Startup Olé

Startup Olé

Startup Olé is a unique event to drive entrepreneurship through effective collaboration:

A place where meaningful connections can be made with ALL the key players in the tech ecosystem.

Backed by Startup Europe (European Commission), we continue our focus on showcasing startups and matching them with relevant players in the ecosystem (Investors, Accelerators, Policy Makers, Universities & Innovative Corporations).

With special activities organised for Accelerators (Accelerator Assembly) and Universities (SEUN), as the Startup community grows stronger, so does Startup Olé!

Don’t miss out on this massive opportunity, for both newcomers and established players.


Armenian startups invited to apply for Startup Olé, April 26-27, Spain, by 15th March

Calling Armenian startups! Apply by 15 March to go to Startup Olé in Spain

The Armenian tech and startup ecosystem made a thriving development during the last years. In IT sphere alone, more than 12,000 people work in 450 companies and in relevant support structures. Traditionally, there are  strong ties between Armenian startups and the US and Silicon Valley.  Now the Armenia startup ecosystem also reaches out to Europe more actively. This is conditioned by the fact that Armenia used to be an “engineering hub” during Soviet era, where over 30% of all the military electronics, R&D and production took place.

Currently, Armenia boasts top-notch technical expertise incorporated in promising startups which can open new opportunities for European partners.

“In this regard, Startup Europe is proud to partner with “Support to SME Development in Armenia” (SMEDA) project in cooperation with Enterprise Incubator Foundation (EIF) and Small and Medium Entrepreneurship Development National Center (SMEDNC) of Armenia to support participation of 10 Armenian startups in Startup Ole Conference. The full announcement can be downloaded here.

SMEDA is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ Private Sector Development in South Caucasus Programme. SMEDA is part of the EU4Business and EU4Innovation initiatives of the European Union.

More information about startups in Armenia can be found here: www.eif.am


The successes of Startup Olé 2016!

What-a-WEEK! The effort that was put into making Startup Olé such a great event really showed. You could feel the passion on stage, at the fair, in the corridors, and in Salamanca.

This was a great success and we owe it to you – the participants, the volunteers, the speakers, the sponsors, the organisation and everyone who contributed! More than 600 people made their way to Startup Ole to share their ideas and their work – and this is something that will just keep on giving.

You can now take a look at the photos here and we also keep collecting what the press is saying about us – over 100 publications and some very cool videos & interviews too!


For a startup event, the most important component is, of course, the Startup Fair.

Startup Fair at Startup Olé!
Startup Fair at Startup Olé!
More startups show their innovative ideas at the Startup Olé fair
More startups show their innovative ideas at the Startup Olé fair

This is what truly sets the mood, shows you what’s going on, who came, and what there is to see. 100 startups were showcasing their work from many different verticals – from IoT to Travel – Virtual Reality to Fashion! Beer, cats, electric scooters, drones, shoes, humanitarians, games … you name it!

The most ambitious and amazing startups also got the chance to participate in the Startup Pitching – competing for prizes and catching the eye of the investing judges! Learn more about the winners at Startup Olé’s pitching page.

Startup Olé pitching!
Startup Olé pitching!
Whoot Games wins Design Voucher from Hugin&Munin, the creative agency that runs Startup Europe branding and communications, at the pitching!
Whoot Games wins Design Voucher from Hugin&Munin, the creative agency that runs Startup Europe branding and communications, at the pitching!

At the fair, the startups, but also the organizations that supported them, such as universities, scientific parks accelerators, and many other ecosystem builders who brought their own projects as the best way to showcase their impact on the startup world.

Startup Europe – one of Startup Olé’s main supporters – brought over 10 different EU projects who work on developing a Pan-European startup ecosystem – showcasing their work at the joint stand. Isidro Laso Ballesteros, leader of the initiative, also presented his view on what have been the highlights and what the future holds for startups and the European Commission.

In the Auditorium, many high level speakers gathered to discuss the main issues for those who work with startups. We can highlight sessions about scaling up in Europe, accessing markets beyond Europe, creating innovation spaces, FinTech and many others.

