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Would you like to start working today?

Escrito el 28 abril 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

¿Would you like to work today? Worktoday is a mobile phone application created by a Spanish start-up, which connects up business with services professionals, job matching in less than five minutes by mobile phone.

Let’s imagine that a waitress calls up the restaurant where he works and says he in unable to attend today; or that a hotel needs extra help in the cleaning team due to an avalanche of unexpected reservations; or that the one employee of a store gets sick and has to be substituted… These and many other similar situations happen every single day: unfilled positions, missed opportunities to offer services while millions of professionals near to those companies’ are available and eager to work.

Worktoday is a free mobile app available in Google Play and in App Store, designed for companies that need to solve lack of staff problems and other unforeseen events, and for professionals (unemployed, part-time or students) who would like to decided when, where and with who they want to work, and earn some extra money.

‘With more than 5000 users and more than 150 companies already using this app, Worktoday offers the possibility to fill in a vacancy within few moments after the job notice is being published.

Worktoday Fundadores V1

Founders of Worktoday

How does it work?

It is very easy. First, Worktoday discloses what it has been called the ‘Extrajob’ (hourly-paid job offer). Second, in only five clicks the vacancy notice is launched to hundreds of users. The app sends the information only to those ones who meet the criteria and are nearly located for an immediate hiring. From all the list of candidates who had accepted the job offer, the employer can see how long it takes them to reach the site, their professional experience and past employer’s evaluations.

It is important to underline that Worktoday is an application that is being evaluated by both parts. As Alvaro Curiel, CEO and Cofounder says, ‘We would like to reward the professional excellency of both, candidates and employers.

Services business sector is the first driving force for economy in Spain. Worktoday is a tool used by business to increase their efficiency and be able to troubleshoot problems rapidly. Worker absenteeism entails an opportunity cost estimated in 55.000 millions a year, only in Spain. For all this, Worktoday team has the goal to enable those companies to not loose any more money and to count on hundreds of professionals close to them available to work immediately.

At the same time, professionals whose working hours have been reduced, unemployed and students can rise their income by using Worktoday. As Marta Romero CMO & Cofounder points out, ‘It is an honour for all the team at Worktoday to work to allow good professionals to increase their income when needed.

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Meet the startups at Area 31: Valigo

