A couple of weeks ago, Google announced a long-awaited update on googlebot. It now runs chrome engine version 74, the same we’re currently running in our Chromes. What’s more, it announced that from now on it will keep doing regular updates on it to ensure continued support for new web technologies.
It’s still missing support for some features, but different people reported their websites being crawled and rendered perfectly by google bot now. You can use ES6 syntax and many more things without the need to polyfill or apply babel!, at least not so heavily as if the website was from 2015.
Nitya’s vocation and dedication to sales are worth a full story.
Nitya, Sales Manager in Quipu, has more than 20 years of experience in Sales. She started working very young, as she wanted to be independent as soon as possible. Thanks to her parents, both entrepreneurs, she started doing some administration and accounting very young, helping them in their daily tasks.
But her vocation for Sales was actually born a few years later, while she was working in a real estate agency. Although she was in charge of the administration, she succeeded in selling flats to the clients. This is the reason why she was offered a position in the Sales area in order to benefit from this potential. And here started her career in Sales.
Nitya’s passion for Sales
Today, Nitya has a passion for Sales. She likes being in contact with the clients since the beginning in order to create trust, listening to them and empathizing with them. For Nitya, it is important to understand the clients’ needs to know how to help them using the product she sells. Because if a client does not have the specific needs to be fulfilled by the service offered, they won’t buy it. A seller has to know what he is selling to know who and how he can help, because this is the final satisfaction: closing a deal by helping a client in his business.
A lonely but experienced start in Quipu which led to a team management
Nitya had the opportunity to develop her career in Sales in different firms. This is how Nitya arrived in Quipu with more than 20 years of her professional life dedicated to Sales in SMEs, more precisely in the area of technology and B2B software.
When Nitya started in Quipu, two years ago, she was alone in the Sales department. She was in charge of all the SDR part (Sales Development Representative), she was finding and generating leads, obtaining visits, doing demos of the product, as well as all the follow-up part until closing the sale. Later, people started joining the team as the startup was growing. Today, Nitya is our Sales Manager and she is in charge of the team capturing new firms as potential clients.
Nitya’s definition of the perfect Sales profile
To be able to sell a product to the clients, it is important to have a particular profile. Nitya explained to us what are the most important characteristics according to her to be a perfect salesperson.
The Sales profile is extroverted and curious. Someone cheeky and shameless who is not embarrassed to ask lots of questions and able to entertain the relationship with the clients through a follow-up. A good salesperson also needs to be able to control their frustration so that if you don’t sell you are not discouraged.
Then, it is important to be flexible and to be able to adapt yourself. However, being able to express yourself and to share your opinion is also important. It is crucial to be able to learn and unlearn, and these are two things totally different according to Nitya. Every person can learn from anyone : juniors, seniors, interns and colleagues from any department.
“There are some things that look good to me, but maybe they aren’t. Sometimes there are new things better than the old ones, and we need to be able to change.”
Her daily life in Quipu
Once the acquisition team found people with the needs we cover or people who are looking for our services, these potential clients go to the Sales Team, and a Sales Development Representative listens to them and tries to get to know their business and needs. The aim is to teach them how the software works.
Nitya has lots of memories in Quipu. One of her best memories, although, is her first sale. Every time they close a sale, they celebrate it and communicate it to the others by ringing the bell. This is such a satisfaction for her because the whole firm learns of the good news and applause fills the room. She also remembers the first time she called the clients to talk with them about the product, her first demo, etc. Although it was a lot of pressure, it is now a good memory for her.
“In a startup, you have plenty of memories, and they are really good.
This is not a monotonous job, you are in contact with all the teams of the startups.
Things happen every day, this is nothing boring.”
As a Sales Manager, Nitya has to make sure the whole Sales Team has all the tools needed to develop the business. Everything needs to be 100% clear so the Sales Team can work. They need to know the pitch to tell to the clients, theirs needs, etc. Individually, they try to achieve common goals.
When Nitya was asked to describe Quipu in three words, she answered that, above all, “eQuipu” is the most important for her.
“I could say words like technology, simplifying, etc. But these words you can also find them in many other firms. For me the most important in eQuipu is the energy, vitality, movement, connection, etc.”
If you are eager to develop your career in the Sales department of a growing startup and to join this Sales Team which is facing new challenges every day, apply here!
Simple solutions or “one fits all” policies are easy to market by populist governments but they are sometimes at the expense of certain sectors and their people. This time the affected party is innovation and value-added services, to a point that puts in jeopardy our (already weak) spot in the global competitiveness landscape. The new time and attendance law will kill innovation in Spain and Europe
I’ve always told my teams that I do not hire their time, but rather their talent and potential: their brains, their energy and passion and their willing to make a difference and impact our clients and the world through them. Innovative companies try to get in existing markets and solve things in complete different ways, some go as far as creating new markets from scratch. They all have in common that their mission is extremely hard, sometimes impossible (thus most fail along the way). The key for their success is how they manage to convince their teams that everything they do is not a job, but a religion. They are changing the world and that is something worth spending time and making history.
