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Presentation of the report “Corporate Venturing: achieving profitable growth through startups”

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Presentation of the report “Corporate Venturing: achieving profitable growth through startups”

February 9th, 2017
9:30 h - 11:30 h
Pier01 - Palau de Mar

Business professionals and technology experts agree that the technological revolution we are facing today is just in its infancy. This report is the first to be published by mVenturesBcn, a program of Mobile World Capital Barcelona, together with IESE Business School. Its aim is to provide a handbook on corporate venturing that can be useful for the entrepreneurial community globally.

Established firms have confronted the threat of becoming obsolete by opening their innovation strategy to increased exchanges with the ecosystem. Trying to understand how cloud computing, big data, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things or blockchain technology may affect how we do business today has led to a more acute need to understand how to work and collaborate with the start-ups pioneering solutions based on these technologies.


As academics define it, this is a hybrid model in which both start-ups and large corporations are needed to come up with new solutions for the complex problems we face in business and society at large.

Therefore, this first report is published as a road map for all companies in all sectors that want to dive into the world of corporate venturing, both for those with no previous experience and those that have already stepped into this field.


Adrià Batlle
Venture Builder Director at InnoCells

Adrià was the Executive Director for mVenturesBcn, the investment arm of the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation. The company is focused into accelerating and investing in high-growth digital startups across Europe and incubating deep-tech research-based startups. Prior to this, Adrià was the executive director of 4 Years from Now, the event for entrepreneurs held last February during the Mobile World Congress: (15,000+ attendees).

Although he holds a BSc in Computer Science, started as assistant researcher at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia, (and have some credits for his PhD on Artificial Intelligence), his professional career has been always related to business strategy and innovation for large corporations. Beyond his professional track record, he is lecturer in several master courses in business model innovation and entrepreneurship and mentor of digital startups.

Adrià Batlle is currently the Venture Builder Director at InnoCells

Julia Prats
Professor at IESE Business School - Bertran Foundation Chair of Entrepreneurship

Prof. Prats’ primary area of interest is the entrepreneurial process, which includes the identification, evaluation and implementation of opportunities in any context. Central to this work is developing strategies and systems that help established firms achieve profitable growth. Her second work stream focuses on understanding the key factors in building and managing professional service firms.

Prof. Prats was nominated Kauffman Emerging Scholar for her dissertation work and has published in international journals, both for practitioners as well as for the academic community. She has also authored teaching materials and contributions to several books on entrepreneurship and growth strategy related topics.

At IESE, she teaches courses on entrepreneurship, growth strategies, in a wide variety of programs including the MBA Programs, and international executive education. She has also been visiting professor at The Wharton Business School (USA), IPADE (México), INALDE (Colombia), and The University Asia Pacific (Philippines) among others.

Professor Prats consults for some professional service firms, European high growth firms, and seats on the board of several nonprofit organizations.

Xavier Servat
Director at Fluidra Accelera

For years, Mr. Servat has held managerial positions at Fluidra, a public Spanish multinational group dedicated to the development of applications for the sustainable use of water.

Since 2014, he is in charge of Fluidra Accelera, one of the few industrial accelerators in Spain, focused on technology and water. Its goal is twofold: to complement its internal innovation by seeking out entrepreneurs that can leverage the existing R&D projects of the while seeking a financial yield at the same time.

Edouard Rozan
Managing Director at IDNEO Ventures

Currently, Managing Director of Idneo Ventures, the corporate ventures fund from Ficosa.

Entrepreneur profile with high experience in technological start-up projects, he participated in the foundation of Fractus, a well-known growing European Technology start-up in the global telecom industry, Advanced Automotive Antennas, today the core business of Ficosa Advanced Communication, Wireless BCN and Social & Beyond in Wayra, and Teraki in Hub:Raum, the Deutsch Telekom accelerator.

He is collaborating and participating in major accelerators networks like Wayra (Telefonica), Startupbootcamp, BWM startup Garage, Airbus Bizlab and Challenge Up (Cisco, Intel and Deutsche Telekom program).

Edouard main interests include IoT, Wireless technologies, Big Data and collaborative economy models. Between Barcelona and Berlin.

Ignasi Salvador
Innovation Director at Celsa Group

Mr. Salvador is an entrepreneur that co-founded Altac in 2003, a company specialized in new computer technologies applied to the design and the study of new construction materials such as CSP solar towers or chimneys.

Ever since, he has hold managerial positions related with engineering at several corporations including The Celsa Group, one of Europe’s top four steelmakers.

Since May 2016, he is the Innovation Director of the Celsa Group, where he is in charge of “Ingenium”, an accelerator program striving to lead industry transformation via innovation in energy storage, traceability in the supply chain, “smart steel” and recycling byproducts.

He holds a civil engineering degree from Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya and an MBA from IESE Business School.

Aleix Valls
CEO and Cofounder at LiquiD Flow to the Digital Age

A mathematician and engineer with a Ph.D. in Fluid Mechanics, Aleix Valls began his professional career in the field of research at the International Center for Numerical Methods in Engineering (CIMNE) at the Polytechnic University of Catalonia (UPC), where he served from 2000 to 2004. During this period he also began his association with Compass Ingeniería y Sistemas, where he worked as project manager until 2006.

Between 2006 and 2012 Valls worked at different companies and on projects related to the field of Strategic Consulting. In January 2006 he joined The NODE Company, a provider of innovation services, as a senior associate. Between 2008 and 2010 Valls worked at LOOP Consultancy where as a senior manager he took on responsibility for the Dubai office and the management of business development for the entire region of Northern Africa and the Middle East. In July of 2010, Aleix Valls became a manager with the consulting firm Accenture, where he headed up Strategic Consulting projects in different sectors.

Núria Betriu
General Director of Industry and CEO at ACCIÓ

Nuria is an industrial engineer, specialized in chemistry. She also has a Master in Management of Business by Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and the École Polytechnique in Paris.

He began his professional career in the pharmaceutical sector in areas of quality and R&D. After to this, she developed various management tasks in pharmaceutical, food and electronic sectors.

In 2007 she created a food engineering specialised in strategic advice in the areas of production, environment, internationalization, quality and R+D and she became a business partner and general director until 2013 from it.

In June of 2013 she assumed the leadership of the programme “Catalunya Emprèn” with the aim of promoting and coordinating the Government’s entrepreneurship policy of the Government. On 2016 she was named General Director of Industry, a position that she combines with the role of CEO of ACCIÓ since October of 2014. Under his direction, ACCIÓ has driven the binomial innovation-internationalization as a strategy to reinforce the competitiveness of the company and has turned on the Catalonia brand Trade


Pier01 - Palau de Mar
Plaça de Pau Vila, 1, 08039 Barcelona