A visit to Techstars Startup Weekend Seville

- July 10, 2024

This weekend, the 27th edition of Techstars Startup Weekend Seville went down at the Valentin Madariaga and Oya Foundation in beautiful Seville, Spain. 

As a reporter for Novobrief and other media outlets, I was asked to be a Judge at the event, which was organized in association with SevillaUP, an organization that fosters innovation across the Spanish autonomous community of Andalusia. 

Over 60 entrepreneurs representing eight nationalities gathered in the main hall of the foundation and spent more than 54 hours over the weekend transforming ideas in their heads into startups. The entrepreneurs broke off into seven teams to form an equal number of startup projects. 

One really cool stat was that for the first time in its history, Startup Weekend Seville had more women entrepreneurs than men! Something really positive for the ecosystem in my humble opinion. 

As the founders-to-be hammered out their projects, they were supported by a list of talented mentors including: 

Francisco Pineda, a lifetime Police Officer and serial entrepreneur who has developed multiple apps.

Francisco de la Torre, a Senior Project Manager at Parisian multinational Schneider Electric. 

Javier Navero, head of product at B2B2C financial platform Candidly.

Jessica Hidalgo Gamero, owner and CEO of her eponymous marketing agency.

Jonathan Taibo, a design expert and co-founder of Resolana Digital.

Laura Robles, CEO of Glowden Agency, an international digital marketing firm.

Patricia Davis, CEO of La Barca Otro Teatro theatre.

Ana de la Hera, legal counsel for technology firms including Madrid-based Sentrium

The mentors helped entrepreneurs shape their projects and guide them on their journey to presenting their startups to the judges. Teams were counseled in idea development, teamwork, and resilience. 

Other local business leaders and government officials also attended Startup Weekend. 

Seville Deputy Mayor Álvaro Pimentel Siles joined the welcoming party, as well as Luis García de Tejada Ricart, General Director of the Valentin de Madariaga and Oya Foundation; and Irene Andreu Carrera, Growth and Ecosystem Manager for INCIBE Emprende by the Sherpa Tribe Program.

Álvaro Pimentel – Event opening

Jaime Aranda, President of SevillaUP, addressed the crowd, saying, “Local entrepreneurship is more active than ever. More diverse. More mature. More professional. The future is already being built by the innovative talent that meets, recognizes, and connects in Startup Weekend Seville, the reference event in the Andalusian entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

The winning startups of Startup Weekend Seville 

Startup Weekend Sevilla Jury Team

After many hours of hard work from the entrepreneurs, the time had come for my job, judging the startup projects — which seemed comparably easy after watching the founders toil for over 50 hours. 

My fellow judges on the panel included: 

We sat intently listening to the various pitches from the project founders. We asked them questions that would better help us assess their projects and provide feedback. 

It was a close competition, and all of the projects were interesting in their own right, but in the end, the judges selected a winner. 

Sportoship, which offers a solution for athletes looking for sponsorships from brands, took home first prize, while SecondSight, an app for mobile devices that helps visually impaired people  detect dangers on the road in real-time, took second place. 

Sportoship, winners of Startup Weekend Sevilla

Third place went to Love is in the Air, an application for people who want to find their ideal partner through a heart-hunting service.

Finally, a special public award went to ETUTU, a startup that optimizes productivity to temporary employment firms, and the company also received an honorable cybersecurity mention from INCIBE.

Other projects included initiatives related to tourism and family leisure, circular economy and sustainability, and social networks and community.