AREA 31- Demo Day June 10th

Escrito el 17 junio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

Authors: Ricardo de Tomás y Álvaro Alonso Anabitarte.

While students are finishing their respective courses and the hot of summer seems to be completely upon us, work in Area 31 does not stop. The incubator of ideas keeps growing and creating a bigger entrepreneurial platform; business plans are improving in order to gain depth in the market, where differentiation is considered to be one of the key aims of entrepreneurs.

LastIMG_0099-1 Tuesday; June 10th, teams from the incubator had the chance to get to know know some of the new projects from the Area 31 Incubator, Qinti and TripMenu at the latest edition of Area 31 Demo Day. As Ricardo Espinoza, CEO of Qinti told to us, “the opportunity to be in Area 31 is just a turning point in our career. We have been establishing the project since January and it has been thrown to the market two months ago; but really the change has come once we have been here. These two weeks for the company have been unique in their path to get here, the access to the facilities in addition to the new partners and the feedback that we can get from them have been core of that new improvement.” Qinti is a business established in order to help foreigners when they want to access Internet outside home; providing useful apps and mobile Internet connection without roaming expenses, an idea which will definitely change the market.IMG_0102

Jordi Díaz, CEO and Co-founder of TripMenu; amazed everyone in the room with a high-technology presentation, easy and direct to the crowd. Which concluded the evening with the crowd giving their opinion of what was seen. His words also help to us to understand the importance of being in this special and exclusive atmosphere, “the chance of getting close with teachers, investors and entrepreneurs at the same time is just perfect, we get to show our product in a direct way and the feedback is received in the same way. We get to appreciate different points of view and that is worth its weight in gold.” This former Master student of IE knew once he left the Business School that his place was Area 31 and now he is very happy to have the chance his product is in the incubator; “I honestly believe in the value and importance of the networking and I am sure I am in the best place to develop and improve my product.”

Jordi´s company has created a plaIMG_0106tform that allows travellers to choose a place to eat as if they were at home, from deciding where and when you want to eat in a country, to connecting consumers with restaurants, which have been selected out of an intensive and strong competition. No need to risk or travel without knowing where you are going to enjoy lunch or dinner when using TripMenu. Danger is forgotten and surprises are not allowed.


Startups from Area 31 Participate in Zinc Shower 2014

Escrito el 12 junio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

 Two weeks ago three startups from Area 31 participated in Zinc Shower 2014 at Matadero in Madrid. This was unique event whose goal was the promote the Creative and Cultural Industries. Three startups from Area 31 were selected from a pool of 850 international and national projects to participate in the event. Congratulations to the startups and way to represent Area 31!
The three startups were:
www.avanotes.com at Zincshower AVA is a collaborative software for creative people. In video and creative production it´s crucial to share information and control de productive process, in order to materialise your creative vision. Until now all that conversations happened in meetings, calls, emails… far from the content. AVA makes video collaboration, review and approval as simple as pie. Now you can add accurate comments, drawings and voice notes directly over your media, and all those comments are in collaborative sticky notes (including a sort of whatsapp chat). So every people involved in the creation, from the crew to the client, may have the conversations where they should be: in the exact second of a video or audio. That´s why we say AVA let´s you empower your creative vision.

TripMenu helps travelers in their choice of restaurants, enhancing their dining experience through a system of virtual vouchers. They can enjoy a quality meal at a controlled price in their trip. The voucher can be redeem at any restaurant of the TripMenu affiliate network, always located near the main tourist attractions and business centers. The voucher is valid for a full menu.

Meetmeals is a platform that connects people that love cooking (“chefs”/ Hosts) to socialize with other people (Guests) through a unique gastronomic experience.Anyone can be a chef (professional or amateur) or a guest in the platform. Chefs/hosts promote social dining experiences by picking a place, a menu and set up a cover charge.  Meetmeals seeks social experiencies throught gastronomy.