Startup Olé panel, "How to attract startups to your region"
Startup Olé panel, “How to attract startups to your region”

Accelerator Assembly sessions included panel sessions on the latest trends of acceleration, including corporate involvement in startups. The sessions were from NESTA and invited participants from Fundacion Repsol, Wayra, Iberdrola, ZED, IMPACT Accelerator, ACE Creative, Startup bootcamp & Eleven. Accelerator Assembly brought together more than 50 accelerators who organized several independent activities – “Accelerator Pitching” to help startups get to know different accelerators; Workshop on how to understand, choose and apply to accelerators as well as many office hours throughout the day. More details at the Accelerator Assembly website.

The Opening session gave us high level keynote speakers who showed their commitment and their experience in boosting entrepreneurship. The Closing Session was a chance to give back to the community by awarding the different prizes we gathered for our startups, such as the Recognition Awards.

StartUp Europe Awards winners can be checked here.

StartUp Europe Awards,'Best Public Administration for Startup Award' goes to....Consorcio Zona Franca de Vigo!
StartUp Europe Awards,’Best Public Administration for Startup Award’ goes to….Consorcio Zona Franca de Vigo!
ecoche wins a Startup Europe Award!
ecoche wins a Startup Europe Award!

Matchmaking & working areas: Over 600 meetings through the matchmaking app, not counting the informal get-togethers and serendipitous encounters!

Participants took advantage of the various networking areas throughout the venue: 1-on-1 meeting rooms, open spaces, cafeteria, etc.

ePlus ecosystem and LIFE project, two of Startup Europe's projects, networking at the Startup Europe stand!
ePlus ecosystem and LIFE project, two of Startup Europe’s projects, making new connections at the Startup Europe stand!


ePlus ecosystem and MY-WAY, two Startup Europe projects, with Hugin&Munin, at the Startup Europe booth!

Invite-only networking events were organized for the Salamanca Investors Club, speakers and sponsors, profiting from the good weather to bring together the rainmakers that will help push Salamanca and Europe forward.

So much more happened during the event that it’s impossible to put it all in one post. We invite you to stay in touch, follow us on social media, subscribe to our newsletter and SPREAD THE WORD: Startup Ole 2017 will happen sooner than you think… want to get involved?

Startup Olé

Startup Olé 2017!
Startup Olé 2017!

Startup Olé & Startup Europe coverage: Drones and alt energy tech star at Spanish start-up fiesta

Skill and enthusiasm on the Iberian peninsula

Hardware tech such as drones and energy reclamation technology predominated at the Startup Ole conference in Salamanca, Spain last week.

The two day event gathered 100 startups and more than 1,000 attendees to the historic University town in Western Spain. Similar events in the UK would be dominated by app developers or in Israel by cyber security firms – many of them alumni of the IDF’s famous Unit 8200 intelligence unit.

The Spanish crop featured a far more diverse group of companies across a greater range of technologies including energy and aviation as well as information technologies. Among the firms we met were AEInnova, which is using thermal cells to create power generation from waste heat. Applications include power sensors in industrial environments without relying on battery or mains power supplies.

The second annual Startup Ole showcase also featured Canard Drones, a startup that wants to replace specialist light aircraft for drones in calibrating the navigation aides at airports.

“There’s an eccentric element to it and startups are working from the bottom up on technologies,” Joe Haslam, professor at IE business school Madrid and founder of Hot Hotels, explained. “People do what they want to to do.”

Haslam added that unlike the UK and the USA – where places of learning such as the University of Cambridge and Stanford University – act as feeders as incubators for tech startups Spanish Universities don’t fulfil the same role. The University of Salamanca, for example focuses on the arts. Barcelona University has good technology courses but that alone isn’t enough. Madrid Universities tend to act as feeders to big companies. Accelerators in the country service “start-up tourism” without much output, according to Haslam.

Spain has never produced a Nasdaq listed tech firm. Part of the reason is cultural. “Starting a business is seen as disruptive to family life,” Haslam explained. “People don’t believe in themselves.”

There was certainly no shortage of energy, skill or enthusiasm on display at Startup Ole and reason for optimism, when it comes to funding. The Spanish government was mandated to put money into startups as part of the 2008 bank bail-out by the EU.

Startup Ole also incorporated Startup Europe – the European Commission’s initiative for startups. Panels on acceleration trends, how corporates want to interact with startups, universities and their role in startup ecosystems featured during the show as well as a pitching competition that (much like a school sports day) seemed to reward everyone with some prize or other.


Your own correspondent chaired a 30 minute session of disruptive technology during the conference. Alejandro Delgado Sanchez of IBM talked about the application of artificial intelligence in applications such as customer relationship management.

