We held our first two FastTrack events last week, in two of the most vibrant startup ecosystem hubs in Western Europe; Barcelona & Berlin!
Our partners from Hankyu Hanshin Group, Kengo and Hiroki were very keen to meet the amazing people at Barcelona Tech City, whose mission is to position Barcelona among the most important tech hubs in the world. So without an appointment, they decided to drop by and convince security to let them in!
Of course, being friendly Barcelona, the security guard obliged. We were greeted by the very accommodating and hospitable Jordi, who kindly took the time to tell us all about the fascinating and inspiring activities supporting their ecosystem.
A private non-profit organisation driven by local entrepreneurs, and open to all Barcelona-based members of the local and global technology ecosystem, Barcelona Tech City works with entrepreneurs, start-ups, consolidated businesses, investors, incubators, accelerators, company builders, universities, business schools, media enterprises, government agencies and other entities, and currently represents more than 800 businesses.
Saying goodbye to Jordi, we headed to our gracious FastTrack event host, Suely at Talent Garden Barcelona! She showed us around and made us feel very welcome while she told us all about what everyone in their space was up to (very impressive Suely!), we felt right at home.
We were also grateful for the chance to sit down with Andrea. She manages TecnoCampus’s Go Global Program, who startups and SMEs access or grow in new markets with the support of consultants who are internationalization experts, designed to enhance the growth of the region’s companies at an international level.
After another invigorating conversation, we welcomed the scaleups to our Startupbootcamp Scale Osaka presentation, then conducted 1-1 interviews with each individually. We were overjoyed with the quality of scaleup companies that came out to meet us and learn more about their opportunities in Japan! Everyone showed such great potential, it’s clearly going to be challenging to only select 10 companies to participate in our program this year!
The next stop on our FastTrack world tour was Berlin. We started with a welcome by the knowledgeable Ralf, who showed us around The EUREF-Campus in Berlin-Schöneberg, a unique real laboratory for the energy revolution. More than 3,500 people work, research and learn there for more than 150 companies, institutions and start-ups in the fields of energy, mobility and sustainability – cooperative, inclusive and collective. It was very inspirational.
Next we headed to “Berlin Partner für Wirtschaft und Technologie GmbH”, a unique public-private partnership that collaborates with the Berlin State Senate and over 280 companies dedicated to promoting their city. Berlin Partner provides business and technology support for companies, investors and scientific institutions, to help companies launch, innovate, expand and secure their economic future in Berlin.
After a warm welcome, we had the pleasure to see presentations by Julia, about Berlin Partner, and then Robert, about Berlin’s Smart City initiatives. Afterwards, we welcomed Guenter from Xariva Ventures – who bring start-ups, corporates, and investors together to successfully scale new technologies – and Marina and Yoko from JETRO Berlin – who support German companies with their entry into the Japanese market. We had a great conversation about their impression of the Osaka (and Japanese) ecosystems, and how we can better connect with Berlin. We look forward to continuing this conversation and hopefully working together more closely in future!
Next we again welcomed many high-calibre scaleups from all around Germany, for 1-1 interviews to determine their interest in our program and Japan. Once again we were overwhelmed at their accomplishments and traction so far, and wish we could help them all enter the Japanese market later this year! Alas, only 10 spots are available to work with our 7 Japanese corporate partners in this year’s program… you’re all so impressive, it will be almost impossible to choose!
Overall, we were really impressed by the startup ecosystems in Barcelona and Berlin, and look forward to welcoming some of their incredible scaleups to Osaka, where their inspiring example will surely help shape Osaka into a world-class startup ecosystem too.
With all the positive energy in the first two FastTrack events, we look forward to meeting the scaleups at our other FastTrack events!