27 May, Monday
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The library of essays of Proakatemia

¡Saludos desde Barcelona! Excu with Tre.ES

Kirjoittanut: Tuuli-Emily Liivat - tiimistä SYNTRE.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 5 minuuttia.

In the beginning of October, I had the unique opportunity to join an excursion organised by the Tampere Entrepreneurship Society and Jyväskylä Entrepreneurship Society to Barcelona, Spain.
Both entrepreneurship societies aim to gather local students and young people interested in entrepreneurial ventures across fields of study and profession to provide an easy access to networks of likeminded people and the startup ecosystems by organising various events in Tampere and Jyväskylä respectively.

The five-day trip saw 30 entrepreneurial students across different years and faculties such as marketing, software engineering, chemical engineering and business studies among others learn of the entrepreneurial background and possibilities in Barcelona. The programme consisted of visiting different types of communities, companies and getting to know one another.

Day 1: Tech Barcelona, EnriquezArte

Tech Barcelona
Our first visit was to Tech Barcelona’s Pier 01 in Barcelona.
Tech Barcelona is a private non-profit association supporting and catalysing Barcelona’s digital and technological ecosystem (Tech Barcelona). During our visit, it was inspiring to hear their origin story: it was introduced that Tech Barcelona was established 10 years ago and completely online, which has is also integrated into their mindset: they are not tied to a building or an office but first and foremost, they were and are a community.
We were also introduced to various startups in the community, such as AcceXible, which develops AI models to provide disease detection through speech analysis.

EnriquezArte was the second community we visited and were positively surprised by. The non-profit focuses on community creation and assistance of families in vulnerable situations in Barcelona through social projects bringing the community together and making it more inclusive.
The meeting was very inspiring and you could see the NGO’s values throughout their activities: as an example, we were greeted with a lunch that was made from food close to expiring from local shops to prevent food waste. The day continued with a workshop on community creation, where we learnt the theory of community creation practised in their NGO and had a workshop focused on consolidating the information received through a series of physical activities. The visit was very inspiring and taught us not only of leadership and community creation but also of meta-skills needed to work as a community.


Day 2 x Day 3: Networking among Tre.ES and JES, sightseeing
The two days happened to be the weekend, which is when we decided to network among the Entrepreneurship societies and do a bit of sightseeing in Barcelona. Our group had a picnic on the beach, where we got the chance to swim, play ball games and get to know each other better. During these days, we also divided based on interests and got to try something new. My personal combination was getting to experience a basketball game and going to an opera, whereas some of us also went to museums, sightseeing around the city and gondola rides. The experiences allowed us to pursue our own interests but also share our experiences with the group later, which was positive and celebrated.

Day 4: IESE Business School, SAP Barcelona, meeting with investor

On Monday, we went to visit IESE Business School’s campus in Barcelona, which I also wrote an essay about. IESE Business School is a recognized institute for obtaining MBA and Executive Education and the school’s Full-Time MBA Programme is ranked #3 in the world. It was very inspiring to visit the campuses, hear of the success stories and be in an environment that encourages discussion-based learning. The visit was particularly memorable for that same reason: it was joyful recognising so many parts of our current study programme on an MBA level, which also added confidence in my own studies.

Our afternoon was spent in an office by SAP, which offers different software solutions and products on a large scale to improve the customer experience and supply chain among many other areas of business. It was inspiring to hear the story of a Finnish person working in SAP and how he built himself up in the corporation. The attendees also had a chance to see examples of products SAP has already provided in the form of a showroom, which was very innovative and exciting – as an example, an intelligent mirror in clothing rooms that shows you how the product might look like on you in the reflection or a system of barcodes and NFCs, where the software recognizes where the product you are looking for is, shows you directions to the place in the warehouse and counts stock available.

During the last two days, our group was very fortunate to spend an evening and a lunch with Perttu Jalkanen, who is a Finn extraordinaire with his diverse background in co-founding, advising, consulting and investing in FinTech and ClimateTech. The discussions with him were straightforward, humble and honest: he was open about his previous experiences and showed his passion towards sustainability, technology and innovation in an excellent manner. Perttu also showed a great example of how networking is truly done: he made sure that he got to speak with all 30 of us and left a positive and present feeling to all of us.

Day 5: NovaMeat

During our final day, we visited a local startup NovaMeat, which offers a plant-based meat to the market with a variety of different textures. The products are made using pea protein and fava bean protein concentrate, which mean that the products are vegan, soy-, gluten- and GMO-free and are high in protein and fibre. It was interesting to hear of their developments in the company and how they startup has approached fundings and financing in general. We also got to try the different versions of meat produced and were left with a very positive experience: the texture and flavor resembled meat and knowing that such products are developed is refreshing to hear.


Something I was particularly impressed with even before the trip was that the programme and details were only known to the organisers of the excu. To the participants of the trip this meant that we had no expectations of company visits that were of high quality and rich in insights. It was also  lovely to be in a different environment with people you didn’t previously know. The combination of the content and the people enabled us all to approach the programme with a sense of curiosity, which enabled us to absorb information better and tie the new knowledge with our previous personal experiences. In addition to this, the group from Tampere ES was also tightknit and craved reflections and mutual getting to know one another: a motivation that encouraged us all to continue conversations past the programme and into the late hours of the days.

The event left a positive and long lasting impression on me and many others, which was also reflected in the next events hosted by Tampere ES: all of us participated in the reflection meeting, around ¾ were also in the next excursion to Helsinki (there was also a flu outbreak, which affected participant numbers) and 7 of the 15 participants applied to the next board of Tampere ES either as a chairperson or a board member.  This suggests that organising events such as excursions to different places with insightful content and a diverse group of people may be excellent in community building and the outcomes can also inspire other people to join or take action. Thank you for the trip, Tampere ES and Jyväskylä ES!

Tampere ES’s next event is a 24 hour BRiDG3 Tech Hackathon, which will take place 8.-9.12.2023. Sign up here: https://link.tamperees.com/NpbZ . You can find more information about Tampere ES through their instagram @tamperees.



Tampere Entrepreneurship Society, https://tamperees.com/
Jyväskylä Entrepreneurship Society, https://www.jkles.fi/en/

Tech Barcelona, https://techbarcelona.com/en/
EnriquezArte, https://enriquezarte.org/en/impact_travel_with_our_social_ngo/
IESE Business School, https://www.iese.edu/ 
SAP, https://www.sap.com/finland/index.html 
NovaMeat, https://www.novameat.com/

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