Escrito el 23 abril 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

Written by :Luis Cornide CapturaRecording01 What is Valigo Valigo is a web-based application through which companies can conduct their recruitment processes in a quality-oriented and efficient way, by using automatic video interviews. A typical recruitment process consists of several steps. First, the vacancy is published on jobsites or corporate job portals so that any interested candidate may apply. Then, the person in charge of the process screens the candidates and draws up a list of initial candidates. These initial candidates will be interviewed once, twice or even more times. These intermediate interviews are conducted both by phone or face to face. Eventually, after the interviews, the candidates will be shortlisted so that two or three final candidates will be selected. The shortlisted candidates will then be interviewed by the person they will directly report to. Valigo is not a jobsite and doesn’t aim to replace the final interview. Valigo aims at helping companies to conduct the intermediate interviews in a more efficient and faster way. How does Valigo work Conducting a recruitment process with Valigo is very easy. You just need to follow the following three steps: Process definition, video interview recording and candidate evaluation. Process Definition The recruiter will access Valigo and define the different process parameters. First, they will choose the deadline to record the video interview or the language of the process. After that, the recruiter will have to define the questions the candidates will be asked. The recruiter can choose the questions from a library created with the help of experts in Human Resources. This library is organized by positions and competences. Recruiters can also enter questions manually, by typing the question text. The recruiter can also configure the interview to force the spontaneity of the answers to be provided by the candidates by limiting the total interview time or the number of attempts to record the answer to each question. The last step consists in introducing into Valigo the list of candidates who will take part in the process either by entering data one by one or extracting data from a file. Interview recording Just after launching a process, Valigo will send a personalized email to each candidate with instructions and a link to access the video interview. The candidates will use a webcam to record their video interview on Valigo’s website. Valigo offers the candidates an intuitive and user-friendly interface to record the answers they wish to supply during the interview. Candidate evaluation Once the candidate has recorded the interview, the recruiter can access it from Valigo’s website. The recruiter or the team in charge of the process can view a complete interview or view the answers provided by all the candidates to a specific question, compare the candidates, evaluate them, rank them or add notes, in other words, use several features to filter and select the best candidates for the position. Which problem can be solved by Valigo Recruitment processes are a time and resources-consuming activity: interviewing tens of candidates, scheduling agendas, or even paying for the travel expenses of candidates are the main activities that consume these resources. Recent studies have shown that the average time-to-hire (the number of days since posting a job vacancy until the person starts working) is more than 50 days. Using video interviews and the filtering and assessment tools of Valigo, reduces the time-to-hire to 25%. But saving time and money is not the only advantage of using Valigo. The recruitment processes managed with Valigo enable the standardization of the candidates interview, helping to objectivize the selection of candidates: all the candidates go through exactly the same interview, answering the same questions, in the same order. Finally, SME’s usually do not have HR departments, the managers are those in charge of the recruitment. In such cases, Valigo is invaluable to run quality recruitment processes, helping managers to, for example, conduct competence-based interviews. Foto3-2 What is Valigo’s business model? Valigo offers its tools as a SaaS (Software as a Service). Valigo generates revenue in two ways: charging companies that manage recruitment processes with Valigo and by licensing Valigo’s technology and integrating it in jobsites and ATS (Application Tracking Systems). Given the current situation of the labour market in Spain, is it a good idea to start up in this moment a project related to recruitment? Yes, absolutely! Regardless of macro and microeconomic data, there are plenty of signs that the Spanish labour market is getting more dynamic. Some weeks ago, Infojobs, the leading job portal in Spain, published some data showing that they helped to sign 75% more employment contract than in the previous year, 2014. Additionally, we are still recovering from a long economic crisis. The huge unemployment rate in Spain makes it that every time a job offer is published hundreds of candidates apply. Their applications have to be processed and filtered by human resources departments which have generally been reduced in terms of people and resources, causing a perfect storm situation in which tools such as Valigo which help optimize selection processes are now more essential than ever. What is the current stage of the project? Last November, we started marketing our product with a few companies. The first results are now visible. We are currently closing the first contracts with customers and are working with job portals such as ProEmpleoIngenieros.com.
What about your experience with Area 31? The experience has been extremely positive. Being surrounded with innovative projects led by interesting people who are passionate about what they do make the experience in Area 31 a very enriching one. In addition to cooperation and partnership programs, our presence in Area 31 gives us great visibility within the entrepreneurial ecosystem here in Madrid.

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AGENDA IE VENTURE NETWORK, 23rd APRIL

Escrito el 22 abril 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

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Meet the startups in Area 31: Koiki

Escrito el 16 abril 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

centrado

written by:Aitor Ojanguren

What is the customer problem? And Koiki’s solution?

Koiki’s business model addresses the problem of receiving and sending parcels from/to your home. Usually consumers are upset because they don’t know the time at which the parcel company will arrive at their homes. If they buy several items on-line, usually different parcel companies will arrive at their home at different times.

To resolve this problem we have created the Koikis who are people who live near you and have time to deliver and pick up parcels to their neighbors. Our Koikis use a Web Mobile system to deliver and pick up parcels or letters at the exact time specified by the final consumer.

That’s it, it’s quite a simple idea…

At the same time we also address to more important issues:

I.- Pollution and congestion in urban areas are partially fuelled (“nunca mejor dicho”) by delivery vehicles from parcel companies.

A delivery vehicle runs every day an average of 210 kms and delivers 80 parcels. As a delivery ligh truck releases 0,29 kg/CO2 per km, the impact to the environment is 0,76 kg CO2 per parcel.

In a fully deployed Koiki scenario, the vehicles will deliver in a single drop at our Koiki’s premises and then will return to their base. Our solution will save 0,47 kg-CO2 per parcel delivered. If you want to go over more detailed calculations please contact us thru our web page www.koiki.eu

II.- Unemployment within the disabled communities is a huge problem in Europe in general and in Spain in particular.

Our videos in our home page state our service from the consumer’s and Koiki’s point of view. We invite you to have a look.

A Socialentrepreneurship Project

Our vision is a sustainable world where environmental and social concerns are taken into account in our day to day activities. Our Koikis deliver either walking or biking and in Koiki’s deployment we are giving preference to disabled communities.