I can tell if somebody is motivated by their job by looking at their eyes while they talk about their challenges and ideas. Best people don’t work, they play. They make their challenges their hobbies. I’ve had many conversations at 1 am in the office, after some beers and sushi, before even realizing what time it is. Only when a job makes this kind of conditions happen, the wheel of significant value creation really stirs and great things come from it.
It is very hard to create a culture in which people feel so empowered that they are capable of anything. In my experience, it helps granting absolute flexibility. I don’t remember the last time I approved vacations to my team, or I paid attention to their schedules, or the days in which they worked from home or the office. This is not the kind of conversations I want to have with them. My relationship with my team is based on trust, and it is based on one single (often repetitive) conversation: how can we do more and better, how can we grow faster, how can we raise the bar. Little it matters to me whether they contribute to this questions from the beach in Canary Islands or spending many hours in the office.
However, the government today decided that it is a great idea in the 21th century that all companies like ours should make everybody clock in and clock out by law. I’m now obliged to add people’s time and attendance into our conversation. We now have to treat all jobs like production lines in factories (amidst the era of hyper automation and robotization). They go as far as having us registering accurate pauses for lunch. Unfortunately they don’t include how should we manage the time spent in the chill-out area, or when having long coffees in the outside terrace, or spending the afternoon in ping pong championships. Should we clock-in and clock-out every time we do that too?
When I travel I always get asked how is the Spanish ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation developing, I always defend our potential to become a leading actor in science and technology, besides our current reputation for tapas, toros and siesta. We previously analysed the many initiatives taking place in the city of Barcelona. But my question is: is there anybody in the government actually helping us to make this happen?
The new time and attendance law will come to place on the next 12th of May. At Factorial we developed a free feature, so companies can instantly become compliant with the law. Interestingly enough, almost immediately after launching this feature people started developing tools using our API to automate clocking or connecting it with Slack and other interfaces. It looks like after all there will always be people willing to work on relevant things and not waste their energy in bureaucratic traps.
PD: You can find more information about the law in this article.
Let’s talk about female entrepreneurs and how the rise of them is just beginning.
In 2018, the American Mentoring platform SCORE published a report considering female entrepreneurship in which we find out that in the US women-owned enterprises employ approximately 9M people and generate more than $1.6T. The Global Entrepreneurship Monitor also covered the topic and pointed out that 126M women now start or run their own business. The rise of female entrepreneurship has been highly pointed out by the media in the last years; more and more debates come to life considering the presence of women in tech, entrepreneurship, and business; this is why we decided to share with you our findings and opinion on the topic.
What’s going on in female entrepreneurship?
Female entrepreneurs are on the rise, the number has increased by 18% in 2017 and today represent 26% of all businesses. The TOP industries where female entrepreneurship is present correspond to health, fitness, retail, beauty, business services, food, cleaning, and maintenance.
59% of women explain starting a business in order to pursue their passion and 42% be their own boss. Despite the growth in female entrepreneurship; we can recognize a strong gender disparity culture and a need for things to evolve.
The Harvard Business School undertook a study where a group of males and a group of females presented the exact same business proposal for investment. The outcome of the experience shows that 39% of investors said they would offer to fund the women in contrast to 68% for the males.
Females in business face strong issues and stereotypes that need to be beaten to the root in order to engage the economic impact and new wave of leadership. Women are underrepresented business leaders; 5% of the CEO in Fortune 500 are female, and only 20% are Fortune 500 board members.
This under-presence is not the only issue; women and males have a huge gap in salaries. The world’s highest CEO pay corresponds to $87.5M for Gregory Maffin the CEO of Library Media against $47.2M for Carol Bartz, ex-CEO of Yahoo.
Let’s not desperate considering the issues that women are facing in business; day by day things are changing. More and more female leaders are empowering the case of women promoting their hard work and impact in society.
What women have to say?
We discussed with Zeynep Demirbilek; the CEO and founder of Service Club to have the point of a view directly from a woman. She points out that in business she doesn’t visualize a difference between women and males. From her point of view, it should not be based on gender but on the individual themselves.
She recognizes that as a woman, there are a lot more compromises and that it can be more complicated. Women have to take care of their career, just like they traditionally take care of the family; she admits admiring the women able to balance the upbringing of kids and the scaling of a business.
She points out that many times, she has been asked if the reason for her success, was being a woman; when the hard work and commitment should be the only recognizable values.
She considers that the presence of women in business will highly influence the future of management due to their abilities to be more considerate, understanding than their male peers. The rise of female in business will increase the use of emotional intelligence in business management.
Female Entrepreneurs in VCs
In the world of VC, females are not present enough. The UK Treasury Report shows that all-female leadership teams have received less than 1p for every £1 of investment in startups. In the US, female VCs are shadowed by the high male presence, only representing 9% of VCs; we can also point out that 74% of US VC Firms are all-men. This huge gender disparity, is, unfortunately, causing a lack of funding in female-founded projects, lacking promotion and empowerment.
However, let’s not be too negative; things are changing step by step by the hard work and development of engaged and dedicated female leaders, empowering women all across the world to believe in themselves and start their company.
Venture Capital firms in the United States for female founders and co-founders have been trending up in recent years; several women-led funds and incubators were launched in 2018 promoting the presence of females in the sector.
