Barcelona Notes

I was in Bafotografrcelona to participate the EBAN Board Meeting hosted by BANC, the Business Angels Network De Catalunya on the 20th and 21th of February.

EBAN was established under the auspices of the European Commission in 1999 by a group of early business angel networks in Europe and EURADA (the European Association of Development Agencies).

My first visit to Barcelona was to share expert view about challenging start-up stories presented in the CEO-Colloborative Forum of Europe last year. My expert view for financing a start-up was required by David Foresham, the co-President of CEO-CF Europe. In this visit, l could also find an oppurtunity to chat with the Economy Minister of Catalunya during a reception at the Royal Palace.

Barcelona  is the capital city of the autonomous community of Catalonia in Spain, and the second largest city in the country, with a population of 1,620,943within its administrative limits. The urban area of Barcelona extends beyond the administrative city limits with a population of around 4.5 million, being the sixth-most populous urban area in the European Union after Paris, London, the Ruhr, Madrid and Milan. About five millionpeople live in the Barcelona metropolitan area. It is the largest metropolis on the Mediterranean Sea, located on the coast between the mouths of the rivers Llobregat and Besòs, and bounded to the west by the Serra de Collserola mountain range, the tallest peak of which is 512 metres (1,680 ft) high.

Founded as a Roman city, in the Middle Ages Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. After merging with the Kingdom of Aragon, Barcelona continued to be an important city in the Crown of Aragon. Besieged several times during its history, Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The headquarters of the Union for the Mediterranean is located in Barcelona. The city is known for hosting the 1992 Summer Olympics as well as world-class conferences and expositions and also many international sport tournaments.

Barcelona is today one of thIMG_0955e world’s leading tourist, economic, trade fair/exhibitions and cultural-sports centres, and its influence in commerce, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. It is a major cultural and economic centre in southwestern Europe (Iberian Peninsula), 24th in the world (before Zürich, after Frankfurt)[9] and a financial centre (Diagonal Mar and Gran Via). In 2008 it was the fourth most economically powerful city by GDP in the European Union and 35th in the world with GDP amounting to €177 billion. In 2012 Barcelona had a GDP of $171.0 billion; it is lagging Spain on both employment and GDP per capita change. In 2009 the city was ranked Europe’s third and one of the world’s most successful as a city brand. In the same year the city was ranked Europe’s fourth best city for business and fastest improving European city, with growth improved by 17% per year,but it has since been in a full recession with declines in both employment and GDP per capita, with some recent signs of the beginning of an economic recovery.Barcelona is a transport hub with one of Europe’s principal seaports, an international airport which handles above 35 million passengers per year, an extensive motorway network and a high-speed rail line with a planned link to France and the rest of Europe.

BhLGT1PIUAAnorTEBAN is the independent and non-profit European Trade Association for angel investors, Seed Funds, and other Early Stage Market Players.

EBAN was established under the auspices of the European Commission in 1999 by a group of early business angel networks in Europe and EURADA (the European Association of Development Agencies).

Its charter is to represent the early stage investment market in Europe; carry out research on the angel market and produce facts and trends; identify and share best practices in the early stage funding industry; promote the role and visibility of business angel networks and early stage funds in Europe; promote synergies and networking opportunities among various players in the industry; support the emergence of professional structures and quality standards across Europe; and support the internationalization of the angel and early stage industry and movement.

Members include individual business angel networks from European countries, regional and national federations of business angels networks, business angel networks with international focuses, early stage venture capital funds and other entities involved in promoting the early stage investment market in Europe. Together with its North American counterpart, ACA, it was a founding member of WBAA, the World Business Angels Association.

Each year EBAN holds a pan-European Congress in a different European city. The edition of 2014 will be in Dublin (19-20 May 2014).

EBAN has 12 board members from Europe.