Currently we’re working hand in hand with several organizations specialized in intellectual disabilities like:

Grupo Gureak: http://www.grupogureak.com/ in Guipuzcoa

Fundación Inlade: http://www.fundacioninlade.org/ in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid)

Tallers Bellvitge: http://www.tallersbellvitge.com/es/ in Hospitalet de Llobregat (Barcelona).

Adisli: http://adisli.org/ in Madrid

Aprocor: http://fundacionaprocor.org/ in Madrid

Ademo: http://www.ademo.org/ in Madrid

 

These organizations use their members and their facilities in order to deliver and pick up parcels within their neighborhoods. We at Koiki feel very proud and inspired by people within these organizations. From the boys and girls with some kind of disability to their professional and motivated managers. All of them give us strength on our day to day activities.

Koiki Team

Who is the team and what relevant previous experience do we have? 

Founder Aitor Ojanguren, Entrepreneur, Engineer, MBA, sold successfully its previous Company Celeritas to French multinational Group Lagardère.

Jose Andrés Aliste, IT Manager, with large experience in IT Departments in several Transport and Logistic companies, built successfully Celeritas IT System.

Cristina Arganda, Pedagogue, with over 8 years’ experience within the Social Sector.

 

Where does Koiki idea come from?

Aitor Ojanguren founded Celeritas (www.puntoceleritas) in 2006 as a copycat of Kiala (www.kiala.com) which allow on-line consumers to search for their parcel in corner shops near to their homes. Only one out of ten parcels are delivered this way. And those who choose this way, they do so because they don’t have a practical alternative to receive their parcels at their homes.

Actually many people use their neighbors or members from their families to receive their parcels instead. This way Koiki’s idea was born. We facilitate people to deliver and pick up parcels to their neighbors.

What is the market size globally?

Huge. Just the e-logistics sector turnover in Spain is approximately 850 MM€ of which parcel home delivery accounts for 20%. UK and Germany are 4 times bigger, and France 2 times bigger than Spain. If we considered the Postal Sector, the market size goes over 1.000 MM € in Spain.

KOIKI is scalable to any European city with congestion, pollution and social concerns. Potential customers are any on-line retailer, parcel company or final consumer that buys on-line or receive/sends parcels or letters to or from his home.

E-commerce is increasing 20% year in Spain and over 10% in the biggest European markets.

 

Where will be Koiki in 3 years time?

We expect to have 1.200 persons working as Koikis all over Spain of which 50% of them coming from the disabled communities. We will also have founding enough to expand internationally in Europe.

 

What is the CO2 Savings Scorecard?

Any Koiki user (final consumer, Koiki, parcel company or E-retailer) will have a CO2 Savings scorecard assigned. Whenever they use our service they will have CO2 points allocated in their scorecards: an average of 0,47 kg-CO2 per parcel delivered or picked up.

They will use their scorecards in order to vote for Social or Environmental projects in their neighborhoods, councils or cities.

 

How has Area 31 and IE helped Koiki?

In many ways… from better rates from suppliers like Amazon, Paypal,…. to visibility thru their Venture days and networking. We also find the weekly planned lectures and conferences on different subjects very useful.

Just being in the co-working space and talking with other start-ups helps you more than you can initially might think. I cannot imagine any start-up not going thru an accelerator or similar programs. Area 31 within the IE is one of the best in Spain and in Europe. Congratulations to Area 31 team!!

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Meet the Area 31 start ups: Kinder 360

Escrito el 9 abril 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

logoWhat is Kinder360?

Kinder360 is a real-time communication tool between nursery schools and students’ families that facilitates the task of nurseries’ personnel, as well as providing peace of mind to the families through the use of a smartphone application.

Where did you get the idea?

We came up with the idea through observing the most common communication method used by nursery schools: the pre-school paper agenda. We noticed two main problems:

  1. In the fast-paced world we live in, it makes no sense to wait until the end of the school day to know what our children, the most important part of our lives, are up to.
  2. The data input process implemented daily by the educators is repetitive and tedious because they have to write, one by one, dozens of agendas often with the same information. This consumes a time that could be dedicated to more important things such as the education of the students.

Undoubtedly, this sector was asking for some technological innovation.

Who are your customers? What solutions does Kinder360 provide to them?

