As every year, the entrepreneurial event par excellence kicks off. And like every year, the meeting –scheduled from October 5 to 7– begins with the presentation of the Entrepreneurship Map. The South Summit 2021, which comes from a decaf 2020 with its 100% online version, wants to recover the best of mass events.
María Benjumea, founder of Startup Spain and creator of the meeting, has been clear: “If we talk about business, this cannot be done online, we have to see each other.” Despite keeping all options online for the meeting, South Summit 2021 wants to set the trend for post-pandemic encounters. It could be said that from the outcome of the entrepreneurs’ event, we will be able to see how the rest of the events evolve one year from now. A fact of vital importance when for next February-March 2022 the Mobile World Congress wants to regain its brilliance of yesteryear.
The first data from the South Summit 2021
As every year, South Summit prepares a Map that aims to analyze the evolution of the entrepreneurial ecosystem. With the data extracted from the almost more than 3,800 startups that are summoned to the different challenges of the meeting, the event tries to analyze the evolution of the group.
As always, the entrepreneur’s data by necessity is buried. “There was an urban legend about entrepreneurship as a refuge for the workers we have left behind,” says Salvador Aragón, professor of Innovation at IE University. The reality is that most entrepreneurs are serial creators; almost 60%. The remaining 40% are part of the group that has identified a market opportunity precisely by working on other small technology companies.
Despite everything, we continue to maintain the customs of yesteryear. The founders of startups are highly qualified men –16% of them with doctorates behind them–, between 25 and 34 years old and the same trend is maintained as in previous meetings: middle-aged men. What about women? For South Summit 2021, after 8 years of annual meetings, it remains their eternal pending account.
Few women appear in large entrepreneurial competitions. Only 20% of the projects that have been presented have been founded by women. Which, in any case, stand out for focusing on unusual sectors: Ecommerce, Tourism, Agrotech o Energy mainly. Sectors in which there is a male presence, but less. On the other hand, where the presence of both men and women has fallen is in the IoT business, and where Spain and the rest of Europe are losing the opportunity. “It is not knowing how to correctly identify the opportunity in a business that is setting the tone for the future “, Aragon argues.
Along with the issue of women, according to data from South Summit 2021, the sector is also missing the boat on another issue: patents. Only 16% of startups created in Spain have intellectual property protection. Compared to China, which doubles this figure, Spain still has to work on this point.
If we go to the financing side, Spain is experiencing a sweet moment when it comes to investments. Never before have so many funds been obtained for companies in the country. Not before have so many hits been recorded as now. South Summit 2021, that brings together companies from 124 countries, confirms that it is a global trend. Never before had there been so much equity for the creation of startups and never before had so much mass of larger and longer-lasting companies.
This, among other issues, points to a trend: entrepreneurs who, after having achieved success with other companies, choose to sell and invest funds in new ideas. Also entrepreneurs who are more sensible when forecasting their income. “The loss of innocence” that it’s called; From a turnover of 50,000 euros, technology companies are much more moderate and aware of the financial reality of their companies. We are entering a field of much more mature startups and entrepreneurs.