EMCC European Monitoring Centre on Change

Spain Tech Centre

Spain
Phase: Anticipation
Type:
  • Advice
  • Start-up support
  • Support of companies' growth
  • Support of internationalisation
  • Training
Last modified: 16 August, 2018
Native name:

Spain Tech Centre

English name:

Spain Tech Centre

Coverage/Eligibility

Any Spanish company interested in participating in Spain Tech Centre (STC) activities has to fulfil the following requirements:

  • To be a Spanish ICT-based SME, either based in Spain or founded by a Spanish citizen. The SME has to belong to IT activities and has to fulfil the EU SME definition.
  • To have an own technology-based innovative product or service, that is a product or service that can be regarded as new to the market.
  • To be compliant with the legal obligations required for Spanish companies, particularly regarding tax and social security contributions.
  • Participants have to cover only travel, accomodation and living expenses while in Madrid and San Francisco.
  • The employee designated for participation in the STC must have a English level equal or above C1 (i.e. proficient).

Main characteristics

Spain Tech Center is a public, non-profit initiative (it used to be a public-private initiative until December 2016) launched by ICEX (Spanish Trade and Investments Public Office) and Red.es (Spanish Digital Agenda Public Office), which supports the internationalisation activities of Spanish ICT-based small and medium-sized companies in Silicon Valley and in the USA (key market for these ICT-focused SMEs). There are two main measures implemented by the programme: the Immersion programme and the Summer camp.

The STC Immersion programme is organised around calls, twice per year (one in spring and the other one in autumn). Selected applicants participate in a two-days workshop in Madrid to prepare their two-weeks immersion experience in Silicon Valley. The two-days workshop in Madrid includes specific information on how to better present the company to a USA audience, assistance to better prepare and present a business plan as well as specific information related to the USA (living costs, requested entry documents, accommodation). The two-weeks experience include:

  • Pitch training with world-class experts (mainly practitioners and consultants) from Europe and Silicon Valley
  • Different workshops (approximately 35) with investors, business experts and legal advisors on different US-related issues such as go-to-market strategies, fundraising and venture capital mechanisms
  • Tips and advice from successful Spanish entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley
  • Networking, one-on-one meetings and mentoring sessions with local experts, executives, entrepreneurs and interested investors
  • Networking activities with other Spanish entrepreneurs located in RocketSpace in order to share experiences and get useful recommendations
  • Visits to key companies and universities located in Silicon Valley.

Participants in the STC Immersion programme have to cover only accommodation and living expenses while in Madrid and San Francisco, whereas for the remaining activities the programme is completely free of charge for participating companies.

The STC Summer camp only takes place once per year, although the number of annual calls might be increased in the future. It is a series of real-time webinars run from several experts in Silicon Valley over two days, where these experts (usually practitioners and consultants) share their know-how and insights in different issues such as pitching, differences in business styles/cultures, fundraising, start-up strategy or success stories. These webinars are designed along several modules (on different topics such as pitching, fund raising in the USA, etc.) and participating companies have to follow all of them. Participation in the Summer camp is free of charge for selected applicants. Beneficiary companies stay in Spain during these STC Summer camps.

Other support  and networking services are provided by STC: discount access to the RocketSpace, a coworking space; ‘Flex desk’ service, providing a complementary desk within RocketSpace (for a charge) to Spanish entrepreneurs and start-ups visiting Silicon Valley, for a maximum of two consecutive weeks per year on a first come first served basis; access to the ‘STC Community’, a community of enterprises and expats that, via events, meetups and workshops, can help Spanish entrepreneurs build a network of local contacts and guide them in their USA experience.

Funding

  • National funds

Involved actors

National government
ICEX Spain Trade and Investment - Ministry of Economy; Red.es - Ministry of Energy, Tourism and Digital Agenda

Effectiveness

Since the founding in 2011, STC helped over 700 entrepreneurs and 500 companies (official figures provided by the organisation in 2018). 85% of active companies of their Immersion programme have US customers while 45% have a corporate presence in the USA. Participating in the Immersion programme significantly increases the chances of success for an ICT Spanish company when expanding in the United States.

Strengths

STC can be labelled as a very relevant and useful policy measure, key for expanding the international activities of the Spanish ICT-based SMEs in the key market of Silicon Valley and the USA. STC provides participating companies with key information and services that facilitate their access to this highly competitive market. Partner organisations and the administrators also make use of their own dissemination tools to promote the measure.

Weaknesses

No information available.

Examples

No information available.
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