Meet the Startups in Area 31: WENERU

Escrito el 11 junio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender


Author: Manu Espinosa

What is WENERU?
Weneru is an energy manager to little customers. Big companies use to hire energy consultants to reduce their energy bills, we try to use the technology to offer this service to smaller customers (both business and householders).

How does the business work?
It is simple:
1- We analyze the energy consumption of the customer.
2- We suggest new contract conditions (hourly and power capacity)
3- We compare and suggest the best offer to the new contract conditions.
4- We assume all the bureaucracy, paperwork and inform the customer.
5- The customers save money in their energy bills
In Spain this is a very difficult market, the law changes every month, the utility companies change the offers too and we the costumers change the way we consume.
We think WENERU will turn easy to participate in electric market.

What is the business model?
It is very easy, in the B2B model; we earn a part (33%) of the savings that the customer gets in the energy bill. On the domestic customer model, we are thinking in a freemium model, but at this moment we have not this service yet.

What kinds of investors does the company have?
At this moment we have two very important investors, we the partners and our customers.

What is the stage of project now?
We have now a B2B business model, being the Energy consultants to almost 50 customers.We have commercial relationship with several energy suppliers. At the same time we develop our technology and review every day the regulations affaires trying to take our service to domestic users as soon as possible.

What role do the members play in the company?
Manu Espinosa is the CEO. Miguel Carabús is the head of Commercial actions.. Adela Conchado is the Product Manager., Nacho García-Valdecasas is the COO.

What have you learned from your experience as entrepreneurs?
The most important… deal with uncertainty. I think it is almost a psychological issue, but it is very difficult to do it well. The second is maybe, to learn to appreciate every little job that somebody can do. Entrepreneurs have to perform a lot of roles; we are the boss, the commercial, the controller, the programmer… the same day, even the same couple of hours. And the last but not least, enjoy every “little victory” like if it was the last one.

What are you most excited about the project at the moment?
Maybe the day we saw our bank account and we received our first payment. That was the main proof that many people really could need our service.

What are the most difficult parts of entrepreneurship?
Being able to avoid the temptation of “usual” well paid jobs, ensuring the commitment with the project.

In your opinion, what are the most important personality traits to be a successful entrepreneur?

Confidence, commitment and open mind.

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

Each new step is based on previous mistakes or wise moves; we have a vision but not a path. If I knew the right way to succeed maybe I would skip some steps, but it is not the case at all.

What new understanding since you started has had the most impact on your original plan?
Maybe the importance of the offline commercial roles this is a strongly regulated market, oligopolistic, and the commercial role is very important to gain confidence and commitment of both, suppliers and customers.

What advice would you like to give to potential entrepreneurs?
I read a few weeks ago that there are two ways of doing something… the good one and again.



Escrito el 10 junio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender



Escrito el 10 junio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender


Meet the Startups in Area 31: Vidnex

Escrito el 3 junio 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

About Vidnex

Stacia and Inigo met on the Internet. But in this case, they started a different type of relationship… a business one.

Stacia moved from San Francisco to Madrid bringing her state of the art development processes, a fresh and exciting view on video over the Internet, and a proven track record building and running technology teams.

In the meantime, Inigo, with his own track record in the Internet as CEO of Groupon Spain, was running through the usual obstacle course that starting a business in Spain typically means.

Together, we will launch a browser based live video solution to exchange services over the Internet.

Where did you get the idea?

Originally, we thought of the hassle and inefficiency of working out: going to the gym, parking, little time available in people’s schedule’s, etc. And we envisioned the Internet being able to solve this problem through live, interactive video classes, taught by professionals over multi-party video conferences.

Around this basic service, we considered building a marketplace where students could pick their classes and teacher post their available schedule to bring personal health and fitness into a new era: more convenient and at a lower price to students and more efficient and scalable to teachers. We would take a transaction of every purchase.

140602 Founders pic

Where are you with the idea today?

