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June 22@Update Breakfast
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“Corporate entrepreneurship: Applying agile and lean concepts in organizations”

In a difficult economic climate we can implement agile, innovative and market-oriented solutions. The June 22@Update Breakfast focused on start-up companies and how they are facing the current situation, developing new values and strategies to establish themselves in an ever more interconnected global market. The session featured Jerome S. Engel, founder of the Entrepreneurship Program at the University of California Berkeley; Ramon Costa, co-founder of inPreneur; and Itxaso del Palacio, co-founder of FoundersFit.

This edition of the 22@Breakfast was held at the Fira de Barcelona under the framework of BizBarcelona, which makes Barcelona the capital of entrepreneurship and the business world. This event is extremely important for entrepreneurs that want to find new ideas and grow their business.

Josep M. Piqué of the Barcelona City Council welcomed participants to the session, highlighting the importance of the June Breakfast, which was held in a context of acute crisis in Europe and under the framework of BizBarcelona, which searches for solutions with a positive outlook,” explained Piqué, encouraging participants to “work and work”.

Innovation is the driving force for the development of new products and business models

Afterwards, Jerome S. Engel, president of the Global Entrepreneurship Competition (GEC) and founder of the Entrepreneurship Program at the University of California-Berkeley spoke about the main strategies companies can apply to test new ideas and market innovations quickly. Engel said that innovation is the driving force for the development of new products and business models, and the key to boosting growth in a global market.

Jerome S. Engel believes that we must learn to build solid strategies and test the viability of a business before developing it. The idea is to open up new fields that make us more agile and to build bridges connecting enterprise to the outside world. “We have to generate change through innovation,” explained Engel.

Jerome S. Engel currently holds various positions at Jupiter Systems, MedAmerica and Adaptive Planning. At the University of California, Berkeley, he is Department Chair and President of business start-ups at Haas School and the Venture Capital Program. He currently holds various positions at Jupiter Systems, MedAmerica and Adaptive Planning. Engel is a great entrepreneur, venture capitalist and educator, and knows more about the importance of innovation in today’s companies than almost anyone else. During his speech at the June 22@Update Breakfast, he insisted on the need to create creative maps to reactivate competitiveness.

The aim is to recognize differences in order to achieve a more flexible, global, pragmatic and open production system

Ramon Costa, co-founder of inPreneur and associate professor at EADA Business School, explained the work system his company employs, which focuses on people and their projects. inPreneur dynamizes and develops new work systems for its clients. Their aim is to recognize differences in order to achieve a more flexible, global, pragmatic and open production system. Their method is based on experience and consists in identifying the client’s needs in carrying out the integral parts of their work process. Any unnecessary tasks are eliminated. Optimization, simplification and standardization are the key concepts.

inPreneur  is a company that dynamizes other companies and specializes in activating talent in order to help people meet new challenges through what they call ‘go for it’. The company helps its clients and then carries out a follow-up and training project in order to leave the organizations with the foundation needed to interiorize the methodology and good practices of entrepreneurial operations.

Ramón Costa explained that agility is the secret of a well-run company, thus they must always devise strategies that simplify their business activities. It isn’t always necessary to leave the office in order to have meetings; we don’t always need to use tools like e-mail to send messages to our clients. With a little knowledge of technology and social networks we can find more agile systems for communicating with other companies.

Working with others is key to moving a project forward

To finish up, Itxaso del Palacio, who holds a degree in Engineering from the Polytechnic University of Catalonia and is the co-founder of FoundersFit , explained her theories and experience in helping companies in their development process. She worked as an external consultant for the Maresme University School and for the University of Mondragón in 2009. From July 2008 to March 2009 she worked on business development for the 22@Barcelona Technology Park. For years now, Dr. del Palacio has worked with businesspeople from Silicon Valley and London.

FoundersFit helps connect design and strategy talent. They help foster meetings of various types of talent in order to create businesses. Itxaso del Palacio spoke about the aims of their project and introduced Joysy John, co-founder of FundersFit. With her extensive experience in technology, business management, strategy and sales with JPMorgan, John is committed to fostering female leadership.

Itxaso del Palacio is convinced of the importance of interpersonal collaboration and her professional aims point clearly to helping entrepreneurs in launching their companies. Del Palacio connects start-ups, investors and entrepreneurs. Their main interest lies in creating technological entrepreneurship and innovation groups. FundersFit organizes events to bring together professionals from various different areas. All of them have the chance to explain their ideas and projects, as well as listening to the initiatives proposed by others. These meetings and presentations can lead to collaborations, or the creation of a team. Itxaso del Palacio believes that working with others is key to moving a project forward.

Key ideas

-Networks, social networks, are key to building start-ups. The cost isn’t very high, but they have a great capacity for change and their design and marketing is geared toward clients. Communication must be open and ongoing, and possibilities for growth are significant in these venture capital companies, normally associated with innovation and technology.

-The start-up creation process begins with a creative business idea. Afterwards, it will be necessary to find elements to make the company stand out, through innovation. Finally, it must be developed, creating the business by obtaining investment.

Attendees speak

-Attracting capital is an important challenge for entrepreneurs. The first difficulty is developing the project well, but the most appropriate funding system must also be chosen. As you don’t always have enough experience to go after capital directly, going to international meetings where you can meet investors and advisors is key.

-The concept most commonly used in companies now is innovation. That means that you have to constantly explore the market. And the market teaches you that you have to keep learning, invent new things and know the latest technology, which is always changing.

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