The best startups created by IE Business School students and alumni have received 12 million Euros in funding over the last four years at the Venture Day Madrid events held by the School.
Madrid, May 6, 2015. In yesterday’s edition some ten startups presented their proposals to investors, entrepreneurs and opinion leaders in an event in which participants also examined the kinds of risks and opportunities for entrepreneurs. The winner of Venture Day Madrid was Evolufarma (www.evolufarma.com), a multi-channel marketing platform designed to help pharmacies improve levels of customer loyalty and increase their sales.
Venture Days are an IE Business School initiative aimed at promoting the entrepreneurial spirit of its students, who come from over 100 countries. “We don’t select the best projects just to present them at the event, we also help them develop a business plan and we prepare them for their presentation,” said Paris de l’Etraz, Director of IE Business School’s Venture Lab. “Many of our students choose IE because of their entrepreneurial ambition, and Venture Day provides them with a unique opportunity to showcase their most innovative ideas for other entrepreneurs and investors.” Over the last two years Venture Day events have secured over 15 million dollars in funding for innovative startups.
Venture Days were first launched in 2012. Since then they have gone from strength to strength, being held in 16 cities worldwide in 2014, including Boston, Shanghai, Tokyo, Seoul, Sao Paulo, London, and Berlin. In 2015, IE Business School has organized Venture Days in Tel Aviv, Hong Kong, Singapore and Minsk. The Madrid edition will be followed by Venture Days in Lisbon and Lima in June.
Failure’s role in the learning process was one of the issues discussed by a panel of entrepreneurs from a range of countries in the Middle East and the North of Africa, who also examined the role of entrepreneurship in regions where there is political and economic instability. Conchita Galdón, Director of Area 31, a space at IE Business School dedicated to entrepreneurship and innovation, believes that adversity drives the entrepreneurial spirit. “When people are surrounded by crisis, they stop looking at what their government can do for them and start doing things for themselves.” Participants in the event also included cybersecurity expert Avi Biran, co-founder and CEO of Cyber Odysseys.
A last discussion panel examined the role of innovation in the luxury industry, a sector in which the client’s personal experience is key. María Eugenia Girón, Professor and Executive Director of the IE Business School Observatory on Luxury Firms, underscored the fact that firms in the sector had now realized that they need to embrace the digital world in order to maintain and improve contact with their client base.
“Ninety percent of people who buy luxury goods seek information about them on the Internet, but only 5% actually buy the articles online,” said Girón, an expert in the luxury industry. She believes that innovative startups should work on closing this gap and on bringing the world of premium brands to new customer profiles.
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