Ecosystem Week – an Option-E Immersion in Madrid

Our current cohort of Option-E students in Madrid enjoyed a week of introspection and learning from the Spanish entrepreneurship ecosystem in October. The objective of this week was to give them the opportunity to know the different actors that take part in it, learn from their experiences and get a real vision of their dream business.

7 Teams, 5 Days

The 40 students that make up the Option-E specialization in Madrid split into 7 multicultural groups to perfect their business proposal. Each day they got to study and work on different topics and participate in activities. They joined conferences and discussions with Spanish entrepreneurs, student presentations as well as tasks to be developed throughout the day. All this was mixed with the development of specific work based on market or user research.

On Monday, the students worked on the importance of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and on the users and their needs on Tuesday. On Wednesday, they then learned about product-market fit and on Thursday about financing and obtaining resources for your project. Lastly, as a closing for this amazing week, students presented their week’s findings related to their entrepreneurial ideas on Friday.

Challenges and Pitches

Mari Luz García Archidona, a member of the Option-E team, conducted the Ecosystem Week. She firstly designed the tasks and challenges of the week as a gamification process. Every day, students received an envelope with cards; each card contained a different challenge. By completing each challenge, students were able to improve their projects and win points towards the final competition.

Finally, the students got a chance to pitch their project to a grand jury composed of Raquel Traba, CEO and co-founder of Triple; Sophie Vurpillot, founder and director of PlanetExpat, Pedro Bravo, founder of Soulandia and writer as well as Alberto León, consultant, coach, former and developer of technology businesses. The team elected received the first prize: a one-night stay in Posada del Agua (Ávila).

Winners and Special Mentions

Alice Gandon, Manon Leemput, Irina Stefani, Noah Barth, Luigi Bonaccorsi and Gabriele Caccia formed the winning team: What’s Next. It is a project around an app that gives personal attention to youth searching for the right programme. The app will give them the tools needed for a successful professional career. Ther’Happy project came out second. The team around Lwana Bichet, Angela Lombardo, Léa Orebi, Edouard Duparc and Antoine Bastien also created an app to improve the communication and effectiveness of psychology therapy between the therapist and the patient. They won handmade cosmetics from Amarte Sana, made with flowers taken from Madrid’s Mountains. This gift was awarded by the entrepreneur Angela Aguilar, founder of Amarte Sana.

Moreover, the team Impack Delivery received a special mention. Héloïse Beau-Reder, Mae-Li Le Gall, Malte Bock, Edoardo Fasolo, Devi Preetham, Kumar Adimulam as well as Tyliam Silvini’s initiative consisted of a platform to achieve a returnable and sustainable food packaging system.

Next Milestones for Option-E Madrid

The Ecosystem Week was without a doubt a key stepping stone for Option-E students. They are now on the road towards building their business plan. They will pitch their final projects to the Madrid Seed “grand jury” at the closing event of Option-E.