In one of their recent article, Crunchbase mentioned that 7% of partners at the top 100 ventures firms were women and that females held under 12% of the partner roles in accelerators and corporate venture firms.
Based on the data gave by pitchbook.com we know that between 2008 and 2019, the female (co)founded VC deal has increased from 3.3% to 6.1%; and the female (co)founded VC Capital went from 1.7% to 2.2%. The number is trending slowly and raising step by step showing the need for a boost in female presence in Venture Capital.
In a second place, the charts provided by pitchbook.com shows that the deal flow by female co-founded companies increased from $2.2B in 2008 to $16.2B in 2019.
We can recognize promising female-founded startups that raised heavy investment such as:
-Glossier, founded by Emily Weiss raising $192M
-RenttheRunway founded by Jennifer Hymn and Jennifer Fleis raising $321M and Humacyte founded by Laura Niklason, Juliana Blum and Shanna Daki raising $438M
We can also recognize the development of promising female-founded investment firms such as:
-TheJumpFund founded in 2013 BY Stephanie Grove and Kristina Montague investing in 33 projects, with 6 successful exits; BBG ventures founded in 2014 by Susan Lyne investing in 84 projects with 9 exists and Rethink Impact, founded by Jenny Abramson in 2015 investing in 23 projects and 1 current exit.
What can we conclude about that? The VC funding statistics for women are not high, but there are going up step by step. It’s important to recognize the need to empower women in business and engage the economic activity of female entrepreneurship.
More and more role models are empowering women and the future generation of leaders to see their potential and recognize women as important as men in the industry. This week, it is the famous tennis player Serena Williams that revealed a new venture capital ownership; the US tennis superstar launched Serena Ventures promoting diverse leadership, individual empowerment, creativity, and opportunity. This type of role model changes the way women are seen day by day and promotes the economic and business achievement of each one of them.
When asked his opinion on the topic, Albert Domingo the CEO of NextTRet said how important for women it was to grow within all industries and recognized their ability for multi-tasking. He shared with us that after being present for many years in business, he saw the need for women to present themselves more on the venture capital scene. As he mentioned, today in venture capital we see many sharks, people with no compunction that are only going after the power and money. He pointed out that women are recognized for having a deeper emotional intelligence than men and that it could give some variety to future VCs.
Female in Technology
Finally to discuss women in tech, we can point out that they only represent 20% of US’s Tech jobs, when they represent half of the American workforce. However, there has been an increase of 68% of tech businesses founded by women between 1997 and 2014.
Based on the information given by entrepreneur.com we understand that the number of a startup with a least one female increased from 9.5% to 18% between 2009 and 2014.
However, it’s a must to recognize that women are underrepresented, as they encounter only 7% of tech roles in Europe and only 11% of Software Developers roles. 5% of Tech-startups are owned by women, it is going to be critically important to engage the empowerment of women in tech in order to diversify our industries and economies.
We discussed with Adrienne Fanning, the CEO of the founder of Sawyer. She considered having received a lot of support since she arrived in Barcelona three years ago, especially by the Tech and Startup World. She recognizes that sometimes it can be challenging to be a woman in this ‘Boyzy club’. She considers that it’s time today, for women to be given more of a voice in business, VC, and Tech; to be able to spread empowerment, confidence, and the development of projects.
Finally one the last note considering women in tech, Alexis Roig mentioned that there is a lack of promotion within the technology industries for young girls; making tech look ‘for boys’. He considers that females in tech don’t have enough role models to follow and that we must make girls part of it from a very young age. He underlined the great work, done by BSC, promoting technological industries in the educational programs of girls from a very young age.
To conclude, women are taking more and more space on the Business, Tech, and Venture Capital front. They promote new management and a new perspective to business and allow the diversification of our industries. More than ever, it is important to promote the work of women to step by step change our world for a more balanced place. Now more than ever is essential to follow female entrepreneurs.
Barcelona is known by many for its association with Gaudi, Picasso and many other outstanding thinkers, artists and architects. Today, when we think about Barcelona, we think about the entrepreneurial spirit going on in the city, the drive for innovation and the incredible Tech and Startup ecosystem it has to offer.
The legend states that Hercules fell in love with the area and decided to found a new city with the support of Hermes, the god of arts and trade. Together, they founded Barcinno. Across history, this small Roman Colony grew into one of Mediterranea’s strategical commerce and international trade sweet-spot.
The Ecosystem in a Few points.
How’s life in Barcelona?
Life cost in Barcelona
The Access to outstanding workspaces
Building your Startup team in Barcelona
Talent Development Programs
Hackathons and Challenges
What are the leading sectors in Barcelona?
Startup Incubators and Accelerators of Barcelona
The Investment within Barcelona’s Ecosystem
Seed Funds and Business Angels
Other venture capital of the City
Business and Tech events in Barcelona
Tech innovation in Barcelona
Build your network
This startup hub attracts talent from all around the world and is home to more than 1,300 startups. The ecosystem value has increased up to $6.4 billion dollars.
Now, you might ask yourself: ‘Why Barcelona?’
This city offers many opportunities. With an ecosystem that is under constant evolution, Barcelona makes a competitive environment and a great hub in a strategic location. It’s one of Europe’s most dynamic and engaging ecosystem, especially in industries like digital technologies, big data, and tourism.
