South summit

South Summit 2016: “You don’t need to be in Silicon Valley but Silicon Valley needs to be in you”

South summit

Once again, we were at the South Summit 2016 in Madrid at the beginning of October. But it was not a typical year. This year we had our first camp before the event. So, on Oct 4 Funding Box, a distributed team that telework from our homes  in Spain, Denmark and Poland, met at our headquarters in Madrid.

The goal when you go to an event is meeting people, making you known and learn about the last trends in your market, with the final objective of selling or improving your product. This year we went to the South Summit not only as Funding Box but also as part of IMPACT Accelerator, an startup accelerator. IMPACT Accelerator took to the South Summit 6 of the most promising startups of the program: Notegraphy, Sporty Heroes, Glamping Hub, Situm, Measurance and Prior.

My particular goal for this year was to meet startups that could potentially present their projects to IMPACT new open calls and that could be interested in the public funding services we are delivering through the #€ 2bn4Digital campaign. And, of course, I reserved a few time to attend some of the conferences of the event.

First Day: Startups competition. LinkedIn, Skype and 500 startups.

The first day I attended the startup competition in the content and agrifood verticals. This year the startup competition was structured in eight verticals, and part of them matched with the verticals of IMPACT new open calls (agrifood, content, manufacturing and smart cities).

In the content competition the level was pretty high and it was hard to foresee the winner, finally it was Themotion, an instant video ads for your business service. They also won the most scalable startup prize in the finals.

In the agrifood vertical our colleague Adrián Ferrero was presenting his project Biome Makers, a biotech startup specialized in microbiome understanding to provide comprehensive analysis for agricultural and industrial processes. But they weren’t the winners, the winner was Phenix which mission is restore utility of end-of-life products.

According to my notes the winners where the two startups that more money raised till now in their verticals, € 7 million and € 2.4 million respectively.

During the day I attended some conferences. Following I include a short summary of each of these conferences quoting the main points of the conferences:

“Ask for help. Take advantage of every people around you to be sure your product is successful. Most of the knowledge of how to be successful is outside your company”.

Atomico, the investment fund he has founded 10 years ago, look for projects that use technology for making great products. The most important thing for them are the founders, they study them, take references from the people know them really well. Also the ambition.

They not only invest in the company but help the companies with first class mentors from Facebook, Uber, … also to know the markets they have people in markets like Brazil or China.

“It doesn’t matter where you come from but where you go, and the important is to go global.”

“European ecosystem is on fire”.

The 500 startups funnel:

Funnel 500

“The most important is to believe. You don’t need to be in Silicon Valley but Silicon Valley needs to be in you.”

“If I will open a company now I will focus on the team first, then on having a local VC and then in an international VC. And finally to create a culture in the company to grow.” Juan Urdiales.

“An entrepreneur to master has to surround himself with smart people. Don’t believe you are going to do money fast. It’s not the case. It’s a long run and hard work.” Yann De Vries.

“Don’t be afraid. Find a friend closed to us and approach.” Yann De Vries.

  • Los cracks de las apps:Hacking Growth and partnership. Davor Hebels (8Roads), David García (CornerJob), Gerard Olivé (Antai / Wallapop) and Pep Gómez (Fever).


“We are gonna try to disrupt the offline channel.” David Moreno

Day 2: Meetings, meetings, meetings, talent in the digital era and party in the South Summit

The second day I had planned a big bunch of meetings with startups, but I had included also some conferences between meetings. Finally I could attend just one conference because there was a huge cue to access the conferences I wanted to see, and I had no time to wait in the cue due to the meetings’ agenda I had.

The conference I attended was “Talent in the Digital Era” presented by Nacho de Pinedo, CEO of ISDI, our partner in IMPACT Accelerator. “Which is the limit to exponential growth? (…) Talent”, and in the conference Nacho showed how ISDI is contributing to enlarge this limit.

At the end of the day I pitched IMPACT and FundingBox to more than 20 startups, including the ones I met at the party at night.

Day 3: IMPACT Growth presentation, more meetings and go home

Last day, Friday, tired after the party and the whole week in Madrid far from home. It was the day we presented IMPACT Growth, the continuation of IMPACT Accelerator at Innovation Stage. The presentation was done by Sebas Muller from ISDI, I contributed presenting FundingBox.

This day were announced the winners of the startup competition:

  • Startup Competition Winner: Spotahome, the largest rental site for mid to long term accommodation.
  • Most disruptive startup: Bioo, a pioneering biotechnology company that develops and commercializes unique panels that generate electricity from plant’s photosynthesis in a competitive and sustainable way.
  • Most scalable product: Themotion, instant video ads for your business.
  • Best team: Orphidia, instant test results from a single blood drop.

And that was all folks. Waiting forward for the next South Summit and for the next event, we will be at Web Summit in Lisbon by the beginning of November.


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