As part of the International Business Immersion Week (IBI) Barcelona 2023, we had the opportunity to learn first-hand about three inspiring journeys in the world of entrepreneurship from Angel Garcia (Entrepreneur, Investor, Advisor), Meritxell Teixidó (CEO/CSE of Gate2Brain) and Rui Stoffel Fernandes (CEO and founder of BusUp).
After attending the plenary sessions with the entrepreneurs, I gathered that each of their stories was unique, but they all shared some similarities in their journeys. Firstly, identified a problem or gap in the market and were motivated to find a solution. Persistence was a key factor in pursuing their goals, even when faced with setbacks and failures.
A further element mentioned by all three presenters that I want to underline is the importance of the team. All of them stated that without a great team by their side, and the family’s support, they would not have got this far.
Additionally, each speaker highlighted the constant uncertainty and unpredictability throughout the journey, as well as all the sacrifices required, both financially and personally. As Rui said: “You need to be willing to suffer” and “You need to believe you are doing something bigger than yourself to be able to sacrifice a lot of things in your life”.
When it comes to funding, we have been provided with a lot of extremely useful information based on their personal experiences including the importance of carefully selecting potential investors, as well as being aware of the specific requirements of each stage of funding. Another extremely relevant and surprising contribution was provided by Meritxell, who exposed the fact that female CEOs still find it more difficult to raise funds in comparison to men.
Finally, another important point they noted is the constant need to adapt and to consider all stakeholders and their feedback. A statement made by Angel Garcia represents this issue quite well: “We believe we know all the answers”. However, the customers are the ones with the answers, and we must listen to them. Even having the best product or technology alone is not a sufficient condition for success. It must meet the needs of its target market.
Overall, I found the conferences to be very inspiring and informative. Hearing these testimonies allowed us to look at entrepreneurship in a more tangible way, by getting to know real stories, from real people. Each story has its ups and downs, but all three entrepreneurs are very proud of their journey.
To conclude, I have decided to use a sentence uttered by Rui that particularly caught my attention and that summarises one of the main roles of the entrepreneur: “An entrepreneur must be someone expert in making complicated things simple”.
Participant of Master in International Management, class of 2023
Tomás Cabral was born in Porto, Portugal. He studied economics and management at FEP U. Porto – Economics and Management, which is the school within the University of Porto responsible for education and research in the areas of Economics and Management. He is currently studying EADA’s Master in International Management. His curiosity drives him to constantly seek new opportunities to learn and grow, and he is always eager to take on new challenges.