My 2 month trip around Europe has ended. After 9 countries and 17 cities I can honestly say i’m not even worn out or tired of traveling; I love it! Not only has this trip enabled me to see new places but to meet new people along the way.
I have documented my visits with accelerators and entrepreneurs around Europe in prior posts and have this post to wrap up this chapter of my adventure.
I had corresponded with Diego (COO of Top Seeds Lab in Madrid) back in October before I had left the states and he told me to let him know when I made it to Madrid. Once I finally got to Madrid, he invited me to the office where Top Seeds was located. I always like to take public transportation when I can so of course I opted for the less expensive and longer metro ride and allotted extra time for it. Of course after buying a ticket the line I needed was delayed. After waiting for 10 minutes I see the estimated time until next metro “422 minutes”… so I decided to just get a cab and not leave my fate up to the metro. Surprisingly, I was only a minute or two late. Well back to Top Seeds.
I had done some research on Diego prior to our meeting and learned he was actively involved in three different ventures and had 10+ years of experience in the corporate world. Top Seeds is an Incubator program and the only Spanish accelerator member of the prestigious GAN network (GAN facilitated many of my visits while abroad). He was also CEO of Hypernova Digital, that helps large companies learn how to facilitate innovation in their organizations by applying tested acceleration methodologies to different new ventures. And finally Webtrekk, a company that focuses on digital intelligence solutions that allow companies to optimize their digital efforts across the entire organization. All three of these companies were extremely relevant and interesting to me considering my background studying Information Management, working at Techstars and being interested in big companies. I was impressed that he had his hand and head in all three simultaneously.
I asked him how he balanced the three of them without burning out… Like many entrepreneurs, Diego explained he preferred doing more than one [business] and was up for the challenge.
It was Insightful to hear about Diego’s experience with international business and the challenges companies face when expanding globally. We spoke of US companies that quickly scaled internationally without proper infrastructure in place and some that disregarded local law and culture (cough cough Uber). We got into the micro, the macro and even the meta.
It is always educational to talk with experienced entrepreneurs and business people. Although there was no agenda or expectations for the meeting I came out thinking about International business in a different light. After about an hour of conversation Diego had to get back to work and I was off to explore Madrid!
I’m not sure where any or all of these correspondents will take me but if nothing else it has been awesome to hear different people’s perspective on the entrepreneurial landscape in their country and what they are doing to contribute to it.
Well now i’m in the Start Up Nation of Israel so I have a feeling the learning has just begun.