On the afternoon of Monday 7th December, various lecturers and tutors who will actively participate in EAE LAB, together with Carmen Martos as the Director of the Professional Careers Department and Raúl Bravo, the director of the Madrid Campus, gave a warm welcome to the selected students who will develop their projects on the terrace of the Príncipe de Vergara Campus.
In this first edition, a total of 64 applications were submitted, which were analysed in terms of solvency, impact, the team and the business vision. “We hope that, after ten months of incubation, your projects will be up and running and in contact with sources of finance”, explained Carmen Martos during presentation. Rocío Álvarez Osorio, one of the members of the team providing mentoring to the students, welcomed them to what will be their workplace. “You are standing on the first step of an exciting journey on which your attitude will be crucial”. “This is a fantastic formula that will help you move your projects forward”, added Raúl Bravo, offering the students his congratulations for being selected, and his “sincerest encouragement for your ideas”.
Every month, each project will have access to a networking session, three hours of tutorials with a specialist mentor (marketing, financing, communication, legal, social skills, etc.), two hours with a mentor who will monitor the project, an hour of coaching, and hour of legal and financing advice.
“Entrepreneurs are not some type of alien race”
During the welcome session, EAE Business School was pleased to have the participation of Javier Castellanos, co-founder of El Rincón del Vago. The guest speaker, who currently works in the robotics section of Orange, told students about the origin of the website and how the entrepreneurial ecosystem has changed over the last few years.
“When my partner and I founded El Rincón del Vago, in around 1996 to 1997, there was a tech bubble, as there is now”, said Javier. However, as the guest speaker explained, everything else has changed, starting with the devices that we use to access the internet. “100% of users browsed using a computer in those days. Now, 70% do so on a mobile device”.
Javier Castellanos also highlighted future trends in relation to entrepreneurial ventures: the video game sector, the Internet of Things, 3D printing, drones and robotics, artificial intelligence, virtual assistants, etc. He also recommended, before setting up a business, “knowing where the money will be, what is your differential feature and value”.
In his case, he explained that El Rincón del Vago originated from a combination of need, passion and curiosity to learn. Back then, Javier and Miguel Ángel were studying computing at the Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca, after completing a Bachelor Degree in Business Studies, “First of all, we saw that the academic world was lagging well behind the business world, to the point that this thing called the Internet was starting to kick off and we were not studying about it”. This triggered the two partners' curiosity to start learning on the their own. “Secondly, as we had studied business, we already had an appetite for setting up a company”. Lastly, by way of an anecdote, he explained that the need came from having to study religion. “We thought that we could post the business assignments we had done on a website and get somebody to post theirs on religion. We could swap notes”.
Javier also explained that, as is still the case, launching an entrepreneurial venture in Spain is not an easy path to follow. “In my opinion, the grants for entrepreneurs should be limited and no business should be able to survive solely on subsidies. However, I do believe that we have to help people who are just starting out on an entrepreneurial project”, he emphasized He described opening a business as ‘hellish’ in terms of the bureaucratic requirements that are imposed, but he added that things have improved slightly in this respect.
“Entrepreneurs are not some type of alien race”, joked Javier when offering the students some tips. “In reality, we all have it in us to be an entrepreneur and we have plenty of reasons to do so, the most common being need”. He also mentioned luck, “not in the sense of winning the lottery, but rather luck that you nurture day after day, with positivity, proactiveness and attitude”. To finish off, the guest advised students to have complete faith in each project. “Commit to it. Not many opportunities come up but the only ones to make it are those that the person believes in and fights for”.
Enthusiasm, passion and motivation from the students embarking on their entrepreneurial adventure
After the short speech by Javier Castellanos, the students took turns to come to the podium to give a five minute presentation of each project that had previously been selected. The successful projects were Mombox, by Sara Rojas García and Martha Cecilia Castaño Herrera; Dynamic Change Management for Companies, by Javier Moya Cabrera and Marta Jerez Villar; JoinBuy, by Manuel Andrés Holgado and Daniel Campillo Garrote; HI GENIE, by José Ignacio de la Cotera Aldanondo, María Isabel Aldanondo Goya, Anna María Storaci Montiel and Pablo Andrés Vidal; Relojes Buo, by Juan Carlos Riveroll González, Antonio López, Carlos Arévalo, Daniel Lema and Sergio Ruano; and GLD Education, by Abdurrahman Gadi, Ahmed Elhatawy and Mohmmed Sief.
After the words of welcome, explanation of EAE LAB and the speech by Javier Castellanos, the attendees had the opportunity to go up and discover the workspace they would have access to at EAE Business School’s new Madrid Campus. During the short networking session, when the students also had the chance to meet each other, we had the opportunity to find out more about their impressions and sensations.
Daniel Campillo, a former student of the Executive MBA, and his partner Manuel Andrés Holgado explained that their project, JoinBuy, is currently in the initial phase but that they have the “knowledge and resources to develop a platform in a short period of time and test in on the market”. They added that they complement each other well as a team, with Daniel brining his business knowledge to the table and Manuel bring the technical and IT development expertise. “We are really excited because we have seen the rest of the projects and we think they are very good. Some of them are really advanced and we believe that we will be able to grow a great deal with the support of everything we can learn from them, just like we hope to be able to contribute to their projects”, added Manuel.
Meanwhile, José Ignacio de la Cotera, a former student of the Master in Digital Marketing Digital and Electronic Commerce, had the job of giving the news of their selection to the rest of the members of the project HI GENIE. “I was waiting almost every day for the email with the results to arrive. When it came, while I was on the bus home, I nearly dropped the phone I was so excited”.
“So, now what?” was the question that the members of the project Relojes Buo asked themselves when they received the email congratulating them for being selected. In their case, all graduates of the Executive MBA, they considered it an “opportunity almost to take another Master at EAE – this time, one focusing exclusively on our project”. The five classmates (Juan Carlos Riveroll González, Antonio López, Carlos Arévalo, Daniel Lema and Sergio Ruano) regularly meet up to work together and they are now “working out how to organize ourselves in terms of a schedule, but we believe that, with enthusiasm and passion, anything is possible”.