The UPF Barcelona School of Management launches StartLab, a training, advisory and support program for young entrepreneurs. The project is addressed to students and alumni who are starting out in the world of entrepreneurship with initiatives of social nature and committed to welfare.
The aim of the project is to “encourage entrepreneurship and support initiatives with social impact”, said Susana Domingo, director of the UPF-BSM Strategy and Entrepreneurship Area. “We are looking for innovative ideas that have a market opportunity and generate jobs”, added Fàtima Vidal, professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship and promoter of the program.
In this regard, support will be given to ethical projects aligned with the mission and values of the UPF-BSM, since, according to the head of the StartLab program, “we are a management school concerned about planetary well-being and that values impact entrepreneurship”. “We want to encourage young people with concerns and who want to undertake to improve the world around us”, added Vidal.
At UPF-BSM we want to encourage entrepreneurship and support initiatives with social impact
To carry it out, entrepreneurs will have a physical meeting point at UPF-BSM to work on their projects and will have the support of a team of professionals from the school who will guide, accompany and train them during the process. “In the entrepreneurial sector, people are very supportive and collaborative”, Domingo celebrated, since the selected projects will also benefit from the advice and analysis of expert investors and entrepreneurs.
During the year in which they will be provided with these tools, the selected individuals will be able to network with the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Barcelona through attendance at events such as 4YFN or BizBarcelona, as well as visits to companies and institutions in the sector.
We are looking for innovative ideas that have a market opportunity and generate jobs
“Entrepreneurship is not seen only as a formula for creating a company, but as a way of looking at life”, said the director of the Strategy and Entrepreneurship Area, who encouraged people who are considering entrepreneurship to “go ahead and not be discouraged” and “not to be afraid”.
Two projects are already benefiting from the StartLab program. On the one hand, the alumni of the Master in Human Resources Management, Júlia Micaló, has been selected to promote LocalProductos.es, the first “online marketplace in Spain that allows you to buy from local business from home”, explained Micaló.
The platform includes local suppliers, promotes the proximity economy and supports retail trade at a time as complex as the present. “LocalProductos was born with the desire to help local businesses to sell online at a time of forced digitalization”, said the entrepreneur.
The project, which emerged during her time as a student at UPF-BSM, now comes to StartLab to continue to evolve. “What better place than precisely where the idea was born, to continue to make it grow”, celebrated Micaló, who concluded: “We are happy to be in a space where there are projects with similar characteristics to ours and which, above all, have a social impact”.
Nixi for Children, a virtual reality tool to reduce anxiety in children who have to undergo surgery, which results in fewer complications and a better and faster recovery, has been designed with the aim of having social impact. The entrepreneur behind this initiative is Tomàs Lóbez, who is already developing his project at StartLab.
By means of cardboard glasses to which the parents’ cell phone can be linked, the child can explore –accompanied by a 3D animated character– the virtual recreation of the waiting room or the surgery room where he or she will be operated on. “A good way to avoid anxiety is for the child to get to know the hospital and become familiar with the rooms, the gowns and the equipment they will see so that on the day of the procedure the experience will be as familiar as possible”, said Lóbez.
The tools have already been used at the Germans Trias i Pujol Hospital, Can Ruti Campus in Badalona, as well as in other hospitals around the country. “It is a great honor to be able to share a space like the UPF-BSM, to take advantage of the experience and knowledge of the faculty to grow projects with social impact”, said the entrepreneur.