to recount to the EAE students what he had learned after four years working with entrepreneurs, particularly with respect to the “most common mistakes” that (nearly) all of them make.
The need to know how to give presentations (“the perfect pitch communicates our idea clearly and simply in 30 seconds”), assuring people that are interested in you, knowing your competition and only developing the ideas that have been validated were some of the tips offered by Karel. He also emphasized the importance of teamwork, a requirement that they value particularly highly during the selection process for taking part in Startup School.
To finish off, before giving a short guided tour around Campus Madrid, Google’s building, in the last part of the presentation section, the students also gained an insight into the personal experience of Victoriano, an entrepreneur who has been through the Startup School program. His project is based on how data can be converted into knowledge in order to improve the organization. “Every startup has a story behind it, its own needs and times. The great thing about launching an entrepreneurial venture is learning a great deal, proactively at a really high emotional level”, concluded the entrepreneur.