Nowadays, our customers are the nursery schools (from 0 to 6 years old) and specially those interested in offering quality service to their clients: their students’ families.

Therefore, Kinder360 provides solutions for the school (our customers) as well as for the families (our users).

Families:

Kinder360 reports can not be lost, get wet or be forgotten at home; The information is securely saved in the “cloud” and accessible anytime and anywhere through a free to download smartphone application.
It has been created to avoid problems related to misinformation and miscommunication in the family. Different members of the family could be properly informed in real-time about their child’s activity during the school time.
The system transforms data into knowledge. The family can visualize statistics to help them detect abnormal behaviors.

Nursery Schools & Educators:

Saves time and effort to the educators when registering the events and activities of the students. With our very easy to use app, they only need two steps to introduce information about one or more children at the same time.
The system provides a bidirectional communication channel that doesn’t interfere with the educators’ task. Moreover, it allows the nursery school to be present in the main app “stores”. The app can be visually customized to match different schools’ needs.

What is your business model?

We charge our customers (nursery schools) a monthly fee for the service. We also charge a setup fee if the customer hires the visual customization of the app.

Do you have a prototype?

The product is 100% functional and we have customers working with it.

Initially, we made a web based MVP with the collaboration of parents, schools and educators. This experience helped us a lot to improve the service and find a versatile solution for our native applications.

What kind of investors does the company have?

At present, the project has been self-funded by the partners.

What are the hardest challenges of being an entrepreneur?

Entrepreneurship is about resiliency. It requires large doses of sacrifice and patience in exchange of uncertainty. You have to know how to deal with that and keep the motivation high and expectations low.

Also, you have to understand that the success of an entrepreneur is not exclusively attached to the success or failure of a project. You should not neglect your personal life.

Is there anything you would go back and do differently if you had the chance?

Lot of things, but above all, properly define the team roles and avoid professional distractions that take precious time and create obstacles for the project.

What advice would you give to potential entrepreneurs?

Keep your motivation high and expectations low.
Be ready to leave your comfort zone often.
Experiment and pivot.
Keep the focus on your project and, as much as possible, avoid professional distractions.
Surround yourself by a resilient team willing to do a big effort in exchange of a little or no money.
Neglecting your personal life is a bad idea.
Do it, it’s worth it.

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AGENDA IE VENTURE NETWORK, 26th MARCH

Escrito el 23 marzo 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

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Google Startup Launch at IE

Escrito el 18 marzo 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

On Wednesday March 11, took place the first edition of Google Startup Launch in collaboration2015-03-11 13.40.13 with IE. 2015-03-11 13.40.25

 

 

 

 

 

Google Startup Launch provides startups in all stages with the platform, resources, online content, mentorship and training they need to succeed. From first idea to successful implementation and growth, Google Developer’s mission is to help startups worldwide become successful on the Google Developers platformand open-source techn2015-03-11 15.38.21ologies.

20 startups coming from IE community got free technological mentorship from Google’s experts, members of Google Developer Groups. The diverse entrepreneurs that participated were a mix of non-technical founders, business-oriented and some with technical experience. The participants got 45-60 minutes exclusive support to their startup on the subjects of web, mobile or cloud technologies. The results and feedback were extremely positive which will lead to future collaborations.

Google Startup Launch allows its participants to learn (in case they still don’t know) all the weak points of their startup and ‘require’ solving them. It doesn’t matter if their startup is in the ideation stage, validation stage or in pivoting stage… The participation gives a deep and intense experience if one is taking the best out of the mentors and the other entrepreneurs.

The successful event was organized and managed by IMBA November2013 IE Alumni, Nir Hindi. If you are interested in future events stay tuned by contacting him at info@nirhindi.com or follow him on twitter @nirhindi

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cartoonpitchsimplicityAuthor: Álvaro Alonso, IE University Student

As usual, the Harvard Business Review keeps talking about interesting matters concerning entrepreneurship and business as a whole. The magazine has introduced several doubts and concerns towards the idea of the elevator pitch, being able to create an interesting debate concerning the case.

Elevator Pitches are well known in the entrepreneurial industry, business classes and articles often include the benefits and problems it creates but recently its activity and efficiency have been doubted from distinct positions.

