HiT Barcelona 2009: World meeting where innovation and investment meet

May 20 2009

HiT Barcelona will host the finals of the Global Entrepreneurship Competition, a pioneering initiative to promote great business ideas that will bring together entrepreneurs and investors from around the world.

From the 17th to 19th June, the 28 best business plans developed by the most innovative companies in the world will compete for the necessary investment to develop and drive forward their businesses.  The 28 finalists will include the three Spanish winners of the La Caixa Emprendedor XX1 competition and the winner of the XV Forum d’Inversió organized by ACC1Ó.

A unique opportunity

The nominated business plans represent 24 countries and cover a wide variety of sectors including biotechnology, telecommunications, software, chemical, education, industrial design or finance.  The products and services that these companies are developing are extremely varied from institutional e-learning platforms, artificial skin for the treatment of burns or a laser or the treatment of cancer to a programme for managing solid urban waste via web-GPRS, an astronomy market that identifies celestial objects or a web to promote citizen journalism.

The World Nominating Committee lead by Professor Jerome S. Engel, Executive Director of the Lester Centre for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley, includes representatives from 26 of the most prestigious ‘Entrepreneurship Centres’ (Business schools, incubators, technology parks and universities), such as MIT and Berkeley (who are collaborating together for the first time in history), Cambridge University Business School and INSEAD.
According to Jerry Engel:

this competition is a unique opportunity to bring together in Barcelona, the most innovative and strategic early stage companies from around the world.  We hope that the competition will assist these companies achieve success and become examples of innovation and business leadership for entrepreneurial companies in their countries, and that their success will serve as an inspiration for other organization to focus on obtaining the same or even greater levels of success.

A valuable selection

The 28 finalists of this International competition will have the opportunity to present their business projects to the investment community attending HiT Barcelona: private investors, business angels venture capital companies, private and public fund managers, family offices, business banks, etc.

They will be responsible for selecting the winners via an original voting system that will use HiT bank notes that all participating investors will receive at the meeting.

The participating projects will compete for:
­    A € 90,000 award divided into:
•    1st Prize of € 50,000
•    2nd Prize of € 20,000
•    3rd Prize of € 10,000
•    Best Presentation Award of € 5,000
•    Social Value Award of € 5,000
­    Opportunity to participate in entrepreneurial development programs organised by Barcelona Activa and 22@ Barcelona.

In addition, all finalists will be offered “HiT Barcelona” office space in the technological district of 22 @ Barcelona to set up the European headquarters for their company.

HiT Barcelona is an initiative of the Spanish Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism, the Autonomous Government of Catalonia, the Barcelona City Council (via their Finance, Economy and Innovation Departments), the Barcelona Chamber of Commerce and La Caixa.  It is organised by the Fira de Barcelona and the Barcelona Plà Estrategic. The first edition of the event is expected to bring to Barcelona over 2,500 business leaders from the 17th to the 19th of June 2009.