The Ecosystem in a few key points
Barcelona is a top EU City with 5M inhabitants
‘’E-Capital of Europe in 2016’’ (EU Commission Prize)
Catalunya’s University System recognised as 3rd best in the world.
According to Mobile World Capital, Barcelona is home to 34% of Spain’s Startups, representing the World’s 3rd most attractive city for founders.
5th most important World Tech Hub (according to the Mobile World Congress)
86% of people believe that Barcelona will soon become the World’s next best Startup Ecosystem (survey of the Mobile World Congress)
The City offers the best transport and logical infrastructure of Southern Europe with an International Airport, Highly connected railway network and the harbour.
EU’s 2nd largest trade venue providing an excellent connection with Asia and Latam.
Catalunya’s capital offers an incredible lifestyle to anyone living here; between the beaches, the amazing weather and the very active social culture; Barcelona is attracting founders from all around the world and is ranking as the 3rd favourite founding site of entrepreneurs (according to Mobile World Capital). This city is the ultimate destination for talent, investments and entrepreneurship.
Here, the salaries are lower but the quality of life is higher and the cost of living is lower than the main European cities. Catalunya’s startup economy employs more than 13.500 people; making it a clear benchmark in Europe for entrepreneurship and innovation.
The Cosmopolitan blend of the city is proved by data has 26% of the employees are from abroad, and 15% of all Startup founders are international. The Ecosystem of the Metropolis is made by an incredible blend of investors, accelerators, incubators and talent.
In bullet points, we have:
In Barcelona, the sun is out more than 300 days a year!
Food, Food, Food and more food
Beautiful architecture, vibrant art and creativity.
Cosmopolitan feels and international communities
Access to plenty of sports and leisure activities
An artistic and multicultural heritage shaped from the medieval ages to modernism.
Close-by hikes in the mountains of Tibidabo, Collserola, Montserrat, Montseny
In less than 2 hours we can access awesome mountains and winter-sports stations such as Andorra, Nuria or la Masella.
Close by access to la Costa Brava, known for its paradisiac beaches
For the ones that love sailing there are many clubs in the city: Base Nautica, Club Municipal de Vela and the Reial Club de Vela.
For the ones that love surfing, the famous beaches of Castelldefels are only 20 minutes away.
In Barcelona, there are plenty of sports clubs for football, tennis, basketball, volleyball lovers etc.
You will probably find a ping pong table in every startup!
How much does life cost in Barcelona?
Life in Barcelona is much cheaper than in European power cities, comparing it to London, the first startup hub of Europe we understand that:
Rent in Barcelona is 39.21% cheaper. An average 1Bedroom apartment in Barcelona’s City Center corresponds to 949€
The Consumer Price index is 26.76% lower,
The groceries price is 23.56% lower
The Average Life Cost in Barcelona: (according to numbeo.com)
Meal in an inexpensive restaurant: 12€
Loaf of Bread: 1€
12 eggs: 1.70€
1 Kg Rice: 0.95€
One way ticket in Metro: 2.15€
(when buying a T-10, you find the price of the trip divided in two)
Based on the information given by numbeo.com; we understand that Barcelona’s cost of living is the 198th, out of 443 cities in the world.
The Access to outstanding Workspaces
In the last couple of years, Barcelona has seen immense growth in Co-working spaces; available all around the city for the creative, tech-lovers and entrepreneurs looking for great spaces where to work, get inspired and surround themselves by like-minded people.
The variety of coworking spaces in the city allows you to really find your fit.
We should start by our own: At Itnig we provide great spaces for tech companies, including high-speed internet, events room, leisure room, terrace, open spaces, chill-out areas and plenty of free beers and coffee! It is also one of the most affordable spaces across the city.
Cahoot, located in San Antoni; about 10 minutes from the city centre is a great place to work from. The Nordic-Scandinavian decor really promotes focus and clarity! If you love working in a hub with plenty of light and creative people: this is the place for you.
The Ubiqum code academy helps its students develop your skills in Web Design, Data Analytics and Machine Learning.
Luxa C/Tánger-Badajoz, Ubiqum Code Academy, WeWork, 08018 Barcelona
Leading sectors in Barcelona
The leading sectors in the city are SMART City Technologies, BioTech/Pharma and Gaming.
Smart City Technologies
SMART CITY TECHNOLOGIES bring info and data technology to the development of public services enhancing the quality of life of its inhabitants. The region of Catalunya is the home to many Smart City Startups, Barcelona is a pioneer to Smart City Technology solutions, with more than 270 Smart City companies in Catalunya, employing an average of 116.000 people, with an impactful total annual revenue of 8.2 billion $.
The major sub-sectors of Smart City present in Catalunya correspond to:
Mobility, 51 Companies in Catalunya with a turn over of $759 million
Lighting, 26 Companies in Catalunya with a turn over of $307 million
However, in Catalunya, the most important subsectors correspond to the Smart City Technological Solutions to waste management, mobility and lighting with very successful companies such as WeSmartPark, Datumize and Immfly.