Would you be able to summarize who you are, what, why and how you represent it in a conversation of two minutes? Would you be able to do so concerning someone who does not share the level of information and care towards your company? A whole century in addition to the industries of advertising, marketing and communications has been able to demonstrate how difficult it is.

Do words cover an essence better than an image? Which would last the most? Deborah Mill-Scofield and Liza Donnelly introduced five reasons why cartoons should be tested and considered in order to link with a targeted audience and transmit your idea in a more efficient way.

In a world, which is constantly bombed by information, entertainment and noise, the power of images is daily showed and the influence of audiovisual messages has taught us how determinant they are. Could images be more direct and easier to remember than words? Several studies have demonstrated how images are 60,000 times faster to remember than words and here we have 5 more reasons to consider it:

  1. A main shared goal by companElevator Pitchies consists in the clear and direct transmission of what they are and more important, what they represent and how they are seen. The essence of a company is the message different channels want to spread towards a selected audience. Hours of work and preparation in order to create a value proposition which cannot be explained properly to an audience? Try to communicate it with an image! Cartoons hide ideas as much as objects do. Use the power of images to connect with your audience in a more direct way, let them create the words once the emotion is installed.
  2. Lines, colors and dimensions influence the viewer. Use drama and comedy to be able to connect with your audience in the purest possible way. The subconscious of your client is a coveted prize and images can connect with it faster than anything.
  3. Images make easier for companies to test value proposition; emotions and reactions do not lie. By testing, listening and learning to what the potential clients say, the ´´A/B test´´ will be more efficient.
  4. As introduced before the influence of images is wider than the one of words. Due the capability of transmission they involve, it will be 60,000 faster for an image to stay in your memory. Colors determine the patterns, which organize our way of thinking, being able to get to that process must be one of the keys!
  5. Images concern language and symbols and have been used in several historical turning points, as the Harvard Business Magazine points out; a clear example will be propaganda and how images have been used for different purposes. The filter, the context of the cartoon and its impact in the audience will determine if it is influential or not.

Cartoons pitch should not come to destroy other systems or processes to expand a product or an image, they can perfectly work in order to establish the first link with a targeted audience. Cartoons pitch can become the first step of a potential relationship with customers, now it is the time to think how you are going to build that bridge and how you are going to build your corporative image.

 

 

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ELITE boosts SMEs’ opportunities to scale in Europe

Escrito el 11 marzo 2015 por entrepreneurship en emprender

elite-foto_800x450

This week, the London Stock Exchange Group has presented its ELITE program at IE; a program focused on small and mid-sized companies. ELITE provides a platform that connects the involved enterprises with investors throughout Europe and a training program to foster the competitiveness, visibility and attractiveness of the participants.

The programme is structured in three phases, starting with training sessions and workshops for a later implementation of the acquired knowledge:

  1. Get ready: this first part will provide the participants with the required tools for improving their organisational structure in economic and human capital terms. This aim will be achieved through an educational program commanded by the FT-IE Corporate Learning Alliance, featuring collaborations of a broad set of entrepreneurs, industry experts and advisers from all sectors.
  2. Get fit: the second stage consists on workshops designed to reflect on company-specific issues and progressively adopt new practices to increase competitiveness and get access to long-term funding opportunities. In order to do that, companies will receive assistance in the elaboration of an improved business plan and an “equity story”, as well as improving their corporate communication and optimizing its governance.
  3. Get value: building on the experience acquired during the first two phases, ELITE finally helps its participants to capitalise what they have learnt for exploiting new business opportunities and accessing to new funding options.

During the presentation speech, Barbara Lunghi, the director of the program, highlighted the important benefits that Spanish companies can get by adhering to ELITE’s dynamic platform. With reference to their expectations from the participants she assured that “This program is aimed at companies who want to grow and internationalize, helping SMEs to create a system and prepare to raise capital in order to meet the international challenges.”

ELITE has been successfully implemented in Italy in 2012 and the UK in 2014 and currently comprises more than 200 companies, covering all sectors, as well as more than 150 assessors and more than 70 investors.

Interested in joining? The program offers a limited number of vacancies, which will be assigned by considering the historical growth and future potential, the credibility of the expansion project and the management team, as well as the cultural fit to promote the changes within the organisation. Good luck!

For more information about ELITE: www.elite-growth.com
For more information about ELITE in Spain: www.elite-growth.es

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