South Summit 2016: A big step for GoCardless in Spain
By Samantha NorthOct 20164 min read
GoCardless was one of the lucky startups to attend South Summit, along with another 7100 entrepreneurs. For those not familiar with it, South Summit gathers the greatest innovations from Southern Europe and LATAM and connects them to the region’s biggest customers and investors. Get ready to hear about how GoCardless enjoyed the experience!
08:00 Alfonso, Carles and Nicola get ready for the action
With an event like this on the horizon, getting up early is not so painful. We had our stand ready before the official doors were opened. The market place was our territory. It was the space where all the networking would occur and the meeting point for all the startups, corporate partners, accelerators and institutions. It was the place to be!
Alfonso Sainz de Baranda, our Country Manager in Spain, and Carles Marcos, Sales Development Representative for Spain, were the first to arrive and prepare everything for any early visitors. Of course, we displayed all our keychains, hats and jackets (they were the key to some major networking, but we’ll get there soon...)
09:00 South Summit starts!
South Summit’s president Maria Benjumea was responsible for the opening of the Main Arena where she told the excited crowd to make the most of the three upcoming days. Niklas Zennstrom, co-founder of Skype, followed her on stage to emphasise the importance of thinking big and thinking global. We were definitely onto that! But what mostly impacted us on that first morning, was what the cofounder of Linkedin, Allen Blue, said about small companies:
“When beginning a business you should focus on one thing at a time. Hundreds of things in our minds can cause stress and this will end up in the work not being done. It is important to delegate duties to people you trust.”
Inspiring as it was, we’re proud that GoCardless is on the right path to success knowing we can help each other.
11:30 We launch our jackets contest
To give GoCardless visibility and also have some fun with the visitors, we created a contest where people had to take a photo with our jacket. After taking the photo, they could then enter a raffle and win one of the five jackets we were giving away. Of course, everybody wanted one!
13:00 Time to network!
Our first morning at South Summit was definitely busy! Lots of friends, investors and other entrepreneurs approached us to talk about fintech and the role of GoCardless in this new revolution.
15:30 The fintech competition started
After lunch, we couldn’t miss the afternoon fintech competition. One of the most interesting talks was entitled “Revolutionising the banking system through APIs", where our VP of Marketing Nicola Anderson made us aware that from the customers’ experience we shouldn’t go wider but deeper. You can watch the whole talk in this video
18:00 End of the first day
The first day came and went faster than we would have wanted, but that meant we had an amazing time and we squeezed the most out of it! We did some last minute networking before heading back to rest and recharge our batteries for the next day.
09:00 Round two!
The morning of the second day was tremendously eclectic. We spent most of it talking to press and doing some really amazing interviews. Spanish media were very interested in knowing how we work, so ‘busy’ is the word that best describes this day.
12:40 Learning how to expand a business
This was the moment for Alfonso to do his magic. The stage was ready to welcome our Country Manager to show everyone how to open new markets for startups. There were many highlights in this talk but we chose the three basics needed to open markets: skills, brains and plasticity.
16:00 GoCardless reached Ciudadanos
The afternoon couldn’t have been more exciting! Albert Rivera, president of the political party Ciudadanos, visited South Summit. We had the opportunity to talk to him and gave him one of our jackets. We can’t deny it - our jackets are stylish!
09:00 This is the end
The end of South Summit was drawing near. We couldn’t be prouder of our presence there. We got to know lots of new people, had fun, made contacts and most importantly, made a name for ourselves in the Spanish fintech panorama. We would like to congratulate all of the winners of this impressive event and end this post by saying how excited we are about opening up new markets through Europe.
Oh yes, almost forgot - we nabbed the Mayor of Madrid and gave her one of our jackets too! ;)