Biotech and Pharma
The Biotech and Pharmaceutical industry participate in the creation and development of new drug treatments, enhancing the quality of life and providing medical cures to health problems. In Catalunya, there is an average of 100 research centres and labs. We also have access to many universities and science tech parks. (Such as PCB and the PRB)
The Biotech and Pharma industry in Catalunya has recently seen the funding of $13.8 million by AELIX THERAPEUTICS, for the development of HIV drugs and biotech solutions.
In 2017, the Life Science sectors in Catalunya were almost reaching $19 Billion; making Catalunya an outstanding leader in the clinical trials.
Ultimately, Gaming ranks third in the leading business sectors of the county. Barcelona is a major place for gaming as Catalunya is the home to more than 120 Gaming Startups, employing about 1600 people. There is a special focus on the gaming industry here, the city hosts the headquarters of Ubisoft, Gameloft, Social Point, King and many more big players.
Here, the average annual revenue for the Gaming Industry corresponds to $256 million. For the game creators, access to talent is outstanding; Barcelona is the home to many designers and creative people.
Catalunya is ranking 5th in Foreign Direct investment in Gaming. In 2015, the Catalan gaming industry represented a turnover of about $257 million, that was highly expected to escalate more than 30% by 2019.
In Catalunya, we also see a fair development of other sectors such as:
the Green Economy and Sustainability solutions that guide us towards the development of intelligent use of energy and resources.
Industry 4.0 allowing the development of our current industries by the development of technologies and it’s the incorporation
Tourism developing solutions towards more eco-friendly solutions that promote responsible management and strategically sustainable tourism.
Commerce and constant development of the economic growth of services and goods.
Startup Incubators and Accelerators of Barcelona
In Barcelona, there is immediate access to many accelerators and incubators program; helping entrepreneurs reach their goals, surround themselves by the right people and use mentoring to their advantage.
At Itnig, we build our own startups with incredible talent who joins us, but we also invest in other’s ideas and projects and support them as they grow. Entrepreneurs starting their projects and looking for money and support, can apply to our fund.
There are other great accelerators and incubators in the city; here is the list of Barcelona’s Startup Accelerators and Incubators:
Conetor has been working with entrepreneurs for the past 5 years, they are focused on the development of startups from the seed funding stage. The representant of Conector is successful entrepreneurs with a wide portfolio of contact in any industry.
We have interviewed Carlos Blanco, one of the mentors of Conector; for our podcast Startup Inside Stories: take a look here.
GameBCN is an incubation program focused on the gaming industry, offering the necessary mentoring and training to entrepreneurs to help them develop their production pipeline and allow them to be successful in the gaming industry.
Nuclio is a Venture Builder developing and building startups from business ideas to a real company. For more information about this venture builder and about the founder Carlos Blanco: you can take a look at our podcast.
Startup Bootcamp is proposing an intensive 3-months acceleration program in Barcelona focused on the IoT and Data.
The Investment within Barcelona’s Ecosystem
The city of Barcelona is ranked fifth in Europe’s Capital Investment; behind London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm raising €872 million euros in 2018. As an entrepreneur in Barcelona, you have access to many investors and venture capitals.
Catalunya is Spain’s most attractive region for investment.
Today, Barcelona encompasses more than 65% of Spain’s total start-up investment.
According to startupheatmap.com, we understand that in 2018, the investment in the city’s startups corresponded to 0.88 Billion Euros, and had a YoY growth of 546%. We can also note that the Business exits in 2018, correspond to 0.59€ Billion making the city rank as the 5th most popular in the world; striking nearly three times more deals than the Spanish capital.
The venture exists-IPOs of the city have timed by 4 in the last four years
Most Invested Sectors:
Home with €475 million
Mobility and Transport with €328 million
Travel with €279 million
Enterprises Softwares with €192 million
Most invested business models:
Marketplace with €875 million
E-Commerce with €602 million
Mobile Apps with €597 million
SAAS with €290 million
Seed Funds and Business Angels
Fortunately, the last years Barcelona has developed a mafia of business angels and seed funds that support startups and their teams in their initial steps. Here’s the list:
Lanai Partners not investors but a group of partners-entrepreneurs, investing in future winning teams and entrepreneurs. The main partners of Lanai Partners are Jeroen Merchiers, Ruben Ferreiro, Guillermo Llibre and Mar Alarcon. Investing up to €200k per startups in various rounds.
To find specific information about the Business Angels of Barcelona: click here
Venture Capital funds in the city
In Barcelona, you can access various venture funds depending on your industry and your needs. We specifically took the funds who actively invested in the last 15 months, in order to provide you with the most up to date info!
Barcelona has the grace of allowing the development of professional teams with its social culture and its impressive talent pool.
We all know how hard is to find awesome tech people. In Barcelona, most will gather in the afterwork events in Poblenou [email protected] neighbourhood, filled with an interesting mix of tech studios, lots of startups, old looking factories, designer ateliers and hidden antique shops interacting surprisingly well together.
These events have a huge positive impact on the city attracting investments, startups and corporations from all around the world. It’s also a source of inspiration and gives entrepreneurs a wider vision of what’s going on around them.
Barcelona’s events push the case of the Catalan’s ecosystem and it’s growth; making it an incredible opportunity and benefits provider for entrepreneurs.
According to Business Insider, the Catalan city is ranked 4th in the top tech and innovation hubs in Europe behind London, Berlin, and Paris.
