Obtaining investment is a fundamental activity for the growth of any startup, but it can be one of the most difficult barriers to overcome. For investors, backing startups always poses a certain degree of risk, which is why it's crucial for them to understand investment options and the best ways to distribute capital. Before entering into an agreement, both entrepreneurs and investors must have a clear understanding of the opportunities and risks involved in order to be successful.
With the hurdles faced by both investors and startups in mind, the Enel Innovation Hub in Madrid recently hosted an interactive workshop at The Cube on the subject of Investment & Start-ups. The aim was to focus on these questions and provide participants with practical knowledge. The event is part of a series of workshops that the Hub is organising in order to achieve a shared objective: to create an entrepreneurial ecosystem and an active innovation community.
“As an Innovation Hub, one of our main responsibilities is to establish a relationship with the entrepreneurial ecosystem in the regions where we operate, and communicate the Enel Group’s value proposition to startups. Organising workshops is one of the ways to do this,” explains Fernando Sandoval, manager of Enel Innovation Hub Spain. He adds: “the objective is to generate a community in the ecosystem and give value back to the startups and other players that belong to the Innovation Hubs community.”
Making a difference
Enel Innovation Hub Spain is working to create a differentiated approach to this type of event, something that other innovation centres don’t always offer. “We have sought to create dynamic and interactive workshops so that whoever comes doesn’t just listen, but also gets involved and takes something away from the experience,” explains Sandoval.
This approach was evident during the Investment & Startups workshop. The event, which was organised together with Making Ideas Business, began with a presentation introducing the different types of investment and investors, the selection criteria investors look for, as well as the primary mistakes startups make when trying to secure funding. Following the presentation, participants were split into groups for an interactive workshop based on live startup cases.
“[Participants] were given capital so they could decide how to invest it and, after working in groups, they were told how these startups actually performed,” Sandoval explains. After the interactive exercise, there was a “fireside chat” with Gonzalo Tradacete, CEO of Faraday Venture Partners, and business angel Jaime Vázquez, from Demium Startups, who shared their experiences in the world of investment.
Sandoval believes that the opportunity to interact with experts is a crucial component at these events because “they have precious insights and want to share their experience openly, something that is very valuable to the participants,” he says. Following the “fireside chat,” the event concluded with a networking session.
Building an active entrepreneurial community
Although The Cube, the ecosystem space where Enel Madrid Innovation Hub is located, only opened last September, it has already started to build a strong community around key verticals relevant to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and big data.
Sandoval explains that Enel’s goal is to “make it possible for people from the ecosystem to meet others in the community and get to know those who work in similar areas, and The Cube is an ideal space for this.”
The Investment & Startups Workshop was the third event in the series organised by Enel Innovation Hub Spain. Initiatives such as this series of entrepreneurial events support Enel’s mission on a larger scale.