EIT ICT Labs Madrid CLC hosts information day on ICT entrepreneurship

On Monday, 17 February 2013, the IMDEA Software Institute, Associate Partner of EIT ICT Labs and seat of the Madrid CLC, hosted the first national information day on the Horizon 2020 call for ICT entrepreneurship projects. The information day was co-organized with the Center for Development of Industrial Technology (CDTI) of the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness, and attracted more than 150 entrepreneurs, representatives of business and investor community, governmental agencies and research and development organizations from all over Spain. The participants were welcomed by Manuel Hermenegildo, the Director of the IMDEA Software Institute and Federico Rico Rios of CDTI.

Jerome Chifflet, Innovation Manager at EIT ICT Labs presented the multiple activities of EIT ICT Labs in the context of entrepreneurship and innovation, and in particular the activities of the Business Development Accelerator. Juan Jose Moreno of IMDEA Software used the opportunity to present the activities of EIT ICT Labs in Spain, and the newly started business acceleration component at the Madrid CLC.

The topic of Entrepreneurship and Innovation in ICT and Startup Europe in the context of the first Horizon 2020 call for projects was presented by Isidro Laso Ballesteros of the European Commission's DG CONNECT, who explained the context of goals and challenges addressed by the call, highlighted the opportunities offered to entrepreneurs and SMEs, and provided the key technical details and information pointers related to the proposal submission process.

The participants also had an opportunity to follow two round tables. The first one was on the perspective of the incubators and accelerators, and it gathered representatives from the leading initiatives of the kind, including Wayra by Telefónica, "Emprender es posible" by INDRA, "ActúaUPM" by the Technical University of Madrid (UPM), and Spain Startup & Investor Summit, who presented the service they render to investors and entrepreneurs, shared insights and best practices, and discussed opportunities for creating mutual synergy.

Wayra, "Emprender es posible" and "ActuaUPM" form the core of the business development activity of the Spanish Associate Partner Group (APG) and are, together with other partners, at the centre of the ecosystem of ICT-based startups and SMEs in Spain.

The second round table was dedicated to the vital topic of finding alternatives for funding Spanish startups, and included representatives of CDTI who are managing the INNVIERTE startup investment fund and facilitating access to the Horizon 2020 SME instruments and access to risk finance, as well as representatives of the Spanish Risk Capital Association (ASCRI) and the Spanish Association of Business Angels (AEBAN). In interaction with the round table, the entrepreneurs could obtain first-hand information from public and private investment groups on complementary funding opportunities that are crucial for converting startups into successful and sustainable businesses that can successfully scale to meet the demand of Europe-wide and global markets.

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