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By Janelle M. Lewis, Principal Attorney, The Law Office of Janelle M. Lewis

Where can startups find advice and connect with investors, other startups and other interested “stakeholders” in the startup ecosystem? If I was asked this question on October 8th, I would have known exactly where to direct inquirers – the 1st annual Barcelona-San Francisco Summit that took place in Barcelona October 9th-10, 2017.

The Startup Grind BCN-SF Summit – which brought together investors, entrepreneurs, developers and journalists from Silicone Valley and Europe to the Condal City –  provided startup attendees with valuable advice, insight, and general perspectives of the current global startup ecosystem. Using the “fire side” technique representative of Startup  Grind events, the summit had over 20 speakers enlightening the audience on topics ranging from creating a truly global movement with Casey Fenton, Founder at couchsurfing.com  and Mastly to using iTechpreneurship as a way of creating chaos to avoid chaos, as explained by Kamran Elahian.

Unlike other industries whose communities developed after the industry developed, the global startup community is one where the communities and the industry are developing at the same time, in real-time. With no real time to look back, learn and grow before going forward, the global startup community is unique in that it is both developing a new business phenomena while also establishing new norms. The result is a new style of business development that addresses the unique aspects of both startups and the startup ecosystem. The product is the each one, teach one business development style –  incorporated at the Summit – which allows startups of all types and at all stages the ability to gain valuable knowledge from those who have scaled before, so that they can pave the road for success in their own business endeavors.

Startups seeking to expand globally would have certainly gained from this Summit, as speakers highlighted important considerations and opportunities for global expansions. Some of the advice and opportunities I found noteworthy for globally-minded startups are the following:

  • Develop communities that are aligned with governments, universities and investors – as expressed by Chris Schultz, Angel Investor & CEO at Launch Pad in his conversation with Phin Mpofu, Founder at Global Symbiotic Partnership & Director at Startup Grind Thames Valley on the importance of empowering startup communities worldwide;
  • Expect input from later-stage investors regarding Mergers & Acquisitions and international market entry – as noted expressed by Peter Read and Tom Studd from  Vitruvian Partners in their conversation with Vicenç Marti, President of Tangelo, Elrow, Billy Mobile and SPiCE VC on Scaling Up with International VCs.  Peter and Tom also announced that Vitruvian Partners is opening a new office in San Francisco to help European entrepreneurs get acquired and revenue from U.S. Investors; and
  • Understand your target VCs very well and remember, they are not Angels. Know the  size of the funds, their strategies and all other factors that are important to the VCs perception of your startup – as expressed by Carina Szpilka, General Partner at K Fund in her conversation, entitled “From Corporate to VC: Different Ways of Helping Entrepreneurs” with Mar Alarcón, CEO of socialcar.com.

Among the networking, conversations, and pitch competitions, I found that the Summit succeeded in strengthening the development of the global startup ecosystem.

Interested in learning more about expanding your startup to the U.S.? Feel free to contact me at jm@lawjmlewis.com or go to www.lawjmlewis.com.  

The views expressed in this article do not constitute legal advice and legal information provided in this post should not be relied upon as legal advice. Please contact an Attorney for advice on your specific matter.