Wednesday, March 29, 2023

Lanzadera CEO Javier Jimenez: “Our great learning is that people are more valuable than ideas”

This 10 years is nothing, Javier Jimenez, general director of Lanzadera – the incubator and accelerator of Juan’s disease – begins by warning Business Insider Spain in telephone conversation. However, the truth is that a decade can go a long way.

In particular, Lanzadera, one of the 3 legs supporting Juan Roig’s entrepreneurship initiative, Marina de Empresas (the other 2 are EDEM Escuela de Empresarios and the investment company Angels), has had great success.

Since its founding in 2013, Lanzadera has invested about 22 million euros Tickets range from 1,000 to 500,000 euros, distributed among more than 1,100 companies. In return, they have created 10,000 jobs after attracting 700 million euros of external capital,

These are figures that are said sooner and sooner. Behind them, however, lies Juan Rog’s determination to transform Valencia into one of the great vectors of the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Lanzadera currently helps over 300 projects, with entry windows in January, May and September. Jimenez takes advantage of the tenth anniversary of the project to take stock.

“One of our biggest learnings over the years is that people are above ideas. At first I was impressed with some of the projects, but over time I realized What is really valuable in a company are the people who are able to put the idea into practice, the leader who unites everyone with a single vision.,

Jimenez believes that learning from Lanzadera’s biggest mistake in recent years is born.

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“We thought that to start a business you had to have a lot of money. Also you had to be more or less a genius. The truth is that is not necessary. It takes effort, perspective and something to fight for. then of course being a genius helps,

The business model that controls Lanzadera’s destiny is the first and last name: Juan Rog, executive chairman and largest shareholder of Mercadona, the chain of large supermarkets that has accumulated nearly a third of market share in the competitive sector of mass consumption.

In short, Roig has recently come under fire from the minister for social rights and the 2030 Agenda and the secretary general of PSOE’s governing partner party, Podemos, Ioan Belarra, among others, criticizing him and his business model. ,

“It is indecent that Mr. Rog is a ruthless capitalist lining his own pocket. You should not be afraid to say: he is a ruthless capitalist,” Belara saidwhose words also served as a more or less veiled allegation that large supermarket chains are taking advantage of inflation to inflate their profit margins for each product.

This idea recently led consulting firm IQ Nielsen to defend big food delivery brands.

The firm’s experts said, “It makes no sense to conclude that supermarkets are taking advantage of inflation to boost margins. This is an extraordinarily dynamic sector and there is a lot of competition, with margins being very tight.” “

“We’re not going to answer that, but I can tell you the facts. 1,100 companies that we have supported and trained have passed through here. these are facts, And we are going to continue, because it is Juan Rog’s decision to support even more entrepreneurs to do their bit in the country and in our region,” says Jiménez, who also boasts of his national talent.

“An incredible ecosystem has been created in Spain. And I’m not saying this as a nice slogan, we’ve reviewed 30,000 products, enough grounds to say that a lot of young and underage people -want to do different things.”

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Lanzadera’s future lies in its expansion

“Choose from over 1,000 companies that have passed through here? It’s impossible. It’s like asking a father to choose between his 3 daughters: He has a part in all of them, they all represent what a , With all of them you ended up learning things”, answers the CEO of Lanzadera when asked to select a particularly important project.

Jimenez points out that the more than 1,000 startups in the incubator bring with them more than 1,000 stories. But many more will come. Without going much further, earlier this year Lanzadera has welcomed 15 Portuguese projects, which speaks to the intention of the accelerator to keep growing.

Will the recent startup law help these plans? Jimenez is clear that yes.

“I think it’s a great initiative. First, because it puts the issue on the table, they talk about it, which is very useful for attracting investors; second, because it has measures that widely accepted by the sector; and third, because many things are being shaken up and fixed”, comments the CEO.

An important step but with room for improvement: this is how entrepreneurial startups, investors and experts from the Spanish ecosystem see it

Illustration About Startup And Entrepreneurship

The impulse comes at a particularly delicate moment for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, with an economy chilled by inflation and high interest rates and investment funds that money is becoming more expensive than once and twice before. Thinking about placing your bet? ,

And those who invest. A wave of layoffs demanded by Wall Street from big technology companies to clean up income statements has already reached Spain and is affecting some of the most consolidated startups.

“There will be money because funds live by investing. In Portugal, one person told me they have been in crisis since 1492. Entrepreneurs have to go around and find imaginative solutions. In times of crisis, when you cry, I Can sell you a package of handkerchiefs”.

lollipop philosophy

One comes as a surprise that many of these solutions will come primarily from the world of artificial intelligence, which is on everyone’s lips after the explosion in popularity of tools such as ChatGPT, the OpenAI automatic text generator, in recent weeks.

On the other hand, Jimenez is clear that there is no reason to go that far. “We cover all sectors,” says Jimenez. We always give the same example to our entrepreneurs: Look at the example put together by a person holding a candy and a stick. The important thing is to think about the customer. “

,An innovation could be a pip kiosk, If it improves people’s lives, we will support it. 10 years ago it seemed like you were nobody without a social network, then came apps, then came blockchain and finally metaverse and AI. Only those technologies that are really useful to people will survive.”

This way of understanding successful businesses, Jimenez explains, is born out of Juan Roig’s philosophy: “He always looks and listens to the customers to provide solutions. Sometimes as entrepreneurs we go and find something that Which is incredible, but the public doesn’t.” wants because it doesn’t solve anything”.

As a result, it’s almost impossible to know what Lanzadera will be 10 years from now: “It will be somewhat unrecognizable, like when you look at a photo of yourself from 10 years ago and wonder how you would have been wearing those clothes and that hairstyle.” It may be part of the evolution of things, but our mission is not going to change.”

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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