IEU Experience


Martina Hinojosa and Catharina Doria combine their passion for communication with a strong entrepreneurial spirit.

Why do you study Communication and Digital Media? Martina Hinojosa and Catharina Doria are undoubtedly clear in their answer. “We believe in the importance of storytelling; we want to give a voice to those who don’t have one,” Martina says, exchanging a knowing smile with Catharina.

The two women are studying the Bachelor in Communication and Digital Media and they have just returned from the United States, where they participated in the fifth edition of the Crowdsourcing Week Global Conference in Washington, through the Under 25 Young Achievers Program. Thanks to a prestigious scholarship, the two IE University students were able to attend the week-long conference, along with other young people from all different parts of the world. There was a common thread among all the attendees: a strong entrepreneurial spirit, outstanding academic achievement, and a personality and leadership skills way beyond their years.

Martina and Catharina took part in workshops and attended conferences with renowned speakers from leading institutions, such as Harvard, MIT, and NASA“It was an incredibly enriching and unforgettable experience; not only were we able to attend lectures, but we also had the opportunity to share knowledge, experiences, and projects with talented students from other international universities, all with their own distinct awareness and cultures,” they highlighted.

Entrepreneur Catharina Doria is Brazilian, and was born in São Paulo, the sixth most populous city in the world. She describes it as “a city that never sleeps.”  She speaks four languages: German, Portuguese, English, and Spanish. At just fifteen years old, she created an app that helps track sexual harassment against women in the streets of Brazil.  “My country is wonderful, but also dangerous,” she stressed, adding, “I realized that women needed more safety, so I designed the app SAIPRALÁ, which allows you to map where any sexual harassment has taken place.”

As simple to use as it is extremely practical, women who have suffered any form of violence in the streets can use the app to indicate on a map where it happened and warn other users of danger. “It is designed for Brazil, but my intention is to create a similar app for Madrid,” said Catharina.

Martina Hinojosa also possesses a strong entrepreneurial spirit.  Last year, Martina was one of the winners at the sixth edition of the Business Plan Challenge at IE University. In this competition, awards are given to those students from the Segovia and Madrid campuses who present the best business plans.

The Ecuadorian student won over the judges with her innovative company which focuses on the production and marketing of açai, a berry that grows in waterlogged and marshy lands in the Amazonian region of Brazil. The berry is highly popular among health enthusiasts for its high nutritional value.

Martina imports the fruit’s powder, which is rich in nutrients and antioxidants, and also boasts anti-aging properties. Afterward, she cooks it and combines it with other healthy products. The result is a menu full of surprises, with a wide range of products that can be purchased through the online platform “Mello”.

With their strong entrepreneurial backgrounds, it seems like Martina and Catharina are destined to become leaders of important projects once they finish their university studies. For them, Segovia is the perfect environment for focusing on college life and developing their initiatives.

“Coming from a big city like Sao Paulo and arriving in a small town like Segovia was an extreme change. It was like coming to a different world,” Catharina tells us. Nevertheless, she adores Segovia and all that it has to offer. “This city has taught me to get to know myself better, to have more time for myself.”

Martina agrees with her classmate. “I come from Quito, a big capital city, and I have adapted perfectly here; in Segovia, nothing is too far away, you can walk everywhere, the people are friendly, and there is always something to do,” she adds.

Next year, Martina and Catharina will finish their studies at the IE University campus in Madrid. “We will miss this city and our campus. It’s where we met and started many friendships,” they both agree.

Martina will never forget the first time she saw snow in Segovia.  “When the first snowflakes fell onto the street, I was excited; then, when you see how cold it gets and when the snow doesn’t go away, I realize I don’t like it so much,” she states.

As for future projects, Martina is a big fan of all things communication and the business world. However, she adds that “although I’m not sure yet, I feel I have many passions in life, and I should find something that incorporates all of them.”

Meanwhile, Catharina doesn’t want to start her own business, but instead wants to work in a multinational company which allows her to visit different parts of the world. She adds that traveling is “one of [her] greatest passions as it allows [her] to meet people from other countries, and most importantly, learn from them.”

In any case, Segovia will always remain in their thoughts and their hearts.  They are convinced that, with time, they will grow very nostalgic for their university years spent in the Spanish city. Here, they benefit from an international environment where we can see that every day, the future is becoming more and more female.