Miguel Amador of Startup Braga discussed how startups lead the way to new products based in nanotechnology and new materials, bridging the gap between science and market in the process. Miguel Arjona of Altran delved into virtual reality and, specifically, in the emerging technologies that will allow a full cognitive and sensorial immersion in the virtual worlds. he mentioned applications including real-time 3D mapping and avatars creation), touch sense through haptic and mechanics globes and brain machine interfaces (EGG headsets).

Article by: John Leyden
Retrieved from: The Register 


‘Consorcio de la Zona Franca de Vigo’ awarded Best Spanish Public Administration at Recognition Awards (Startup Olé & StartUp Europe Awards)

This pioneering award recognizes for the first time the support of Public Administrations to entrepreneurship

• “Consorcio de la Zona Franca de Vigo” was elected as the Best Public Administration for Startups 2016 in Spain

• “Parque Tecnológico de Fuerteventura” was recognized as the Best Public Returning Talent Program 2016 in Spain

During the StartUp Olé closing ceremony the Recognition Awards 2016 were presented, and for the first time rewarded the most distinguished Public Administrations for their support to entrepreneurship and talent attraction in the territory. The general director for Finnova and StartUp Europe Awards, Juan Manuel Revuelta said:

“There are many prizes in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, but never before had they recognized the work of the Public Administration in supporting the entrepreneurship, and we believe that should be done by the project’s will and because we believe in public – private partnerships as a means of economic development and innovation in the territories. Today is Spain, but we intend to replicate this initiative across Europe”.

The jury of “StartUp Olé & StartUp Europe Awards Recognition Awards 2016” chose “Consorcio Zona Franca de Vigo” as the Best Public Administration for Startups 2016, an award picked by its director Rosa Eguizábal, for their commitment in supporting employment and entrepreneurship programmes as ViaGalicia, a powerful startup accelerator of public initiative now in its fourth edition and this year there were 236 business ideas; and also for managing business incubators, economic support for seed capital and their promotion of an entrepreneurial culture.

On the other hand, “Parque Tecnológico de Fuerteventura” was also chosen as the Best Public Returning Talent Programme 2016, an award picked by its director Eduardo Pereira, for their programmes to attract startups, which in a very short time managed to, in coordination with Cabildo de Fuerteventura, allow technology entrepreneurs of different nationalities to develop their talent, innovation and business development in Fuerteventura, generating more than 50 jobs.

The jury also presented two secondary awards in each category: “Diputación de Castellón” and “Ayuntamiento de Logroño” as the Best Public Administration for Startups 2016; and “Fundación InnDEA – Ayuntamiento de Valencia” and “Gobierno Vasco”, the Best Public Returning Talent Program 2016. The other nominees were: “Diputación de Valencia”, “SEGITTUR Emprendetur”, “Diputación de Jaén” and “Diputación de Pontevedra”.

The jury of “StartUp Olé & StartUp Europe Awards Recognition Awards 2016” was composed by Isidro Laso, Head of Sector Startup Europe of the European Commission; Montserrat Pardo, Director of International Relations of Microsoft Spain; Juan Ignacio Navas, Director of lawyer’s office Navas & Cusí; Emilio Corchado, Director of StartUp Olé and Juan Manuel Revuelta, Director for Finnova and StartUp Europe Awards.

Under the Recognition Awards 2016 the Best Media Award 2016 was also given to Juanma Romero, Director of the TV programme Emprende TVE, for his career in the communication and the dissemination of entrepreneurship, and the Best Corporate Award to Iberdrola, for its continued support to innovative initiatives.

Press Contact
Catalina Valencia

StartUp Europe Awards es una iniciativa promovida por la Comisión Europea e implementada por Finnova en colaboración con Startup Europe, con el doble propósito de crear una alianza de entidades de apoyo al emprendimiento y la innovación y por otro lado, de reconocer el duro trabajo llevado a cabo por las startups dirigidas por europeos/as y establecidas en Asia, Europa, Latinoamérica, Israel y Emiratos Árabes Unidos y Estados Unidos, en cinco niveles (local, provincial, regional, nacional y europeo), en nueve categorías (Medio Ambiente, Ciudades, Industrias Creativas, Energía, Social, Turismo, Tecnologías de la Información y Comunicación, Agua y Salud).

Contacto prensa
Catalina Valencia