It is the home to Barcelona Tech city, many accelerators and incubators in mobile and tech; such as the StartupBootcamp global startup accelerator and corporate innovator known as the leading accelerator in everything data related. It is also the host of Seed rocket, funding startups in technology and Conector, famous 6 months program in digital tech projects.
Speaking of Barcelona Tech City, it is a private non-profit membership association represented by Miguel Vicente as Chairman and Miguel Marti as CEO. This promising association represents among the Spaniards, the tech and digital ecosystem. It’s shaped by a blend of startups, accelerators, incubators and large companies such as The SEAT Group and VC firms like ANTAI.
The mission of the hub is to position Barcelona as one of the principal International Technological Hubs in the world.
So far, this project represents more than 800 companies, has more than 650 members and covers over 400 fields of activity. It has for objective to promote Barcelona’s tech and innovation attracting international talent and collaborating with other organisations in order to promote growth in the ecosystem. (Find out more)
Implemented by SciTech DiploHub, a pioneering nonprofit public-private partnership backed by Barcelona’s leading startups, corporations, universities, research centers, non-profits, and public institutions, the organization is in charge of designing and executing the city’s innovation ecosystem’s international strategy; empowering the global community of talent educated in Barcelona, the Barcelona Alumni network; bringing together diplomatic missions and the local innovation scene to enhance collaborative projects; and delivering policy advice, working as a think tank where the power of technology and scientific expertise is harnessed insupport of evidence-based policy and training the next cohort of global leaders in science and technology diplomacy.
This unique initiative is led by SciTech DiploHub’s CEO, Alexis Roig, a globally-based serial entrepreneur currently serving as the de facto Barcelona’s Ambassador for Science and Technology with the mandate to represent the city’s innovation ecosystem worldwide, thus making Barcelona a more influential player on the global stage.
Build your Network
At Itnig we organize regular events for tech-heads, entrepreneurs and startups to try to give tools and resources for dooers.
Attending our events, you can build your network and surround yourself with like-minded people. Who knows, you might meet your ideal co-founder?
Marcos is a Product Designer at Quipu. This function requires making important decisions before tackling the visual part of new features. The multi-step process consists of structuring and simplifying the product, talking about it with the potential users, and, finally, making it look good.
Recently, Marcos became Project Manager, on top of his design work. He is in charge of coordinating a brand-new key feature in Quipu, the All-In-One project. This challenge allows for cross-functional cooperation between the different teams in the startup.
The multi-step journey of a Product Designer
According to Marcos, it is very difficult to fully describe what his job consists of. People usually think the design is just about making things pretty. But this part is just the final step of a long journey.
“To create a beautiful thing, there are a 1000 decisions to think about.”
First of all, the product designer needs to fully understand the goal of a particular project. It is important to investigate what the users are expected to accomplish with the product to make all the structural and functional decisions. To meet the users’ expectations, he needs to take into account what they want to achieve and how to interact with them.
“These decisions are more about “How does it work?” and not “How does it look?”
Secondly, once the structure is established, it is time to make it clear and easy for users. This means structuring the information and interactions, and deciding what is going to be shown on particular pages.
“If you make the right choices, your visual design is gonna be easy. Because in the end, the simplest things are usually the prettiest.”
Thirdly, it is important to focus on the language. The design is not just about layout, it is also about content and exchange of information, this is why the product designer needs to figure out how to talk to the users.
“If you have a beautiful design but the wrong words, it will confuse the user.”
Make it pretty
Once these steps are covered, the product designer can tackle the visual part. Visual design and launching things are the moments Marcos enjoys the most. Once all top decisions are made, it is time to make it look beautiful.
“I enjoy it the most, it is more relaxing and visual. We all worked together, we like this, let’s make it beautiful.”
Successful cross-department communication with the engineers
Marcos is working with the engineering team every day to anticipate potential issues in his design work. The engineers see the whole process and investigate if it is possible with the technology they have. If it is not, Marcos can see the limitations before finishing the design thanks to this real-time feedback. This collaboration allows him to have more control and visibility.
Marcos’ everyday life at Quipu
What Marcos likes the most about his job is the team he is working with every day. According to him, they are really fun to work with, and they are committed to move fast and don’t waste time. They focus on things that are going to impact consumers and the business. Want to get to know the team better? Meet Judith and Ana!
These are the things that Marcos likes about working in a startup: the team can move faster. He also likes the fact that you have more control of the project, more freedom and more impact on the organization, the product and the decisions that are made. This is the reason why Marcos has always worked for a startup, including one located in Silicon Valley. Discover his journey from Spain to Silicon Valley in our podcast.
“In Quipu, your opinion is one out of 20. In a company of 3000 employees, your opinion is one out of 3000. Here, even if you don’t end up with what you wanted to do, you have been heard, your opinion has been considered.”
All-in-One Project Management
The new “All-in-one” product allows a new structure in Quipu which aims to create cross-functional teams with employees from each department. Therefore, each team can benefit from the talent of Design, Sales, Engineering, Success, etc. In the past, it felt that the team was fractionated, there was a lack of information between each department. This multifunctional team structure has worked really well, allowing employees to see the bigger picture by taking into account every perspective.
