Fostering Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Christina Gama
Christina Gama
August 18, 2023 • 8 minutes

At the very core of Glovo lies a commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. 

For those ignited by the entrepreneurial fire, our journey offers a roadmap to navigate the startup realm but for us, it’s just the beginning. Our story is a tale of seizing opportunities, adapting to change, and kindling the spark of innovation. 

From our humble beginnings as a startup to achieving Unicorn status in Spain to becoming a full-fledged scale up with a presence in 25 markets, our ongoing journey underscores a path that wouldn’t have been possible without hard work, help, and a little bit of luck – the three elements that every budding startup needs to succeed. 

While there is no secret formula or hard and fast playbook for going from start-up to scale-up, we believe that it’s the responsibility of those who have already been on the startup journey to help nurture the community by sharing their knowledge and experience with aspiring entrepreneurs. At the heart of all of this is Glovo House – a community and springboard that helps accelerate ideas founded by Glovo alumni. By empowering our workforce, we’ve propelled budding startups forward, equipping them with firsthand insights and essential resources to elevate their trajectory. 

Despite the potential of Europe, the global tech landscape has long been dominated by the United States and Asia as the primary hubs for innovation and development. With the future of the European startup ecosystem still undecided, we sat down with Glovo Co-Founder, Sacha Michaud, to discover more about his journey into tech, experiences as an entrepreneur, and how he envisions the future of startups in Europe. His goal is simple: to help empower the rise of European tech champions.

Can you share your journey as an entrepreneur and the key milestones that led to the success of Glovo?

At 25, I started my first company during the early stages of the internet and, as a time of great creativity in society, it was the moment I realized that technology was going to revolutionize everything we do. Since then, I’ve been building and adapting, with technology as a driving force. 

For me, the key to Glovo’s success has been to stay true to our vision while being flexible. My tactic has always been to surround myself with incredible professionals to make it all possible. 

What motivated Glovo to start focusing on supporting startups in Europe?

Oscar and I are deeply passionate about the entrepreneur network system. We enjoy discussing new ideas and how technology is propelling society and the economy forward. 

As a scale-up in Spain, Glovo- alongside other successful EU and Spanish scale-ups – serves as a role model for the entire startup community, demonstrating that Spain can indeed foster thriving tech companies. 

As two Europeans who have grown our business in Europe, we see it as an exhilarating landscape where we have made a positive impact, and we really love being a part of it. We love to be close to the founders and share our personal experience; we believe we can help and inspire with learnings from Glovo. The multiplier effect that is generated when entrepreneurs support other entrepreneurs is huge.

How does Glovo support European startups and how do you help them navigate challenges and scale their businesses? Can you elaborate on the programs, resources, or initiatives?

The most significant impact Glovo will have is through the number of employees who go on to build their own companies, and we’re already seeing close to 40 projects taking shape. 

This organic growth is our true legacy. Recognizing this potential early on led to the creation of Glovo House. We actively support our employees in this journey by providing them with firsthand experience and valuable tools that they can use to establish their own ventures. 

We also recognize the importance of building the right framework for Europe as a whole to compete with giants in the US and Asia. This involves 3 key aspects: first, increasing capital flow into Europe; second, attracting and retaining the best talent to and in Europe by providing incentives for them to build their projects here; and third, ensuring a supportive and harmonised regulatory environment that facilitates growth and impact.

Through these efforts, we aspire to empower our employees, catalyze innovation, and contribute to the overall success and growth of the playing field for startups in Europe.

How do you help startups access funding and investment opportunities?

Ensuring that these startups have access to knowledgeable advisors and mentors is crucial in making their products more viable and appealing to potential investors. For instance, crafting effective go-to-market plans can significantly enhance their chances of success and where we can make the biggest difference. 

Glovo House plays a vital role in this process, serving as a loudspeaker that connects and gives visibility to these startups to bring them closer to the tools and people that will make them grow. It provides a conducive environment for our own employees to interact, learn, and receive guidance from seasoned experts. Through our innovation hub, we can further strengthen the support system for emerging companies, equipping them with the tools they need to thrive in the competitive market.

Can you share success stories or notable achievements of startups that Glovo has supported in the past?

Within these walls, a whole bunch of exciting projects have come to life – one that stands out to me is the story of Poke House, which was led by a former Italian Country Manager. He was able to soak up knowledge during his time at Glovo and used it to cook up a successful digital restaurant brand which is exactly what we hope for our entrepreneurial employees. 

But that’s not all – we’ve got fashionistas like Laagam starting their own labels, others like Beanstock crafting bustling marketplaces, and even logistics whizzes like setting up shop. Different industries, same vibrant entrepreneurial spirit – it’s all thanks to the nurturing environment Glovo provides for a variety of business ideas to flourish.

In what ways do you foster collaboration and networking among the startups in your ecosystem?

Our primary goal is to raise awareness about these projects within the Glovo network. We strive to ensure that everyone is informed about these initiatives and, more importantly, to connect them with talented individuals at various levels.

As part of our commitment to supporting innovation, we actively participate in numerous startup competitions, or work to secure sponsorships and more. Our involvement in such competitions allows us to showcase and promote these projects, further amplifying their visibility and potential for success.

How can the EU ensure that tech champions will flourish in the European landscape?

One of our key objectives is to attract and retain top talent in Europe and foster an environment that encourages them to stay and contribute to the region’s growth. For this vision to be successful, harmonisation across Europe is essential, and regulatory frameworks must be cohesive rather than fragmented.

There are three crucial aspects we need to address in this pursuit. Firstly, we must strive to attract more capital into Europe, providing ample resources for innovation and growth. Secondly, we need to create incentives that entice the best talent to establish and develop their projects within Europe’s borders. This will not only drive technological advancements but also stimulate economic growth and job opportunities.

Thirdly, regulatory systems must facilitate and support  startups and scale-ups, enabling them to have a meaningful impact and ensuring their sustained growth. This harmonious regulatory approach will enhance the appeal of Europe as a hub for tech champions and encourage their presence in the region.

To achieve these goals, it is our responsibility to focus more on advocating for these critical issues within the EU to foster the growth of tech champions. By taking the lead and actively shaping the agenda by sharing our experience with regulators, we can create a more attractive framework for newcomers, surpassing even the conditions present when Glovo and other apps were established. Together, we can foster an environment that nurtures innovation and drives the European tech landscape to new heights.

What advice or tips do you have for European entrepreneurs seeking support and looking to join your ecosystem?

The key to success lies in identifying problems that technology can solve or improve upon. Once you’ve pinpointed such challenges, the next step is to surround yourself with talented individuals who can make it happen. With a clear focus on your North Stars and unwavering vision, remain open to flexibility in how you approach and achieve your goals and remember that there is no right or wrong way to make your ideas come to life so long as you learn to recognize and seize the right opportunities.