  1. Luisa Alemany, ESADE, SPAIN
  2. Baybars Altuntas, TBAA, TURKEY
  3. Paulo Andrez, FNABA, PORTUGAL
  4. Francisco Banha, Gesventure/ Business Angels Club, PORTUGAL
  5. Peter E. Braun, Mountain Club AG, SWITZERLAND
  6. Aleksandar Cabrilo, Serbian Business Angels, SERBIA
  7. Albert Colomer, BANC, CATALUNYA
  8. Candace Johnson, Sophia Business Angels, FRANCE
  9. Ari Korhonen, FiBAN, FINLAND
  10. Hedda Pahlson-Moller, LBAN, LUXEMBOURG
  11. Juan Roure, AEBAN, SPAIN
  12. Dimitris G.E. Tsigos, Start Tech, GREECE

EBAN Board elects an executive committee from Board members to run the Daily activities and executions of the board decisions. Elected Executive Committee Members of EBAN are:

  1. Paulo Andrez, Portugal – President of Executice Committee
  2. Ari Korhonen, Finland – Vice president of Executice Committee
  3. Albert Colomer, Spain – Member of Executice Committee
  4. Baybars Altuntas, Turkey – Member of Executice Committee

You can reach the short biographies of the executive ream at:

Luis Galveias is the Director of Secretairet and Pablo Garrido is the Office and Membership Manager of EBAN.


Board Mfoto 11eeting of EBAN was in Moscow 6 months ago and now in Barcelona. Next Board Meeting will be in Dublin on the 18th of May. Barcelona Board Meeting was hosted by BANC who was led by Albert Colomer, the Executive Committee & Board Member of EBAN.

We stayed at the Vincci Hoteles – Bit just a few meters away the BANC Center where our board meeting would be.

I arrived Barcelona on 19th of February. L hired the taxi at the web site of the hotel because it is really a little bit difficult to find an English speaking taxi driver in Barcelona. Vincci Bit hotel organised a very good taxi service for just 45 EUR and l was at the hotel 40 minutes later l arrived.

Hotel was nice and l can not share a very extra ordinary feature of it very much. My hard pillow was ready and rooms were alittle bit hot even when the air condition was off. However, breakfast was nice.

l met with Paulo Andrez, the EBAN President on that day and chatted until midnight because we were the only board members who came one day before the event.

The next morning Ari Korhonen from Finland arrived at the hotel around 11 00 and me, Paulo and Ari moved to Albert’s office to make an EC – Executive Committee meeting – which we make regularly every two weeks at skype.IMG_2529IMG_2515

Then we had been to a very nice restaurant with the participation of Luis, Pablo, Alex, Lorraine, Peter for lunch. What was nice with the restaurant that it had a very nice garden where entrepreneurs were coming together to produce new business ideas by looking at the sunny sky. I think, some of them who were about 70s, were in the garden for the last 50 years and still couldn’t produce a business idea that would workJ

After lunch, everybody moved to BANC Center where our board meeting would be. From 15 00 to 19 00 was our board meeting and then we moved to Grupo Tragaluz, a wonderful restaurant at the beach. Our reservation was in a private room where we found an oppurtunity to talk about everything in the world.


After our excellent dinner, group was ready for W to have an excellent view of Barcelona. Because of the high sound in 42nd floor, me, Luis and Francisco left the group after a short period of time and wen to our beds.

The next morning we were a little bit ( 15 minutes, l think) late for the board meeting but we had enough time until our flights in the evening. Thefotograf presentation of Hedda Pahlson-Moller on Impact Investment was great. Candace Jonhson’s vision for the future of EBAN was excellent. ( l can not give more details because board decisions are subject to circulation to EBAN members only). Lunch after this second part of the meeting was again in a very nice meat and fish restaurant at the walking distance.

Albert presented very nice notebooks prepared to each board member’s name as a memory of Barcelona and our meeting ended at 12 30.

My flight was at 17 45, Paulo’s to Lisbon was at 18 00, Ari’s to Helsink via Berlin was at 18 10. So we hired the same taxi who brought me from the airport. The taxi driver had come back to Barcelona after he lived many years in Venezuela due to economic situations.


l had met with David Frodsham on 10th of April, 2013 in the event of Europe Un-limited in Berlin where l was the panfotograf2el speaker of the session highlighted the importance of the collaborations between family offices and business angels.