Marcos started experiencing the function of aProject Manager with this new project. For this to be a success, Quipu needed people to lead those multi-functional teams. Today, on top of his design function, Marcos has the responsibility of coordinating all the people in the team. For him, this means listening to everyone and trying to find out what the best solutions are.
The launching of this project is one of his best memories in Quipu. This is a complete change of the business model Quipu has had for the last 4 years. It was a very important moment because they worked a lot together.
“It felt like a real team effort, it feels great to have built something together.”
Another good memory he has in Quipu is the Oscar Party, which he helped prepare and presented. That night, he won the Oscar of “the most stylish person of the office”.
To sum up, Marcos chose the three following words to best describe Quipu: Young, Committed, and Brave.
We have been organizing Itnig ski trips since the beginning. I remember we could fit in a car when we started, then in a pickup van, we later had to rent a couple of cars to be able to go, soon we had to share a bus with other people and now we need an entire bus for us.
Getting people to join
Once you have a date and a location, you can create a form with all the available options and share it via email, Slack, or whatever. We used to create it using Google Forms because it integrated with Google Spreadsheets and was easy to use, but now we use Typeform. It’s beautiful and now also integrates with Spreadsheets.
Calculating each individual price
Our ski trip has a lot of variabilities. One individual might want to rent gear while another one already owns it. Some individuals might want to snowboard and others might want to rent the highest quality skis available. Some need classes and some want insurance. Some people don’t even want to ski, but just spend the weekend in the snow.
This results in a situation where almost everyone has a unique price and although it was easy to calculate and handle when we were 5, it gets harder when you are 50.
You could perform a 200 character long nested IFS function to calculate the price for every row in the Spreadsheet, but it’s easier to just code your own more readable and maintainable Google Script function.
From the ‘Tool’ menu you can access the ‘Script Editor’ and there you have a lot of freedom to write your own functions.
I coded the ‘skiPrice’ function to calculate the final price for every possible combination, depending on the arguments the function received. Once coded, you can call the function as if it was a normal Spreadsheet function, sending cells as parameters.
Sharing the info with the agency
Once you have all this information available you have to share it with the agency so they can check all prices are correct and to generate the insurance policies for the people who are paying for them. You could copy and paste or export the document but the best option is to share the live spreadsheet so they always see updated information. You could share with them the whole spreadsheet as “read-only” but you might have information or sheets you don’t want to share with them.
The best approach is to create an ‘Agency’ sheet in the same spreadsheet, with all the information you want to share with the agency. Then create a new Spreadsheet and in the first row write:
This will create a new Spreadsheet with only the sheet you want to show the agency, so you can now share it. Whenever you update the original Spreadsheet this mirror sheet will conveniently keep up to date.
Send custom payment emails from Spreadsheets
Once again this is a task that I could afford to do manually when we were fewer people but now doesn’t scale. Using the power of the Google Scripts I generate the corpus of the email, containing the options each user selected. In the actual Spreadsheet I calculate the total price and generate the email corpus in one function call and a single iteration, but it’s easier to explain it separately.
The function ‘mailText’ generates a custom email corpus showing the user the options he chose and showing the total amount to pay. The function takes all options as parameters.
Once the email corpus is generated, a final script runs directly from the script editor iterates through every row in the Spreadsheet and sends an email to each user containing the custom corpus.
And every user gets the email in their inbox.
The powerful combination of Typeform, Google Spreadsheets, and Google Scripts is great, but after organizing ski trips for years I see a clear next step. A modern ski agency app that would let companies and individuals organize their custom ski trips adjusting every detail to their budgets and keeping all the information, communication, and payment processes in one place. Considering there are more than 6M skiers only in Spain we are looking at an interesting market.
How does Skitnig sound for a new startup name?
Create engagement with qualified customer communication.
Ana is an Account Executive in the Success department at Quipu. It means that her principal function is to be in contact with consumers, namely the bookkeepers, in order to reach their demands and expectations regarding the service Quipu offers. Ana gives them the necessary tools to cover all their needs and solve their problems. For example, if a client has the opportunity to improve his use of the software, but isn’t aware of it, Ana is responsible to help him make the most out of Quipu. Her final goal is to generate engagement with clients to establish a long term relationship.
A different communication for a different function
If today Ana is in the Success department, she has experienced another function in the Sales department. Ana used to be Inside Sales Manager which requires a different type of communication. Indeed she was the first contact with the client, who doesn’t know Quipu and has never heard about its service. In this function, it is important to introduce Quipu to the clients and to show him what the software can bring to his business in order to close the deal. The aim of the Sales department is to acquire new clients by showing them how Quipu can facilitate their daily life and improve their decision-making thanks to real-time data. Once the account is closed, Sales passes the torch to Success. In the Success department, communication with the clients is all about creating engagement and long term relationships. These two departments require different approaches. In Sales, you need to be “straight to the point” and audacious. You have to detect problems and opportunities quickly to be able to anticipate. However, in Success, you have more time to care about the client, to get to know him better and to create and maintain the relationship. Ana experienced both departments and succeeded in adapting her communication to understand his clients better.
