At IE University, we believe in the transformative power of innovation and entrepreneurship. That is why we push our students to pursue their entrepreneurial ambitions, no matter what they are.
IE Venture Lab plays a pivotal role in this process. Our startup incubator is a dynamic platform that allows students and alumni to take their academic projects or business ideas to the next level, training and mentoring them as they explore, validate and develop ready-to-launch startup ventures.
This model’s success is most evident in our IE Venture Days, true celebrations of entrepreneurship, during which the leading startups out of our Venture Lab have the opportunity to pitch their projects to an audience of international investors and entrepreneurs.
Fostering the entrepreneurial ecosystem
The first prize of this IE Venture Day Madrid edition went to climate change solution startup Tero, a green tech ecosystem of three browser extensions that focuses on creating a free and easy way for people to help fight climate change, saving trees simply by opening tabs, searching or shopping online.
Umberto Greco founded Tero as a side project while attending the Bachelor in Business Administration at IE University. His goal was to put his class learnings to practice and generate positive social impact at the same time.
“I chose the Bachelor in Business Administration at IE University because of its extremely practical curriculum and heavy emphasis on entrepreneurship and innovation. Most importantly, I chose it because of its flexibility to produce endless possibilities, with the option of doing a semester abroad, internships, electives, etc. The program provided me with a great foundational education, as well as a huge range of complimentary learnings and activities.”
–Umberto Greco, Bachelor in Business Administration alum and founder of Tero
Umberto was highly involved in the IE Community from his very first year. He joined the IE Start-Up; he was class delegate and IE University Student Government president; he successfully represented IE University at international business case competitions at University of Washington (US) and Universidad Panamericana (Mexico); and he landed a job eight months before graduating, “in large part thanks to all the resources provided by the IE Talent & Careers team.”
That involvement in the community played a key role in Tero’s success at IE Venture Day Madrid. “Being part of an entrepreneurial ecosystem is invaluable,” said Umberto. “Especially today, when we can build a startup in our bedroom with just a computer, it’s super important to get out there, meet people and be a part of an ecosystem.”
The importance of the entrepreneur mindset
Community has also played an important part in the development of Innergy U, another Venture Day Madrid finalist. Innergy U is a platform that seeks to improve the mental health and academic performance of university students, leveraging an initial assessment and recurring psychometric surveys to offer a personalized content experience.
Alvaro Jodar, co-founder of Innergy U, hasn’t completed his Dual Degree in Business Administration & Laws at IE University just yet, but he’s already a Venture Lab veteran. “This was my third time participating in the Venture Lab, slowly creating momentum until we reached the final,” he said. “As an undergraduate, it felt special to be among so many graduate students, expanding our network to so many people that we would never have met.”
During his time at IE University, Alvaro has learned a lot about himself and discovered passions that he had never anticipated, established strong relationships with classmates, and created a community that will last a lifetime. “I am happy and proud to have joined IE University, which was pivotal in forming the entrepreneurial mindset necessary to trigger these projects. Although many have failed, I learned to continue down that path. Over time, extraordinary progress can be made.”
The invaluable success of failure
“I learned to embrace failure and change. It’s part of any business, especially at the start of a project.” That was the main takeaway of yet another Venture Day Madrid finalist. Diogo Cocco, co-founder of Easy Jobs, recently finished his Bachelor in Business Administration at IE University and his advice to anyone wanting to participate in future editions is simple: Listen to Paris de l’Etraz, the Managing Director of IE Venture Lab, “He’s going to tell you things that you won’t like to hear. He’s going to tell you things that will make you think, ‘he just doesn’t understand this.’ And the truth is, he’s probably going to be right. So listen to him!”
Although a majority of participants in this edition of Venture Day Madrid were undergraduates, and MBA or Master in Management students, Paris was particularly impressed with the performance put up by the Bachelor in Business Administration alumni.
“The Bachelor in Business Administration alumni are coming back as part of their DBA programs, and they’re coming on strong. And I think that’s natural. If you look at traditional business schools, DBA students are the most entrepreneurial, because they have less to lose and their opportunity cost is lower. I think that, in the coming years, we’re going to see a lot of what we’re seeing here. Both the DBA participants and the Bachelor in Business Administration undergraduates are going to be doing very well.”
–Paris de l’Etraz, Managing Director of the Venture Lab at IE UniversityDiscover more about our programs and where they can take you here.