The contest for entrepreneurs with which Spain is looking for the next Martín Varsavsky

Spain presented this week in Buenos Aires the sixth edition of the business cooperation program “Rising up in Spain”, which supports the establishment of foreign startups in that country and in which the large participation of Latin American entrepreneurs stands out, including Argentines.

On this occasion, more than 1,600 companies from 90 countries signed up, and they will compete in a contest in which 100 will be selected to participate in a bootcamp and, later, 50 of them will sign agreements and settle in the offices of Spanish companies during six months.

In exclusive dialogue with Forbes ArgentinaAdría Blanco, responsible for Latin America at ICEX Invest in Spain, said that “hopefully” the next Martín Varsavsky will come out of this program, referring to the Argentine entrepreneur who founded and invested in dozens of technology companies and is based in Madrid.

Many of the companies that were selected in previous editions took advantage of the opportunity to internationalize their operations, opening offices in Spain and maintaining the headquarters in their country of origin.

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“The Rising Up in Spain is a program to attract entrepreneurs worldwide,” says Blanco. “The world has become very liquid in terms of talent. We want to attract talent and new ideas that refresh the business fabric a little, make it more productive and more innovative,” she explains.

-What does this program offer to entrepreneurs?

-Offers a range of services for foreign entrepreneurs who come to Spain, who want to establish, invest and scale a company in Spain and Europe. It is a competition, not a direct help. What we offer this year is a program through local partners. Spanish companies of various sizes and accelerators register and indicate that they have a technological need. What we do is go to the world to look for foreign entrepreneurs who can provide a solution to that technological need. We do matchmaking work. Additionally, we offer work space at the headquarters of local partners; we speed up the entrepreneur’s visa, which is very important because it is often a cumbersome process; We have a law firm contracted ad hoc for the winning companies of the program to do all the legal, bureaucratic, and fiscal work of company incorporation. And then we have a positioning of the company’s brand that wins, both in media and in attendance at events. And last but not least, we have individualized meetings, both with investors and with large clients who may also be carrying out open innovation processes.

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-Is it a contest open to entrepreneurs from all over the world?

Yes, they are from all over the world. What happens is that the one where they appear the most is from Latin America and the companies where they earn the most are from Argentina.

-Why are Argentine startups so successful?

-Argentine women are very successful due to a combination of factors: there is a lot of talent and a lot of management capacity; there are some sectors that are highly technologically developed for a middle-income country and even much more developed than high-income countries in agtech and agribusiness; Obviously there is a fundamental bridge: the Argentine thinks a lot about Spain to enter the European market, this is not so common in other Latin American countries. And what is also happening is that in Spain, and more particularly in Madrid and to a lesser extent in Barcelona, ​​one can already speak of a cluster: there are numerous Argentine entrepreneurs who have done very well and, therefore, that also generates a drag.

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-Are you looking for the next Martin Varsavsky?

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