An ambitious start in Quipu, which ended up in great memories
When Ana arrived in Quipu 10 months ago, at that moment there were only a few people in the Sales department. They had to create a new sales department, which is very ambitious. Indeed, it requires establishing new relationships with your colleagues and figuring out how to create, work, and collaborate with them effectively. Thanks to synergies and shared skills, this was a success. And this sales project, even though how complicated it was, was the best part for Ana.
An environment allowing relationships, experience, learning and changes
What Ana likes the most in her job is the people and the environment she’s working in every day. Firstly, “the people in Quipu are amazing, you can have nice relationships with them”. Secondly, the environment allows employees to acquire a lot of experience. “In Quipu, you need to be able to adapt yourself, you need a lot of capacity of transformation and capacity to learn because the everyday life and the working environment is quite fast”. This allowed Ana and her colleagues to learn more by moving on function rapidly. What Ana likes about this, is the capacity and the possibility they have to see the company as a whole. Indeed, thanks to these changes and flexibility, they have a full understanding of Quipu, its whole strategy, and how the business works.
An impactful work, with the help of the colleagues
Ana’s best memories in Quipu are the important sales closed by her and her team. It is always a nice moment because she sees how happy people are. For every new client, Ana or one of her colleagues rings the bell to announce the good news to the colleagues. This is a tradition here in Quipu.
Every month, her department has a different objective. They work individually in order to achieve this common goal. If one of them has any problem or any doubt, they help each other out to solve it. Among the several life experiences Ana had in Quipu, the best one she had was the biggest account she closed, two months ago. She had been dealing with it for six months, and this was very important for her. Once it was done, she felt so happy and proud of herself and her team, which supported and helped her a lot during these 6 months to achieve this goal. What Ana likes the most in her job, is when she makes efforts real and possible. After trying different strategies to sell the product, it is always a pleasure to see they find the right solution which actually brings concrete results, such as closing an account.
Willing to experience the same career path ? Check our job offers here !
Judith creates, publishes and spreads qualified content to help people resolve questions they are asking themselves about invoicing and accountability. Her aim is to present them the solution Quipu offers to simplify their accountability process and to forget about paperwork. As part of the acquisition team, Judith generates more leads and attracts new clients thanks to this content.
“Quipu helped me to choose the path I had to follow.”
The 22-year-old Inbound Specialist of Quipu has been through a long path in Quipu. She started as an intern two years ago, while studying…sociology ! At that time, the future sociologist realized how important digital is in our online society, and decided to follow her interest in marketing to explore new opportunities. She applied as an intern in marketing for Quipu, while thinking “This is the place to start!”. Well, it sure was cause she never regretted it ! Quipu confirmed her interest in marketing and offered her her first job! Our new expert in marketing started then a master in digital marketing, working at the same time, to improve her skills (already proven!). Since that day, Judith improved the different activities she is working for, and acquired and developed new ones, from Marketing Assistant, to Marketing Executive until Inbound Specialist in only two years
“Working at Quipu is the perfect description of Learning-by-doing.You have to discover by yourself. This is the most gratifying”
For Judith, working for Quipu is an adventure which allows you to learn and discover new things everyday, both professionally and personally. Quipu being a very dynamic and evolving company, Judith likes to question herself and look for new ways to resolve challenges. Working with experienced colleagues allowed her to gain diverse experience: “This is a real privilege and a perfect place to start a career”.
“Being with eQuipu is the best part, and my best memories are with them. When you are in Quipu, you are part of a family”
“eQuipu” is the merger between “Quipu” and “equipo” (team in spanish). Indeed, the “eQuipu” has developed its own vocabulary over time. “Every family has its own vocabulary, and we have ours.” This is why every time a new person arrives in the company, they have to explain some of their expressions and their meanings !
Factorial raises €2.8M to change the world by becoming a leader in workplace management all over the world. This new funding comes from Creandum, Point Nine Capital, and K Fund.
International funds Creandum and Point Nine Capital (investors in companies such as Spotify and Typeform, respectively) are participating in this financing round, together with the Spanish fund K fund that adds up to the € 500,000 that were raised more than a year ago from several local entrepreneurs.
“The ease with which they solve a problem as complex as employee management seemed just spectacular”, says Iñaki Arrola, general partner of K Fund, one of the venture capital funds that participated in the financing round. “Since we launched K Fund in July 2016, we have made a significant bet for SaaS companies, which account for more than half of our portfolio, and also for startups settled in Barcelona. Factorial fits like a glove with our investment strategy,” adds Arrola.
Factorial was born in itnig as the initiative of three engineers (Jordi Romero, Bernat Farrero, and Pau Ramón) who, after managing different technology companies, decided to develop another way of carrying out administrative tasks and employee management. That was the main reason for creating Factorial; changing the current work paradigm. This cloud tool not only turns payroll and employee contracts into a child’s play that everyone can understand but also automates their generation; connects it directly with public administrations and allows managers and labor experts to interact and draw conclusions in real-time.
After a little more than a year since its establishment, Factorial has managed to make a difference in the daily life of more than 10,000 customers thanks to the free services of its software. The program allows you to manage absences and vacations of employees, their benefits, and even more recently, the management and creation of contracts and payslips in just a few clicks. All this with the ease of a cloud storing.