Nine UOC start-ups to take part in Barcelona Tech Spirit


Nine UOC start-ups to take part in Barcelona Tech Spirit

Barcelona Tech Spirit
The event has been put together following the cancelling of this year's Mobile World Congress and 4YFN

The Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) is to take part in Barcelona Tech Spirit, an event that has been put together following the cancelling of this year's MWC and 4YFN. It is to take place from 23 to 27 February. A number of entrepreneurial projects backed by Hubbik, the UOC's entrepreneurial development platform, are to take part in the sessions. Some of these projects have also received support from Invergy, the University's investment vehicle.

In the words of Àngels Fitó, UOC Vice President for Competitiveness and Employability, "the UOC's taking part, through its start-ups, in an event like Barcelona Tech Spirit is proof of the fact that we're an entrepreneurial university promoting business initiatives that look to generate a social impact."

Education and technology

UOC entrepreneurial projects will be involved in the EdTech education and technology event to be held at the UPF Barcelona School of Management (Carrer de Balmes, 132) on 25 February. Indeed, BeChallenge, a challenge-based learning platform founded by UOC graduate Xavi Pascual and supported by the UOC, is one of the groups behind the EdTech event. Pascual explained that "we can't miss out on an educational technology event in Barcelona because the entrepreneurial community wants to continue to contribute to the current transformation in education. There's a need for a gathering that brings together the educational and entrepreneurial communities, and we had to respond to that need. I'm really pleased that the UOC is going to be present and support me, as it has done throughout the process to start up my business."

BeChallenge will be joined at the EdTech event by Yo también leo (an initiative led by UOC graduate Gemma Fàbregas to help children with Down syndrome or autism learn how to read), FilmClub (an innovative film-based educational project developed by Miquel Cerdà) and B-Resol (a tech solution developed by Josep Figols to detect and handle conflicts in schools that has received funding from Invergy).

Aside from the EdTech event, UOC Vice President Fitó will also take part in a round table discussion on Learnability: How Technology Can Help Professionals Learn Quickly and Effectively.

Inspiring the entrepreneurs of the future

The UOC is also part of the organizing team behind Pre-seed Tech Start-up Pitch: Inspiring the Future on 26 February alongside Catalunya Emprèn and other Catalan universities. The event will take place at Barcelona's Canòdrom (Carrer de Concepción Arenal, 165). It will look to showcase the projects developed as part of the Government of Catalonia's Primer programme to fund entrepreneurial initiatives, and provide a forum for networking between innovative projects and the entrepreneurial sector. The Primer programme has provided support for the UOC's EduTECH Emprèn programme which promotes entrepreneurship in education through the Hubbik platform. The event will also involve FilmClub, PotMath (a virtual reality app created by UOC graduate Frederic Cerón to help students with learning difficulties) and Chordata (an initiative developing motion capture outfits and 3D products which was awarded first prize in last year’s #SpinUOC, the annual entrepreneurship programme for members of the UOC community).

More start-ups supported by the UOC will take part in other activities. Go Zero Waste, which is developing an app to reduce the waste produced in our daily shopping, and SeniorDomo, a telecare tool for older adults, will take part in the Tech4SDG session looking at how we can meet the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Dicus, a communication tool for doctors, will take part in the digital health event.

Fitó said that "this event shows how innovation (as a catalyst for social and economic progress) and digital technologies are coming together around us and it provides the UOC with the opportunity to showcase these synergies. Meetings like this one help us forge links between the initiatives we're backing through Hubbik, the University's entrepreneurial platform, and the innovative and entrepreneurial ecosystem."

A one-off event

The number of registrations was already over 3,000 in the first 24 hours, and the organizers are hoping that some 5,000 people will attend. The event was bound to be a success given the swarm of tweets appearing with the hashtag #TechSpiritBarcelona. Barcelona Tech Spirit is backed by Barcelona Tech City, Barcelona City Council, the Government of Catalonia, the Government of Spain, Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Consorci de la Zona Franca and the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce, alongside other members of the entrepreneurial community. According to the organizers, the idea is for it to be a one-off event "which will only be held this year. It doesn't aim to be an alternative or a replacement for other events. It will simply fill the void left in one of the most important weeks of the year for the local, Spanish and international digital and tech communities. The aim is to provide the start-up sector with a packed agenda of activities that offer the chance to meet up and network."