The European entrepreneurship network, Startup Europe Partnership, has distinguished the companies that most help startups in the “Europe’s 25 Corporate Startup Stars” list. Telefonica and BBVA are the only Spanish companies listed in this ranking for their good practices in supporting entrepreneurs.
The study, which was presented during the Startup Europe Summit in early June in Berlin, was conducted by the British public organization Nesta, at the request of the Startup Europe Partnership. The selection was based on an initial list of 70 companies, which have been analyzed by this entity, according to the activities intended to boost entrepreneurship. In the end, 25 companies have been chosen to be part of this select club of companies that stand out for the support they provide to startups.
In a business world where every time we talk more about the importance of open innovation and entrepreneurship support, Startup Europe Partnership values the best business practices and establishes a link between startups and large companies. In this European ranking, featuring large corporations like Microsoft and PWC, Telefonica ranked fourth and BBVA, eighth, being the only Spanish companies listed in the selection. Telefonica are only outperformed by Cisco, Rabobank and Unilever and in the case of BBVA, the only companies ahead of them are Virgin, Orange and Telecom Italia.
The study brings together the different ways that companies have to work with entrepreneurs and identifies best practices. According to the coordinators, the volume of interactions has grown over the last five years, so it is easy to deduce that large companies do not see the new companies as a threat but as an opportunity for mutual learning.
The companies in this ranking have gone beyond the theory and have performed multiple actions to boost the world of startups. These have ranged from organizing events to increasing the visibility of these new companies, to creating business incubators or accelerators, through initiatives related to funding, organizing competitions and implementing training programs.
In the case of BBVA, several actions are underway to boost the world of startups. A good example is the BBVA Open Talent contest supporting fintechs who want to transform the world of finance. This competition is already in its eighth edition and in July the finalists will begin to be selected. The winners will be awarded 30,000 euros and will receive a two-week immersion and interaction program in Mexico City and Madrid. Another initiative in this line is the social enterprises accelerator, Momentum Project, with which BBVA has invested in 18 companies with a total value of 7.5 million euros and which involved 111 BBVA and ESADE mentors. Meanwhile, Blue BBVA has recently sponsored Unreasonable Lab Spain, an intensive training program aimed at preparing 10 Spanish startups for investment that are meant to solve social or environmental problems.