David was the co-President of CEO Colloborative Forum and 2013 Pan Euro Meeting was in Barcelona. Pan Euro Meeting in Barcelona was hosted by ESADECREAPOLIS and the Generalitat de Catalunya in Barcelona.

David Frodsham and Dave Darsch were an excellent couple who created this initiative and an excellent team to foster intensive pure peer collaboration, to meet and learn from collegues old and new, and the oppurtunity to contribute to others.

Pan Europe Meeting had 9 different sessions where  each session had a challenging question of a CEO-CF Forum’s member, a presenter and 3 experts were expected to discover the key-findings in a collaboration with the participants who were CEO Collaborative Forum’s members.

Since all sessions were running as parallel sessions, participants had to choose one of the sessions to follow. Each session had maximum 30 participants where each of them were in the session to increase their skill and make networking with experts and each other.


  1. Global Expansion
  2. Boards and Advisors
  3. Talent Development
  4. M&A, Exits
  5. Financing Debt & Risk Management
  6. Marketing and Brand Awareness
  7. Sales and Business Development
  8. Life Sciences
  9. Early Stage Boot Camp

David invited me to share my expert insights with the group in the Early Stage Boot Camp during te reception of the Venture Club at Soho House in Berlin which was on the 10th of April, 2013. l accepted this invitation with pleasure because questions they were looking for answers were quite related with my practical experience in the field.

Track leader :

ü  Jose Miguel Herrero;

Experts :

ü  Baybars Altuntas,

ü  Menno Mariën,

ü  Jordi Mora;

ü  Xavier Lesauvage;

Early Stage Boot Camp was looking fort he key-findings about the following challenging issues:

  1. At what stage should inital finance be sought, and for how much?
  2. Should launch customers be given exclusivity?
  3. How do l find good VCs who might be interested in investing?
  4. The product is completed, but marketing looks daunting – should l consider licensing instead?
  5. How do l use equity to attract really good people, prepared to work for very little?

Click for Key Findings of the Early Stage Boot Camp:

Post-Meeting Pack Early Stage Boot Camp

For other sessions, you can visit the following link:

l arrived at Barcelona Airport at 16 40 after a 3,5 hours flight from Istanbul by Turkish Airlines on 9th of June, 2013 and it took 25 minutes to reach Hotel AC Sant Cugat. Hotel was nice but a little out of downtown so l could find nothing to discover around.

In the same evening we were taken by bus to another hotel fort he reception and then dinner where l could find an oppurtunity to see some of the participants who were CEOs of various companies from all over the world.

The next morning were taken by bus to ESADECREAPOLIS. ESADECREAPOLIS is an open community with the aim of inspiring, facilitating and accelerating innovation. The community is centered on ESADECREAPOLIS´s ecosystem and provides access to events, content, challenges, innovation programs and a unique social network.

Philosophy of the ceIMG_0996nter:

Collaboration: No great enterprise was started by one person. Connect with great people from great companies with the dynamics you need to innovate collectively.

Openness: The dynamic flow of information is the spirit of collaborative innovation. With a transparent network of innovators, you can leverage the power of external knowledge and combine it with your own to make the leap into new levels of excellence.

Community: The whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Our community is the platform that will drive your innovation and keep you connected with ecosystem members in a mutually beneficial way.

They help entrepreneurs grow their businesses through mentorship, business plan development, collaborative workspaces, specialized events and a variety of other startup-centered solutions. Additionally, ESADECREAPOLIS is home to High-Performance programs such as EMPENTA, which is a government-led accelerator program for technology companies, and the Digital Export Accelerator, which is a program managed by companies such as Deloitte, DHL and Google.

My comment: l am not able to dream a better choice for such kind of an forum. l enjoyed everything at ESADECREAPOLIS.

