A lesson in Entrepreneurship in Seville

No two men could be better qualified to teach entrepreneurship than Ken Morse and Bill Aulet. They came to Sevilla from the E-Centre at MIT, to deliver a seminar on “Entrepreneurial Sales and Product Marketing” and they over-delivered.

My expectations were exceeded by far, we were given a rich insight into the growth of high-tech start-up companies. Through case studies of real companies they’ve helped to build, and actual sales forecasts, Bill and
Ken enthralled us with stories from the front-line of entrepreneurship and they lessons they have learned in the process.

Nations come together

Enlightened Europe

On the first day of the two day seminar, between lectures, we were given the chance to practice our “elevator pitches” a 55 second introduction to our prospective client with the objective of getting a follow up meeting. The exercise was in the format of a competition were a group of Seville’s business leaders was invited to play the role of our “dream customers” and judge our performance.

 

My “dream client” was Amancio Ortega the reclusive owner of the Zara clothing chain. I didn’t win any awards but it was an enlightening exercise for me.

On the second day after a shorter round of fascinating lectures, each attendee gave a 5 minute presentation that they had prepared beforehand, to the critique of his/her peers. The firms represented were 35 of the regions most innovative companies, in sectors from biotech to manufacturing. It was hugely exciting for me, a solo-preneur, to listen and take part in the discussion over coffee and lunch each day.

After giving my presentation (which  was easily the worst) Bill Aulet was kind enough to call me a geek! “Don’t be offended” he said “that’s the highest form of life at MIT”. I came away with confirmation of what I suspected to be true before the event; that for my venture to be truly successful I’m going to need a business partner  who can complement my skill set and fill the role of super-sales-person.

In the short term, the most valuable asset we took away from the seminar (apart from focusing on a vertical market) was the “Facebook” of all the other attendees’ application forms and contact details. In the days following the event I contacted María Goretti of ioFusiontv to help me set up a mailing list of all the attendees. This discussion list (where each member can send an e-mail to everyone on the list) has enjoyed a slew of enthusiastic messages as people expressed their appreciation for the the event, commitment to attend the follow up in October and a desire to keep in touch.

The venue for the event, the Sala Leonardo Da Vinci in Pabellon de Italia (Isla de la Cartuja), was comfortable and very well equipped for vision and sound. What was lacking in the standard of service initially was quickly corrected by the enthusiastic staff.

If you’re a CEO or manager of a business in Andalucia, or just starting a new technology venture, and would like to attend the next seminar to be held (October 14-15) in Málaga, then send me an e-mail or ask about it at your local CADE office.

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2 Comments on “A lesson in Entrepreneurship in Seville”

  1. Pete Says:

    Next instalment in this series of seminars starts tomorrow in Malaga, will post an update after the weekend.


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