We interviewed International Master in Management alumnus Kevin Meyer, who decided to extend his stay in Barcelona after graduating in 2016. Originally from Germany, Kevin found work in Autodesk in Barcelona – Autodesk is the company behind the AutoCAD software. In 2016, he launched the Silicon Valley Barcelona Facebook page, fuelled by his passion for all things related to start-ups in Barcelona…
What made you decide to launch the Barcelona Silicon Valley platform? What need does it fill and what audience does it target?
After attending different start-up events in Barcelona and working at Autodesk –a major IT company from Silicon Valley– I wanted to escape from the corporate world and join the start-up ecosystem of Barcelona.
In early 2016, I launched the Facebook page Silicon Valley Barcelona to offer a platform for daily news about the start-up environment of Barcelona. Barcelona tends to attract a different kind of Entrepreneur than Silicon Valley –one who values the quality of life as much as the success of the business– but the talent and spirits of our founders are the same.
Barcelona Silicon Valley is for anyone interested in start-ups, investments, events and tips. With collaborating partners like 4YFN, MOB (Makers of Barcelona), Code works, and different start-ups in Barcelona, my platform has more than 16,000 followers.
How would you describe the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Barcelona?
In my opinion, Barcelona is one of Europe’s most dynamic start-up ecosystems, thanks to multiple factors that have given the city over 1,200 start-ups with ambition and a global vision. In 2017, more than 477M was invested in start-ups, nearly doubling the investments from the year before.
The city is also home to top business schools like EADA, which is attracting young talent with a passion for innovation. Barcelona is on its way to moving up the rankings in innovation as well – currently, it is ranked fourth in Europe, after London, Berlin and Paris.
In your opinion, what three qualities does an entrepreneur need to succeed?
The characteristics that make a successful entrepreneur are:
- Passion – you are willing to push through walls to get your message, tools, products or services to the outside world.
- Flexibility – when you see something is not working, you are 100 percent comfortable with changing direction and adapting to change.
- Unconventionality – founders are more similar to artists than they are to engineers or business people. They make things happen and they need this perseverance, tenacity and resilience to drive them through obstacles.
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