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Alhambra Venture kicks off with Granada as «epicenter of entrepreneurship and talent».

Granada is the city of entrepreneurship as of this Tuesday. Alhambra Venture, organized and promoted by IDEAL, described as the largest business and innovation event in southern Spain, brings together entrepreneurs and investors for two days to promote projects in different areas. The Palacio de Congresos y Exposiciones was a hive of people and ideas on this first day.

In its tenth edition, it has reached record numbers of investors and finalists. At the presentation of the event, the first to speak was the director of IDEAL, Eduardo Peralta, who welcomed all attendees, from entrepreneurs to investors and exhibitors. The inauguration was also supported by institutional representatives of all local, regional and national administrations.

He highlighted the role of this great event and of the newspaper in serving as a lever in «our environment» to encourage creativity, entrepreneurship and investment. And he defended being the driving force behind initiatives that bring benefits, all from a media outlet «offering information that is close to the people and of high quality». He wished everyone a successful conference.

Kissy Chandiramani, Councilor for Economy and Finance of Ceuta, was proud to be in Alhambra Venture and to present the city of Ceuta in Granada, which is «ten». He highlighted key aspects of Ceuta such as «we are an administration open to investment; special economic and fiscal regime that allows savings of fifty percent; commitment to talent and training, as well as contacts and that it is the best city». To conclude that «the best is its people». «Please come and meet us and we are at your disposal,» he concluded.

Antonio Miguel Posadas Chinchilla, Secretary General for Research and Innovation of the Regional Government’s Department of Universities, pledged support for the Alhambra Venture from the regional government. This event, which is a meeting point for innovation, investment and business promotion, places Andalusia in the spotlight of entrepreneurship. And he highlighted «the role of entrepreneurs, which is key to making our economy more competitive and global».

Future entrepreneurship must focus on «innovation and knowledge to respond to the demands of the new reality». Andalusia has strengths such as being one of the communities with one of the largest entrepreneurship ecosystems. Andalusia is the second community with the most «gazelles» companies and is also a benchmark for autonomous growth in Spain.

He added that Andalusia is in a privileged geostrategic area. «And we also have infrastructure and resources,» he added. And, on the other hand, he described the financing programs and tools offered by the Board to entrepreneurs.

The opening ceremony was closed by Marifrán Carazo, Mayor of Granada, who thanked IDEAL for holding this event that places Granada at the «epicenter of entrepreneurship and talent». He advanced the City Council’s commitment to entrepreneurship as well as the development of a project accelerator office to encourage and go hand in hand with companies and entrepreneurs from the first minute. «It is important to accompany from the beginning of the venture,» he said.

The councilwoman boasted that Granada is «the best city to live in and also to invest in, to attract talent and to retain it». He maintained that it is necessary in this strategy to go hand in hand with other administrations and «of course the Junta de Andalucía» as well as private initiative.

Alhambra Venture celebrates its first decade and the balance is, as it was exposed in the first day, of a vertiginous development. It currently has 852 startups and scaleups (companies in the process of consolidation and growth, the next step up from startups) identified in the region with a value of 900 million euros. Meanwhile, in 2013, emerging companies as a whole barely reached 100 million euros.

This year some thirty startups are participating (in search of funding and the prize). In these years, the largest entrepreneurship event in southern Spain has raised more than 103 million euros for its startups. It has analyzed more than 680 projects and selected 189 as finalists. Seventy-six percent of them are still active and growing. This event, promoted and organized by IDEAL, is attended by national and international investors.

The event was presented by Helena Díez-Fuentes.

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