Manager. Location. Partners. Those where the tree main questions surrounding Campus Madrid when Google announced in late 2014 that Madrid would be next city to host one of its entrepreneur-friendly buildings.
Few months later the company announced both the location and the person in charge of Campus Madrid (Sofia Benjumea), so the only -although big- question remaining was the list of partners Google would choose to run two key sections within the building: the accelerator and coworking spaces.
As we’ve previously mentioned, all of Google’s Campus buildings work the same way. The Mountain View-based company signs agreements with partners that run the accelerator and coworking space within Campus.
SeedRocket, Campus Madrid’s accelerator
Founded by Jesús Monleon and Vicente Arias, SeedRocket is one of the oldest and most iconic startup accelerators in Spain with a significant track record that includes companies such as Redbooth (Teambox), Marfeel or Kantox.
Iñaki Arrola, founder of Coches.com and one of the main partners at Venture Capital firm Vitamina K, will be SeedRocket’s director in the Spanish capital.
Contrary to how most accelerators work, SeedRocket does not invest -or take any equity- in the startups that participate in its week long programs. Instead, these get direct access to the program’s vast network of business angels and mentorship sessions that cover all aspects associated with building and scaling companies.
SeedRocket has traditionally run two programs per year -one in Barcelona and one in Madrid- and we understand that the latter will take place at Campus from now on. This has not been confirmed, but the idea is that after the program some of the startups will have access to the whole floor SeedRocket will occupy at Campus.
Asked about why SeedRocket, Campus Madrid manager Sofia Benjumea told me that she believes “we both share the same mission, which is first and foremost to help and improve the Spanish startup ecosystem”. “Our goal at Campus is to try to build bridges between Spain’s multiple startup ecosystems and communities”, she says. “Starting with Madrid and Barcelona, but also beyond that”.
TechHub, coworking from abroad
Here’s the most surprising decision made by Google when it comes to Campus. For months there was speculation about which coworking space will move to Campus Madrid to accommodate entrepreneurs and startups, but what many didn’t expect was for a foreign company to run it.
TechHub, founded in London in 2010 by Elizabeth Varley and TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher, will open its first office ever in Spain and will bring its expertise in running startup-focused coworking spaces to our shores.
Although this decision will probably raise some eyebrows from the local ecosystem, it will also be well received by many who were looking for Google to attract foreign companies -with everything that entails- to Spain.
“We loved that TechHub is solely focused on tech startups and also their global ambition”, Sofia explains. “In the same way that Campus Madrid residents will be able to stay at other Campuses around the world, TechHub allows its residents to do the same in all of the company’s seven cowering spaces”.
It should be noted that one of TechHub founding partners is Google.
Although there have been no indications as to what the prices of TechHub Madrid will be, we understand that they will be similar to those of other spaces in Madrid. “The idea is to add to the ecosystem and be a positive force, not to steal from it”, the company said.
In today’s announcement Google also revealed that DO EAT will run the cafeteria at Campus Madrid, which will have capacity for up to 150 people, free WiFi and plugs for entrepreneurs and startups.
“One of the key elements of Campus London is its cafeteria”, says Sarah Drinkwater in a short visit we recently paid to the British capital. “Entrepreneurs are welcomed to stay at the cafeteria for as long as they want, there are mobile devices at their disposal for testing purposes and the main idea behind the cafe is to serve as a networking tool for entrepreneurs, teams and even investors”.
An atmosphere that Google will try to replicate in Madrid. The stakes are high, but the opportunity is also big.
Campus Madrid is set to open its doors on June 22nd.
Disclaimer: Google covered the expenses associated to the trip to Campus London.