The must-attend events, programmes and congresses for entrepreneurs and startups

18 of June of 2015

Since I started collaborating with the Department of Open Innovation at Ferrovial in 2014, words like startups, entrepreneurs, acceleration or elevator pitch, which previously rang a vague bell, have become a part of my daily vocabulary.

Against a backdrop of economic crisis, when jobs are thin on the ground, entrepreneurship can be an opportunity. This is especially true for those with the necessary skills and inquisitiveness to manage the risk and uncertainty inherent to managing one’s own business.

Fashion or a bubble it may be, but the fact is that, just a few years ago, few people considering setting up their own business knew what was meant by ‘incubator’ or ‘Business Angel’, or exactly what a venture capital fund was.

Today, though, just a few days ahead of the start of Campus Madrid—one of  Google’s six community events aimed at fostering entrepreneurship and, unquestionably, the seedling of a future ecosystem of  startups—countless new programmes have joined this growing trend.

We highlight, among others:

Challengers, the event scheduled to take place in Barcelona on 17 and 18 June. This is a closed-door event focusing on commerce, entertainment, transportation and security. Challengers is aimed at bringing together a carefully-selected group of people and companies that dare to be different, and to show just what can be done with tenacity and unity. And the catchphrase is both interesting and evocative: “Challengers is more than just networking; it’s about making friends, for life.”

Spain Startup, the event which last year saw none other than Eric Schmidt, Google’s executive chairman, take the floor, and which aspires to become a benchmark in entrepreneurship in southern Europe. This event attracts more than 450 investors and more than 40 top venture capital funds, and provides a market place of more than twenty major industry-leading corporations like Ferrovial.

4YFN (Four years from now), the place to be if you want to have a leading role in the mobile telephony industry in the next few years. This event, within the framework of the Mobile World Congress, is a meeting point for international startups, investors and corporations focusing on innovation in this sphere.

In addition to this kind of programme and event, many large corporations—either on their own or in partnership with others—have launched their own startup accelerator programmes, as part of an open innovation strategy.

Various startups have been launched in this way, like Madrid Smart Lab, Open Talent, BStartup10 and foundations focusing on entrepreneurship, such as the Repsol Entrepreneurs Fund or Fundación Bankinter.

In the knowledge that good ideas can emerge anywhere, companies are aiming to accelerate their innovation process by including disruptive solutions developed by startups and entrepreneurs.

So if you’re an entrepreneur and you have an idea that is relevant to Ferrovial’s business, tell us about it!

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