Scale Up Summit held their 17th edition on the 11th of May, 2017 at ESADE, Barcelona, Spain.
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An intensive one day event, it gave entrepreneurs, business owners, and a handful of students, the chance to network, to exchange ideas and business cards, and learn from thought leaders in the world of business. Through its roster of speakers, the summit’s goal is, as its title implies, to help attendees “scale up.” Moreover, how do you take your business to the next level? How can you increase your profits? How do you select your people and keep them motivated? What are some practical strategies for addressing your organisation’s weaknesses?
Greg Brenneman (President and CEO of CCMP Capital, Emmy Award Winner and author of Right Away and All At Once: 5 Steps to Transform Your Business and Enrich Your Life delivered the opening talk. Formerly the CEO of Continental Airlines, Greg has been credited with turning around the airline, bringing it from an average-performing airline to one of the top ten airlines in the US in terms of customer and employee satisfaction. He spoke from the heart, giving insights from both his professional and personal life.
“Let the inmates run the asylum.” Greg Brenneman
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Christopher Pommerening, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Active Venture Partners and one of the organisers of Scale Up Barcelona presented his latest project called Our Dream School, which is building the school of the future through crowdsourcing.
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The second talk was from Carlos Muñoz, another entrepreneur in the airline industry, but this time from a European context. As the co-founder of Vueling airlines, Carlos has done the unprecedented: After founding Vueling and growing it into the largest low-cost airline in Europe, he left the company when it merged with ClickAir and spent the next two years building the groundwork for his next business, Volotea, an airline that offers direct flights at competitive prices between small and medium-sized cities in southern Europe. During the talk he spoke about how he spent the two years prior to the Volotea’s launch in 2012 doing research, forming his board of advisors, recruiting investors, and deciding their business strategy.
Volotea co-founder Carlos Muñoz explains how to be more than a one-hit wonder
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The third speaker was by business thought leader Verne Harnish, founder of Entrepreneurs Organisation, an international network of small to medium businesses currently with 12,000+ leading entrepreneurs in 163 chapters and 52 countries.  EO´s goal is to enable business owners to learn from each other, leading to greater business success and an enriched personal life. Verne is the author of several books, among them Mastering the Rockefeller Habits, Scaling Up, and co-authored The Greatest Business Decisions of All Time along with the editors of Fortune magazine
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The summit rounded off in unconventional style. A 6 foot 6 inch American in pink pants to be  precise. Dave Rendall is the author of The Freak Factor and a professional public speaker, one who job, as he describes it, is to get paid to travel the world and be talkative, something he was told off for when he was young. His talk was an unconventional crowd-pleaser in that it spoke about the one thing we all have in common: weaknesses. He talked about his own experience and how he realized that makes people weird or strange is exactly what makes them unique, special, and amazing.
“What makes us weird also makes us wonderful, and what makes us weak also makes us strong.”
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In between and during the talks, attendees had the chance to interact and network over coffee and snacks. Attendees were from diverse sectors, including real estate, SaaS, health, research, just to name a few, it offered a mix that could produce some interesting results. As Scale Up Summit Barcelona also aims to stimulate the economic growth of the local community in Barcelona, a city that is redefining itself and establishing itself as a fertile ground for tech startups during this 4th industrial revolution, it couldn’t come at a better time.