U.S. Embassy Madrid and Chamberí Valley Association Hosted the Second Edition of IN3 (“In Cubed”), June 8-10, 2016

in3general061815-508x269U.S. Embassy Madrid and Chamberí Valley Association hosted the second edition of IN3 (“In Cubed”), June 8-10, 2016

The second edition of IN3 scaled up the innovation economy that was incubated last year. With innovators, investors and institutions from tech companies, academia, government, IN3 helped to further strengthen networks between the United States and Spain, as well as open up new opportunities for growth for Spanish stat ups.

Ambassador Costos and Mr. Michael Smith hosted a special gala picnic dinner on June 8 with dinner crafted and prepared by innovative chef Rodrigo de la Calle.  In his welcoming remarks to guests, Ambassador Costos noted, “I was very proud when the State Department chose to highlight IN-cubed as one of the top ten public-private partnerships worldwide in its annual Partnerships report and even prouder when the White House asked us to include IN-cubed this year as an event “On the Road to President Obama’s Global Entrepreneurship Summit. At IN-cubed, we will grow this innovation economy and create new opportunities for all. You deserve it, and you are certainly up to the challenge as you prove every day.”

On June 9, more than 150 participants gathered at the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos de Madrid (COAM) to network and focus on scaling up opportunities for Spanish startup companies. Ambassador Costos welcomed participants and remarked that scaling up the innovation economy is key to job creation and global expansion.

Keynote speaker Ambassador David Throne, Senior Advisor to the Secretary of State and an entrepreneur himself stated, “Young people in Spain, as in the United States, want opportunities to find good jobs as well as outlets for their creativity.  They are a tremendous asset, and unemployment among young workers represents a missed opportunity. The question is: ‘Where are the jobs going to come from?’ I was an entrepreneur and got an inside view into the job-creating power of new businesses. This power is very real, and there is concrete evidence to back it up.”

One of the major highlights of IN3 was the announcement of €170 million in venture capital funds for Spanish start-ups by three Spanish companies – Kibo Ventures, JME Venture Capital and KFund.  After an inspiring presentation by David Goldberg, Director of Founder’s Pledge, nine entrepreneurs took the stage to sign the Founder’s Pledge, a commitment to donate 2% of their profits upon selling their companies to their charity if choice. The estimated value of this pledge is €4.5 million.

Those exciting announcements were followed by an energetic presentation from David McClure 500 Startups who spoke about the role that startups –and venture capital firms – play in driving the new economy and increasing employment opportunities.

Durrel Coleman CEO of DC Design and consultant at Stanford’s d.school gave an interactive workshop on design thinking, while James Sherrett from Slack explained how the communication platform can be used to engage new communities. Breakout sessions followed, allowing the participants to explore solutions to the challenges that face many startups including: the future of blockchain, engaging with the modern consumer, managing digital platforms and virtual services, etc.  Minerva Tantoco, chief technological officer of the City of New York and Robert Nicol, director of Broad Institute offered their experiences and answered questions on how to build successful ecosystems.

Another series of breakout sessions focused on breaking down barriers for international expansion and how to recruit and retain talent to help your business grow. After a full day of networking, workshops and learning more about Spain’s startup revolution, Ambassador Costos and Mr. Michael Smith invited guests to continue the dialogue and sharing ideas at a reception and their residence.

Day three of IN3 began with the keys to unlock global success.  Laura Gonzalez-Estefani from Facebook Spain, Eneko Knorr from Ludei and Ander Michelena from Ticketbits shared their experiences with starting out small and local and the patience and hard work it took to go global.

In the spirit of sharing and learning from colleagues, IN3 2015 participants Miguel Arias, founder of CartoDB and head of the Chamberi Valley Associaton, and Pedro Torrecillas of Jobandtalent told their story of problem pitching last year with the group and exploring solutions to challenges. Following this, the entrepreneurs and innovators broke into small groups to “problem pitch;” i.e. share challenges they currently encounter in scaling up and seek inspiration and expertise from their colleagues to strategize possible solutions.

IN3 concluded with a trip to Google for Entrepreneurs Campus where Sofia Benjumea, head the Madrid Campus welcome the group and introduced the next session on how to go global while staying local.  Speakers Martin Varvasky of Fon and Prelude, Jo Bertram from Uber talked about the ways their companies expanded from very local to regional and global companies that benefit millions of people.

IN3 has been a platform for bringing together institutions, innovators and investors from the U.S. and Spain in support of entrepreneurship, along with public-private partnership and innovation, which are top priorities for the U.S. Embassy, the U.S Department of State and the White House.  Last year we incubated the economy, this year we scaled it up, so now the question is, what comes next?