We were very happy to join the Mayor’s International Business Programme's Trade Mission to Madrid last week. The two-day trip centered on pitching, networking and learning about how to enter the Spanish market and was both interesting and instrumental to our entry and growth in the country.
Smartzer was one of 13 scaleups that joined the mission, sponsored by Go to Grow London and London and Partners. The scaleups for this particular mission were focused on Consumer Tech and we were able to meet other game-changers from London such as HERO and Inkpact.
Day one kicked-off with an informative presentation at KPMG by key consultants who discussed best practices for companies trying to enter the Spanish market. The most important aspect for pitching your tech in Spain is not the tech itself, but how it will help the customer experience because the customer is the center of every aspect of Spanish business. Smartzer and the other startups then had time to pitch to KPMG and Barrabes where Smartzer introduced both teams to our shoppable video and interactive tech. Both KPMG and Barrabes were very impressed with the interactive video concept and expressed that it is the perfect tech solution for the time. We made some excellent contacts after the pitch and look forward to working with them soon.
After KPMG pitch we headed to one of the WeWork Madrid offices for a networking reception. It was an excellent way to learn more about the other scaleups and discuss how our interactive video technology could pair well with some of their technologies. We were also able to network with some other key Madrid companies.
Day two started by heading back to the KPMG tower to pitch our technologies to Mastercard’s Spanish Country Manager, Head of Business Development and Head of Digital Innovation. The discussion we had also gave a lot of insight into how Mastercard sees innovation in terms of how it fits with payment systems now, including wearables and no-payment concepts like Uber. They also introduced Startpath and their Accelerator program which they use to help the company stay ahead of innovation.
The most eye-opening information is the power of mixing loyalty and payment – the Starbucks app generates more payments than Apple pay in the US. The innovation team emphasized that convenience and invisible payments were the future.
After Mastercard we were happy to visit Barrabes, a marketing and media consulting agency which hosts innovation startups they have invested in on the first floor of their four-floor building. The tour of their company was very interesting and we were able to meet some of their startups and clients. We were even able to demo Tessera Studios' VR PlayStation game “Intruders” that is close to hitting the market.
The last meeting of the trip with Karen Verloop, Managing Director of ThoughtWorks.com Spain. Thoughtworks.com was created by AGILE co-creator Martin Fowler. The company has been around 20 years and has a presence in more than 10 countries. They build technology solutions for their clients.
Verloop presented on how to introduce your company in a range of countries, with a lot time given to business development best-practices in general. Key takeaways – know who you are talking to and make sure that they are able to understand your tech. Also, when meeting with people, realize who else needs to get involved to push your concept through and be very clear that you need to know their budget.
It was an amazing two days and a big thank you from us to Go to Grow and London & Partners.