We are working to launch the first version of the product. While we are changing the business model from a marketplace to a B2B video tool, the basic classroom setting and interaction among participants is at the heart of the original vision for the business.

We fundamentally believe live video technologies will continue to play a key role in the Internet for years to come, and we think it will be an interesting space to be in. In what form or shape, we will pay close attention to have the market guide us!

How long have you been working on the idea?

We have been working on the idea about half a year, since the last quarter of 2013. We incorporated a company in Spain in early 2014, and have been running tests since then.

How does it work?

Teachers create classes or events, and students, through just a simple URL, can access the classroom environment through their web browser. There is no additional software involved and all students and teachers need is a laptop with a webcam and a high-speed broadband connection.

What investors does the company have?

Right now, we as founders have been bootstrapping the company, which has allowed us to stay nimble and be very flexible.

Do you have a prototype? How many iterations took it from the initial idea to the current product?

Yes, we have an MVP we used to test with users in Spain, the UK, and the US. We know we have a viable product that works, and meets our initial user experience goals. Now the challenge is to build a sustainable a profitable business model around it, which will be the focus of the upcoming months.

Teachers create classes or events, and students, through just a simple URL, can access the classroom environment through their web browser. There is no additional software involved and all students and teachers need is a laptop with a webcam and a high-speed broadband connection.

What new understanding since you started has had the most impact on your original plan?

We have learned a lot along the way. Hypotheses that we took almost for granted the first day have been reversed, some problems magically evaporated, while others came out of nowhere. Fundamentally, we are learning about people’s behavior, and the difference between words, intentions, and actions. This dichotomy is the one that is pushing us to reevaluate the original business model.

What advice would you like to give to potential entrepreneurs?

Fail fast and fail cheap! Never run out of money to keep iterating until you find a path that provides the traction and returns to guide you to a sustainable business model.


Beefeater London District

Escrito el 30 mayo 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender




Del 5 al 8 de junio en la estación de Principe Pío tendrá lugar Beefeater London District, se trata del primer distrito de containers de España que unirá ideas, talento, experiencias únicas y emprendimiento bajo la premisa “Saca el Londres que llevas dentro” en el que participarán entre otros algunos Antiguos Alumnos de IE presentando sus productos en los contenedores como José Molina fundador de trajesamedida.com, además podrás dormir en el hotel más pequeño del mundo, probar lo último en street food, crear tus complementos con impresión 3D o convertir en jabón tu aceite usado. En uno de los containers se desarrollara un Venture Network con mentores de IE como jurado.

El evento tendrá lugar en la antigua estación de Príncipe Pío te invitamos a recorrerlo, a visitar a los 30 “vecinos”, emprendedores llenos de talento y energía, que, entre el 5 y el 8 de junio, nos harán vivir experiencias únicas en la Estación del Norte de Príncipe Pío.

El espíritu de Londres es creatividad, es energía, es imaginación, es abrir la mente y hacer realidad tus sueños, es atreverte. De todo eso estará lleno Beefeater London District, el primer distrito creado con containers y poblado por treinta ‘vecinos’ emprendedores y llenos de talento que quieren hacer vivir a los demás experiencias únicas y sacar el Londres que llevan dentro. Cuentan con 15 metros cuadrados para contar las últimas tendencias en gastronomía, arte, diseño, cine, música o moda, entre otras disciplinas y dar el empuje definitivo al proyecto de sus sueños.

Han sido elegidos, entre más de 200 proyectos participantes, por un jurado formado por representantes de las principales instituciones de emprendimiento del país –IE Bussiness School, AJE Madrid, Spain StartUp y Womenalia – así como tres periodistas y blogueros expertos en diseño, tendencias y gastronomía.

