Newsletter 1 – March 2014


Newsletter 1. March 2014.

Story of the month:

Flood Hackathon London

A good idea and execution we can learn from.

Cooperation, projects, hacks, weekend-work, coworking, startups, tech, talent… These are some of the ingredients of my favorite activities in the startup scene and flood hackathon had all of these and much more.

Flood hackathon demonstrated how the government could be fast, provide the right resources and good feelings and let the people work to respond to a crisis and improve the country.

It’s something that is possible to do in all European countries I have visited. And why do it only in crisis? The tech startup scene is quite generous but doesn’t have many opportunities to show it.

Maybe the government, even better the nation, could define challenges and I’m sure the technology and the “techies” could provide solutions that could include new business opportunities and the seed for useful and profitable startups. Why not?

Here the roles are clear:

  • government: provides data and a friendly bureaucracy. Also some public promotion. In this case. the prime minister’s office.
  • spaces (coworking, universities): provides the venue, talent and connections. Here the google campus
  • big startups: provide talent, sponsoring and resources. Here facebook, google…
  • tech community: talent and the hack vision

With this ingredients great things could be done. Usually hackers and smalls fight with the big ones, the tech companies with the traditional ones, the employees with boss and the government with all. And clearly this is not the way to create anything.

For me the best projects provide smart ways to simplify (Where to find help in a power cut, flood feeder) it’s a good, and not easy, way to provide solutions the open mind of tech people to provide solutions to real people is quite relevant in this case.

Why don’t create a list of problems to be solved. All without the pressure of a crisis is more difficult to launch but I’m sure Paris, Berlin or Madrid, for mention any, could respond to this demands.

So what’s the challenge you would like the tech community solve in your city or country. I’m sure we are ready to solve it.


Berlin spring is here and is launched

Spring in Berlin is here and that involves many new people coming and a significant increase in the number of events.

To help all of you to select the best event to attend is launching (as part of theBizTour website) and there you can find all the events in the city. Probably the most complete list you will find. We’re also ready for your contributions if we missed something.

The Paris scene is blooming

I have the feeling Paris could be the next big place in Europe, and according to RudeBaguette you will find the most active startups and news taking place here. Read more at :The Paris startup scene: A photo essay.

And don´t miss the upcoming event in June: The Connected Conference, on connected hardware and Internet of the Things, one of big new markets full of opportunities in the coming years.

Featured news:

Big exits in Spain last month

Good news for the startup scene.

Two big sales of of what were originally startups that grew bigger and were bought by international leaders  Founded 8 years ago and launched in a bootstrapping way and with big competitors in the market in 2010 they overcame segundamano and continued to grow in 2011 hiring a new CEO. Now the company has been sold to Schibsted Classified Media (SCM) Spain for 50-100 million €. 50 in cash and a difficult-to-value 10% of SCM Spain. This multinational became the leader in the classified market adding Milanuncios’s 22M users per month to the group composed of,, Infojobs, and the newspaper 20minutos. Operating a wide range of events this ticketing company invoiced 110M € last year managing 40M tickets per year with 14M users. Now it has been bought by CTS Eventin for an unrevealed amount of money inside a 25M operation that involves the french an netherlands subsidiaries also. The CEO María Fanjul and the team seems to keep in the project bolstering the leadership in Spain and expanding it to South America by the advanced technology of CTS Eventin.

Also in the ticketing market, Ticketea bought Telémaco Sistema, a software company that manages tickets for big events. Ticketea invoiced 17M€ and it’s consolidating they expansion.

This news is needed in Spain. First to show that a startup could grow and could be really relevant in the market to the point of being desired by big companies. And second, because this money could likely go back into the startup scene if the founders ultimately become business angels, something I think could happen.

On the down side, it seems startups can’t overcome big competitors and this feeds the “get bought” model that is quite a risky strategy. Anyway it’s good news.

links: (pdf) (spanish)


Newsletter 0 – autumn 2013


Newsletter 0. Autumn 2014

Story of the month:

It’s not about the destination it’s about the journey.

A brief chronicle of an amazing summer.

Recently I moved to Berlin to live part time in one of the most exciting startup scene around the world. Many events, thousands of entrepreneurs and a city full of happy people vibrating with their own lives and jobs.

I realize that not everything is allowed here. Surprisingly, people remember me and my project one year later and it’s not allowed to repeat a pitch, so it forces you improve every day to have the next step ready to show to people.

To continue with dynamic experiences I went to Pirates Summit in Cologne an aRRRwesome event (if you understand you’re in, if not come to the event next year).


Again hundreds of entrepreneurs from all over Europe with amazing experiences. Great discussion and debates about the role of big companies interacting with startups, the importance of privacy and of course a lot of Lean Startup, previously they organized Leancamp Cologne where I personally enjoyed learning about metrics and organizing a discussion with @kamsbams about old business Lean and how to “get converted”.


What makes Pirates special is the craziness of the people with a real good organization behind them in an incredible venue. Having attended the “Pirates on a Plane Köln” made me realize that Germany is more than just Berlin, and the opportunities, especially for media startups, that you can find in a medium size and not very expensive city like Köln, are really cool. Of course don’t forget to visit as much Brauhaus as you can take.


The next stop was London, mainly for Campus Party.

Before the event I spent several days in the Google Campus building and in many wifi cafes, where you can feel the competitive London scene, and I attended (for the second time, the first was in Berlin) a Startup Rally event where European entrepreneurs in a continuing show of  improvement presented their amazing projects. Many of them are so good, and it shows again the advantages of being in the European market.

At Campus Party you can feel the refreshing new spirit of young people coming from Spanish Universities. Great speakers, but I miss better organized opportunities for networking, I’m sure I didn’t have the chance to meet more people because I didn’t know where to find them. It was a good chance to talk with many friends from Spain that are looking at London (and Europe) as the next step for their companies.


Next stop: Paris.


Then I spent some days in Paris where the scene is improving very fast. Many events, completely full of people, including an increasing number of English events that open the door to foreign people. I’m quite sure in one year Paris will be in the European startup scene like one of the “must be” places.


Coming back “home” to Berlin, winter is waiting.

Coming back to Berlin many events awaited us. Social Media Week (#SMWBerlin) was again amazing with tens of events and “cutting edge” subjects. I had the opportunity to organize a workshop about internationalization and attend many of the conferences. I learned about science and new communication, the creation of a team, and the difficult life of a community manager, to name a few examples.


The coming future.


And now the winter is coming to Berlin, in a real sense, non figurative. I’m sure we will enjoy a vibrant season, that I personally will combine with frequent visits to Spain to teach and to organize events that have been waiting for a while, and that I (we) will move fast with this renewed energy.

Because, like someone said at Pirates Summit, “we are here not for the destination, we are here for the journey”. We are here to work hard and probably won’t find the treasure. But we are here to enjoy the trip, join the crew, and visit in our pirate vessel the best places, drinking rum at night with the best people — with you, my friends — and enjoying our work, living a unique opportunity in history to create new amazing things, being happy in the process.