The second ‘On the way to scaleup‘ meetup organised by Wayra and Startup Valencia featured 4 entrepreneurs who are in the process of scaling their startups and, as a result, are generating a huge impact in their sectors.

The event, which took place on Wednesday the 30th of March at the Zeus offices, was presented by Nacho Mas, CEO of Startup Valencia, and Marta Antúnez, Barcelona Hub director at Wayra. During his speech, Mas invited attendees to the fifth edition of the Valencia Digital Summit (VDS2022), to be held from the 24th to 26th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, which will bring together 250+ investors, 150+ corporations and 1,500+ startups and offer them the opportunity to showcase their projects to the more than 10,000 attendees expected this year.

The director of Telefónica’s innovation hub in Barcelona highlighted the value of these meetings as “a space for entrepreneurs to share the challenges they have experienced during the process of growing their startups into scaleups”. She also explained that the Valencian ecosystem is experiencing tremendous growth in recent years, with Wayra Barcelona’s last three investments being made in Valencian startups. 

During the round table, moderated by Gonzálo Pérez, Head of Business Development at Wayra, the common challenges that startups face when scaling up were presented and the focus was on two topics: internationalisation and attracting/retaining talent.

As Co-founder and CEO of Camillion Adrián Doménech commented, when it comes to entrepreneurship it is necessary to adopt a ‘global market’ mentality from the very first day. “An entrepreneur cannot be thinking about a local solution. At the end of the day, the goal is to become a category leader,” he said.

When it comes to internationalising a product or service, Domenech points out that you must take geographical risks. He gave his own experience as an example, explaining how for his startup the leap to Mexico was a natural one. “We went to the US and found our first Mexican client, then we went to Mexico and found more potential clients there until we gradually established an operational base in the country. Mexico is no longer the back door of the USA, it is a country in which you can live 4 hours away from investors and capital that can help you scale”, he explained.

Fran Villalba, Founder and CEO of Internxt, also mentioned internationalisation as something natural and organic for his business model, in which focusing on a local model did not make sense. “Success for Internxt would be competing with tech giants such as Google and going public in the USA in a few years’ time”, he said.

challenges facing rapidly scaling startups


Carles Morales, Co-founder of Orpheus, explained that in his case, onboarding in other countries is more complicated and that they have focused their strategy on validating the model in Catalonia and then replicating it in other places.

Iris Cuevas, CTIO of HOPU, shared a similar view on the complexity of internationalisation. “Our project is deeply rooted in local legislation and public administration and changes even more if it’s in another country. For us, going international is much more than just opening an office abroad; we need to hire local people with knowledge of the country’s own legislation,” she explained.

As for attracting and retaining talent, for Cuevas the most complicated thing for a startup is knowing how to retain it. To deal with this situation, HOPU works on the motivation and training of its employees.

Fran Villalba stressed that the key to the scaling process is adaptability: “we have had to adapt our culture, integrating remote work for example, in order to hire the best profiles in engineering”. Adrián Doménech pointed to trust as a fundamental pillar when it comes to managing human resources. 

Furthermore, Carlos Morales explained that “one of Orpheus’ main concerns is maintaining the company culture every time a new person joins the team”.

After the round table, both attendees and speakers were able to share their experiences and points of view in the networking space that brought the meetup to a close.



Working together
makes us stronger

Working together
makes us stronger