Un paseo por Beefeater London District es un recorrido por una ciudad creativa y llena de energía, un lugar donde respirar al cien por cien ese espíritu de Londres. “Imagina que te levantas una mañana con ganas de comerte el mundo (literal, con propuestas gastronómicas de aquí y de allá). Imagina que al rato se te antoja una bici a medida (sí, una que solo tengas tú). Imagina que necesitas unos zapatos ad-hoc para pedalear con elegancia. Imagina que quieres bailar (de día o de noche, qué más da). Imagina que te echarías una cabezadita (incluso en el hotel más pequeño del mundo, incluso mejor así). Imagina que te dicen que esas cosas que imaginas solo pueden hacerse en Londres”. Así describe David Moralejo, periodista, bloguero y miembro del jurado, lo que se vivirá en Beefeater London District. ¿te lo vas a perder? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=utEajLqmkSw




Escrito el 29 mayo 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender


Meet the Startups in Area 31: Style Stage

Escrito el 28 mayo 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

StyleSage – Big Data meets Fashion

Author: Jade Huang

StyleSage, a New York and Madrid-based company, delivers real-time and predictive analytics through a SaaS platform to fashion retailers and brands. Our technology currently monitors 1000+ retailers, 2000+ brands, and 30M+ products globally. Combining data analyses with business insights from clients, we build beautiful, intuitive charts and reports that are easy to understand and use.

Our vision is to utilize big data to help fashion retailers and brands make some of their most challenging decisions and predict fashion trends.

Why do fashion retailers and brands need your help?

Four questions make or break every fashion business:  What designs would shoppers love?  How much to price merchandise?  How much to produce and stock in stores?  Where to allocate inventory?

Right now, there is no easy way for retailers and brands to gather and analyze the necessary data to complement the decision-making process, and that is where we come in.

Where did you get the idea?

Jade, Jonathan and Robert met last year while at INSEAD during their MBA. Jade had studied fashion design and was looking for Co-Founders to work on an idea at the intersection of fashion and technology.

Initially, we had the idea to build a social platform to allow customers to vote on upcoming fashion collections and use that to predict trends which we developed throughout multiple entrepreneurship courses at school. We had already invested in building an alpha-version of the social voting platform, but soon realized through interviews with fashion professionals that there was no real demand for it.  So we pivoted.

How does the business work?

Our vision of using big data to predict trends and to help fashion professionals is huge and we made the first step towards it already. We have built a web-based platform that visualizes our current data in a very interactive way and we aim to sell that tool to fashion brands and retailers.

In the next year, we will start building an intelligent, predictive model that will be able to give recommendations.

What is the business model?

Our business model is based on SaaS (Software-as-a-Service). We charge a monthly fee for the access to our web-tool, depending on the amount of data and number of user seats. In addition, we plan to release and sell some fashion reports and also discovered some alternative revenue sources.

What kinds of investors does the company have?

Initially, the company operated out of the founder’s fund.  At the moment, we are gearing up to officially raise a seed round.

What is the stage of project now?

We have developed a customer-ready beta product, which we are now testing with major retailers and brands through the New York Fashion Tech Lab. As one of eight startups for the Fashion Tech Lab, we are given unprecedented opportunityto work hand-in-hand with renowned fashion brands and well known entrepreneur mentors. We also hired our first intern as a full-time frontend developer — we are proud and thankful to announce that she came from the Talentum intern program at the IE Area 31 Incubator.

What role do the members play in the company?

We are a very international team, strategically located in New York and Madrid, so we can work easily with retailers and brands from both sides of the Atlantic.photo Ari and Rob

Jade is our CEO, based in New York. She is responsible for Business Development, Marketing, Sales, Fundraising and overall vision of the company. Robert is the CIO, located in Madrid and responsible for product development, technology infrastructure management and data analysis & visualization. Jonathan advises us on key technology and infrastructure decisions. Arianna in Madrid is developing the frontend. Additionally, we have 3 interns in New York supporting us on chart development, product management and data analysis, as well as 2 advisors who provide legal and strategic advice.

Also, we are looking for a senior developer in Madrid with database management and software development experience. If you are interested in the position, please contact us at http://www.stylesage.co/join.html

What have you learned from your experience as entrepreneurs?

