Madrid, widely considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world, is experiencing a major increase of interest in entrepreneurship. The Eurozone Crisis convinced many that starting a business may be preferable to the uncertainty one may experience at a large company during tough economic times. With plenty of local institutions that support the ecosystem, Madrid is catching up to Barcelona and Berlin in terms of reputation and resources. Seasoned entrepreneurs who previously moved to more developed ecosystems (ie London) are returning to Madrid and bringing with them added experience and knowhow. Major corporations like Telefónica and BBVA are beginning to take notice and lend their support and investment. Despite these promising developments, Madrid still faces challenges ahead. Chief among these is that the majority of Spanish venture capital goes to Barcelona due to its longer startup history. Madrid’s emerging wave of entrepreneurs need attention to shift in order to fuel their growth.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
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Up and coming startup
A serial entrepreneur and a staple part of the community, Alex Barrera is the founder of Press42, a startup that focuses on matching industry journalists with organizations globally. Concurrently, he serves as the associated editor and co-founder of Tech.eu, a European version of TechCrunch. He is also the co-founder of accelerator Tetuan Valley, where he served in a number of roles, including product development, marketing, and fundraising.
Carmen serves as the CEO of Tetuan Valley, a nonprofit pre-accelerator that focuses on first time entrepreneurs. As CEO she is responsible for the coordination for the startup schools that teach young entrepreneurs about the fundamentals of beginning a startup. Previously, she served as a co-organizer of Agile Entrepreneurship Spain, a meetup group geared towards innovation in Madrid.
As managing director and co-founder of Tyba, Eiso Kant is responsible for the daily operations of what is perhaps one of the most popular startups in the country. Tyba makes it easier for both recent graduates and students to showcase their talent and get hired by companies.
In 2012 Francois had two successful exits, one was Rentalia, founded in 2003 and sold to Idealista, and the other Toprural, founded in 2000 and sold to HomeAway. He has not remained idle since then and has co-founded two more companies in 2014, one of them Bewa7er, a secondary market for economic rights on unlisted companies, and the other, Aplazame is an eCommerce startup.
Vitamina K is perhaps the most important early-stage VC in Madrid. Inaki Arrola is the founder, and under his leadership the company has invested in companies with scalable models that have the potential of growing internationally. Inaki is also a mentor at SeedRocket, which offers seed funding for early stage startups, and a professor at IE Business School in Madrid.
Liz's career has been grealty involved in early stage startups and seed stage investing. She is currently the VP International at Spain Startup, the organizer for the South Summit. She was previously the Deputy Director for the Venture Lab at IE Business School, where she was responsible for accelerating 50 teams and 10 startups per year. Concurrently, Liz is a mentor for Wayra, an investor in Invoost, and an Advisor with PathFinder.
Luis has been one of the most active angel investors in the Madrid market. He started investing in 1998, and since then has invested in over 40 internet and tech startups. In 2009, he founded Cabiedes & Partners and, along with his brother Jose Martin Cabiedes, launched the first angel fund in Spain in 2011.
In her capacity as head of the Google Campus, Sofia is in charge of providing entrepreneurs with access to education, mentorship, and working space. Previously, as the CEO of Spain Startup, Sofia fostered innovation, strengthened the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and facilitated interaction between startups, investors, companies and institutions to make their projects successful. In 2014, Spain Startup hosted The South Summit, which has become a meeting point for startups from Southern Europe with 4,000 participants from 15 countries.
Michael founded Seaya Ventures in 2013, a VC that concentrates on early and growth stage companies with a specific focus on those expanding to Latin America from Spain. Additionally, he founded Plenum Media, a startup geared towards increasing technology access to SME businesses.
In 2002, the business incubator Digital Assets Deployment (DAD) was founded by entrepreneur Rodolfo Carpintier. In addition, he heads the online magazine Baquia, which focuses on business models in the internet and tech world.
ENISA is a government-owned corporation within Spain’s Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, created to finance innovative business projects. In 2013 alone, 640 innovative businesses received €140 million from ENISA.1982
Created by the Ministry of Economy and Finance, CDTI aims to increase the technological development and innovation of Spanish companies by financing applications for national and international R&D projects. of Spanish companies. In addition to offering soft loans to startups, CDTI offers international cooperation programs, and fosters international technology transfer.2007
Tetuan Valley is a pre-accelerator with a focus on first time entrepreneurs. Its Startup School is conducted entirely in English and students get to know the basics of startup culture by listening to talks from Spanish and international mentors in addition to experiencing weekly pitch practices.2009
Considered to be the first VC firm in Madrid, Cabiedes & Partners is founded by serial angel investor Luis Martin Cabiedes and his brother Jose Martin Cabiedes. The firm focuses on early stage investments and is considering co-investments in portfolio companies at the Series A, B, C and D stages.2009
Founded by Innoki Arrola, Vitamina K is perhaps the most active early-stage VC in Madrid. The firm focuses on internationally oriented businesses with scalable models.2011
Telecommunications giant Telefonica creates its accelerator Wayra, which has further expanded to 11 countries in Europe and Latin America.2011
Focused on early-stage investments in internet and mobile companies, Kibo manages €45 million from a mix of institutional and private investors, including Telefonica, the Spanish Government (through CDTI), insurance giant Mutua Madrileña, and Grupo ICO's private equity arm, Axis.2011
Iron Hack is founded to bridge the gap in skill level between what students were being taught in university and the skill requirements of emerging startups.2013
A collaborative effort between Spain Startup and IE Business School, The South Summit brings together 4,000 participants from 15 countries, over 350 investors, about 30 companies, and more than 100 startups to compete in its startup competition.October, 2014
Google announces its Campus Madrid, slated to open in Summer, 2015. The space will be similar in nature to Google's Campuses in Tel Aviv and London. Entrepreneurs will get access to mentorship and trainings led by their local startup community, experienced entrepreneurs, and teams from Google.November, 2014