The UPF Innovation Unit Business Shuttle encourages an entrepreneurial spirit amongst the UPF university community, making a set of resources and services available to entrepreneurs in order to help them find success in creating their business.
The UPF Innovation Unit Business Shuttle brings elements from within the university together with external resources, in a reflection of the entrepreneurial ecosystem of the city, with the aim of creating entrepreneurial projects and accompanying them in the early stages of the entrepreneurial process. The unit provides advice and assistance throughout the process. Said process begins with a review and validation of the business model (using the Lean Startup methodology), moving on to the creation of a business plan for those who are looking for public or private capital and/or a space in which to install their business, such as the UPF Business Shuttle incubation rooms in the Almogàvers Business Factory. In other cases the fledgling businesses are advised on legal matters relating to starting a business or intellectual property, for example.
Apart from these services, the business unit also runs awareness sessions like the UPF Entrepreneurship Evenings, classroom lectures or short training courses.
In order to make our startups more visible, the UPF Innovation Unit Business Shuttle organised an investors’ forum exclusively for the UPF cohort in 2013. Building on the success of the first event, a follow-up forum is planned for December 2014, where the main investors of Barcelona’s investment ecosystem will be present.
The UPF Innovation Unit Business Shuttle focuses on highly innovative tech companies. We receive innovative proposals linked to products, services and business models. These innovations touch on diverse areas such as hotel management (ByHours, Roomtab and Iwanatravel), price setting systems for online businesses (PayRandom), video games (A Crowd of Monsters and Lince), 3D tech apps (Mobile Media Contents), software solutions for the service sector (Logim Solutions), a new electronic music instruments (Reactable), voice processing technologies (VoctroLabs) and new biotech solutions (QGenomics, Ascidea).
An innovative idea in itself is no guarantee of success. The Innovation Unit therefore assess the maturity levels of the team as well as the business idea, the level of commitment to the project, the stage of development of the project (prototype or beta), the competitive advantage offered by this innovation in relation to what already exists on the market, if a similar product or service does exist, the existence of clients, market potential, identifying competition, etc. It is important that the entrepreneur is clear that his or her innovative idea will generate value for the potential client base and must do so in a flexible, efficient manner with regard to both results and resources, especially with regard to time.
Relations with different actors, both public and private, within the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Barcelona, as well as our active presence in the same, make the path to success easier for our entrepreneurs. The key is to strengthen and capitalise on synergies.
To close we would like to highlight the fact that the companies that have been advised (some 40 companies a year) and accompanied (about 10 per year) by the UPF Innovation Unit Business Shuttle have successfully managed to secure capital to an average amount of €1,200,000 from private investors and public grants and financial instruments (Emprendetur, ICF, ENISA etc.). These capital injections from public and private sources have allowed entrepreneurs to follow the objectives set out in their business plans: international expansion, developing new products and services, etc.
The talent and innovation generated in our University at the UPF Innovation Unit Business Shuttle have allowed interesting projects to become successful business realities.