It’s an amazing experience to create your own company! It’s so much more than just building a product that works – you are creating whole company, recruiting a team, building a work & fun culture, validating and selling the product, finding investors, navigating legal and administrative topics and so much more.   Don’t be afraid to fail – that’s the only way to learn.

You have to make a lot of decisions – small and big – every day and often you get the feedback right away. That is very rewarding.

What are you most excited about the project at the moment?

At the moment we are at very exciting times. The New York Fashion Tech Lab (nyftl.com) gives us the opportunity to meet senior managers of amazing fashion brands and it’s great to see their first reaction and feedback to the product. Also, we are actively fundraising at the moment and getting good investor interest, which is also very exciting.

On the product side, we have gathered enough data by now to see some historical business cycles and a few trends and can’t wait to analyze those more in depth.

What are the most difficult challenges of entrepreneurship?

For us, being such an international team, keeping everyone aligned and “in touch” is at times challenging but I think we master that well with our daily team video chats and feedback sessions.

In general there are good times and bad times and everything always happens slower than expected. It’s important to not lose your energy and vision in the low moments. Same is true for making your first dollar of revenue: it’s incredibly hard to sell a product in the market, especially in B2B. Also, finding and recruiting the right people at the beginning is probably the most challenging and important task of a startup. The idea can always be changed or adapted but to change the team is more difficult.

In your opinion, what are the most important personality traits to be a successful entrepreneur?

Have a vision and keep up your energy. Be able to convince people (partners/employees, customers, investors) of your idea. Be a team player. Have passion.

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

Of course we made many wrong decisions. But I think that overall we are on a good track and you probably learn more from bad choices than from right ones, so I would not go back and change them.

What new understanding since you started has had the most impact on your original plan?

Our original plan was to build a social voting platform for upcoming fashion collections. We had invested months of work and some money to develop an alpha version of it, just to learn that there is actually no demand for it. It was a good learning that a) there is a huge difference between people liking your idea and the willingness to spend money for it and b) you need to listen very carefully what your potential customers say. We initially had interpreted most feedback in our favor (“rose lenses”) and missed the subtle critique points.

Fortunately, we could pivot the idea at a very early stage and without the interviews we would not have found the current opportunity that we are working on now.

What advice would you like to give to potential entrepreneurs?

Never, ever, run out of money! Find the right partners and people that believe in you and the idea. Validate your idea with potential customers as much as you can and listen to them carefully. Stay true to your vision, don’t give up and embrace learning from wrong decisions. Have fun!



Escrito el 27 mayo 2014 por entrepreneurship en emprender

The Venture Network is a weekly pitch slam is an invaluable resource for early stage entrepreneurs, a forum for engaging the entrepreneurial community, promoting your startup, and at best securing an investment from our Investors in Residence. The Venture Network is unique in that it is a very informal gathering where startups can meet investors in an informal setting over beers and snacks and focus on what’s important; building relationships. The Venture Network is a great way to perfect your pitch, get feedback on your product, and meet the local startup community.

The Venture Network´s resident panel of startup experts include:

. Liz Fleming, Managing Director Venture Network
Angel Batalla, Entrepreneur and Investor
Jose Antonio Vega, Strategy & Investment Manager” Alboran Corporate Finance 

The three startups that will present their project in 7 minutes will be:

José A. Martinez , IPV Movil

We are experts in combining physical Security Services and Technology. As a result, we have developed a SaaS video-surveillance platform which addresses many of the existing problems around security, works smoothly with many video camera vendors and enables end customers to manage the security of their homes and business premises from different devices (computer, tablet and smartphone). Anytime. From anywhere. Thus they keep their ‘Security in their hands’.

Carlos Umaña, Angeles al Volante

24 hours transport service for the driver and his/her car.
Designed to solve the problem of returning home with his/her own car after drinking alcohol, this service can also be requested punctually for situations of vehicle immobilization or special transportation services 7 days a week

Matthew Thomas Fellmeth


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