ESADE : The name of the business school – one of the best in Europe

CREA : Creativity in Latin

POLIS : City in Latin

My friends from EBAN, Luisa Alemany and Juan Roure are also academicians in important schools of Spain / Catalunya and Europe:

Luisa Alemany teaches entrepreneurship at  ESADE :

Juan Roure teaches entrepreneurship at IESE :

After a long day in the ESADECREAPOLIS, we moved to Catalunya Presenditial Palace where we were welcomed by the Minister of Economy of Catalunya. WeIMG_1003 had a reception and dinner and could find opportunity to talk with the Mr Minister. It was a lovely night in Barcelona.

This Catalunya issue is an interesting issue that we follow with a high interest from Turkey due to some reasons. What we, as Turks, want to learn clearly that:

1.       What was the effect of EU to the increasement/decreasement of Catalunya issue ?

2.       If Catalunya becomes an independent country after referandum, then is it going to be automatically become an EU Member or not?

The name Catalunya (Catalonia) began to be used as homeland of “Catalans” (Catalanenses) in the late 11th century, probably used before as a mere territorial area in reference to a group of counties that comprised part of the March of Gothia and March of Hispania under the control of the Count of Barcelona and his relatives. The origin of the name, Catalunya, is subject to diverse interpretations because of a lack of evidence.

One theory suggests that Catalunya (Latin Gathia Launia) derives from the name Gothia or Gauthia (“Land of the Goths“), since the origins of the Catalan counts, lords and people were found in the March of Gothia, known as Gothia, whence Gothland > Gothlandia > Gothalania > Catalonia theoretically derived. During the Middle Ages, Byzantine chroniclers claimed that Catalania derives from the local medley of Goths with Alans, initially constituting a Goth-Alania.

Other less plausible theories suggest:

Catalunya derives from the term “land of castles”, having evolved from the term castlà, the medieval term for the ruler of a castle (see castellan). This theory therefore suggests that the names Catalunya and Castile have a common root.

The source is of Celtic origin, meaning “chiefs of battle”. Although the area is not known to have been occupied by Celts, a Celtic culture was present within the interior of Iberia in pre-Roman times.

The Lacetani, an Iberian tribe that lived in the area and whose name, due to the Roman influence, could have evolved by metathesis to Katelans and then Catalans.

In English, Catalonia may be pronounced /kætəˈlniə/ or /kætəˈlnjə/. The native name, Catalunya, is pronounced [kətəˈɫuɲə] in Central Catalan, the most widely spoken variety whose pronunciation is considered standard; while in Western Catalan it is pronounced [kataˈluɲa]. The Spanish name is Cataluña ([kataˈluɲa]), and the Aranese name is Catalonha ([kataˈluɲɔ]). In French, the country is called Catalogne ([katalɔɲ]).


IMG_0972The team of David & Dave is excellent. They found a very valuable HR in Catalunya, all are from US and UK. Thanks to Megan Thomas ( Megan is a car brand of Renault in Turkey J ) , who was my follower during all events, everything went well.

Paul Witkay, the Founder And CEO of Alliance of Chief Executives, is collaborating with David & Dave. He is running such kind of a programme in United states. He is also a very positive person like David & Dave.

l met with my friends from EBAN in the forum: Dusan Stojanovic from Sweden and William Stevens from Europe Unlimited.

You can click for a better understanding of the CEO-CF : This Way Up – Our Offer for You

You can click for the post meeting pack of the CEO-CF : Post-Meeting Pack Early Stage Boot Camp

Here is a link of an article about CEO Groups : what is a CEO group and should l join one?

Venkatesh Eswaran was a very positive person from India. His daughter is going to translate my book into one of the languages spoken in India.

Gokce Bilyay was the only CEO from Turkey. Number of CEOs from Turkey participating CEO-CF will increase in the near   future, l believe.

World Economic Forum was represented by Thorsten Jelinek from Davos and who was an expert of China’s economic    transformation.

My room number at AC Hotels was: 131

IMG_0958EBAN was established under the auspices of the European Commission in 1999 by a group of early business angel networks in Europe and EURADA (the European Association of Development Agencies).l attended a very nice city in Barcelona in my first visit.

You can visit the following link to see what is going to happen at CEO-CF in 2014:

To have an idea about CEO-CF 2013, you can watch the following 2 minutes video:

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