02.07.2019

Ideas to transform Madrid

A visit to La Nave, one of the City Council’s initiatives to support entrepreneurs.

After the meeting with Estrella Martín, Deputy Head of Entrepreneurship and SMEs at Madrid City Council, the Leaders travelled to the district of Villaverde, in the south of the city, to visit La Nave, one of the innovation spaces fostered by the capital’s City Council.

The Leaders were welcomed by Isabel García-Lomas, Ecosystem Manager at La Nave, who talked to them about its structure. It is, she said, “a public space used by the Council as an innovation centre offering several programmes, depending on the startups’ activities and the technologies they use.”

The facilities comprise a large space for tech companies’ events and a series of shipping containers refurbished as offices to be used by innovators. “We have 70 startups at different stages”, Isabel García-Lomas commented. “Some of them come to us at a very basic level, with no idea of where to begin, whereas others are consolidated companies seeking to scale up and expand their business.” These startups belong mainly to sectors such as smart cities, the silver economy and eHealth.

The Leaders visited the classrooms and containers to learn about the activities carried out at La Nave and the startups operating there.

The classrooms they visited included the one that hosts the Open Summer of Code, a four-week course that helps Spanish college students to develop innovation projects and turn them into real-world services.

They also visited the spaces where Creática’s summer activities take place. This NGO uses IT skills to combat absenteeism and reduce school dropout rates among children from families at risk of social exclusion.

Finally, they learned about a smart fashion startup, Sepiia, which designs clothing that repels water, stains and odours. Dr Anil Wali promised the team that he would put them in contact with researchers at IIT Delhi working on the development of this kind of textiles so that they can explore common areas and the possibility of working together.

Report: 7th Indian Leaders Programme 2019

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