Momentum: the Economy Starts Up here

Don’t tell anyone, it’s a big secret; but some people are ‘starting’ new companies instead of closing them!

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Young talent is giving Momentum to the Valencian economy.

If we read some newspapers it’s easy to get the impression that the only thing happening in the business sector is closure and redundancies. However, there are some entrepreneurs (as we English say), who are following the popular American maxim: “when the going gets tough, the tough get going”. One clear example of this is the youthful team at ‘Momentum’.

Momentum was born from a chance meeting between two restless young men with the will to succeed. Jorge Dobón, a kind of Madrid version of Bill Gates, who had set up his first company at the age of 20 when still at University (in fact he continues to combine work and university studies), and a Valencian lawyer and economist with work experience in Brussels and Manhattan, Alfonso Zumárraga, who had worked for Uria Menéndez and Deloitte in Valencia, but felt the need to take his own decisions, be his own boss and follow his own path.

Together they launched ‘Momentum’ in February 2013, putting together a team of young, creative experts: Violeta Garín, communications and corporate culture; Elisa Gómez, graphic and web design; Ximo Mompó, chief technology officer; Flan (forget the jokes, they’ve all already been made), creative director and Ana Ortiz, administration).

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Momentum is an organisation that seeks to learn from successes in other countries, adapting them to Spanish culture and then acting as a kind of non-sexual dating agency; bringing together investors and suitable entrepreneurs to see the projects through to fruition.

Good ideas are essential for launching a new business, but they must be backed up by the necessary financial support and also monitored by well intentioned, relevant experts.

Part of the team therefore is Francisco Gimeno, who analyses foreign projects, which are then evaluated at Minimum Viable Product weekends, where the wheat is separated from the chaff through exhaustive analysis, employing ‘fail but fail fast’ and Lean methodologies..

Among the well placed advisors who help to keep projects on a firm footing is Carlos Garcia Ordoñez, a private banker connected to Morgan Stanley, who spends his time commuting between Madrid and Switzerland, and Pedro Bisbal, a director at CVBAN bank, one of the business angels, whose job it is to provide seed capital for start ups without the need to go to the High Street banks, whose function these days often seems to be the mystical quest for different ways to say ‘no’.

Other advisors are lawyers Carlos Perez-Marsa Vallbona, Javier Rodríguez Martínez and Borja López, as well as Raúl Salazar of the Circulo Rojo advertising agency, Miguel Amo, a partner at the ConnectU communication agency and Adam Lehl an expert in design and typography.

In a very short time, Momentum has indeed picked up momentum and helped to create five new companies.

The first is Minuto 116, an online football magazine for the thinking public, with 6,000 downloads and climbing; Futmi Store, an online sports products retailer; Chef Takeaway, the first of  three ‘in-house’ projects, in which Momentum puts its money where its mouth is and is an active partner in the company. Chef Takeaway brings together chefs and customers who would like a meal prepared in their home for that special occassion that my wife always forgets, and not have to wash up and clean up afterwards, which I always forget.

Entrenar.me is a similar idea, except that the customer can find a personal trainer, who would probably also make a sandwich if asked; and Quehaceres, which also helps the busy business person (or lazy slob) who can’t find the time to deal with that annoying backlog of household chores and needs somebody flexible enough to bend over and pick up their dirty underwear (as well as the ironing, painting, shopping, sewing, repairs or whatever); but mostly picking up underwear.

So, if you have that brilliant idea that you’re always talking about after the fifth gin and tonic, or if you’re just tired of your boss telling youto stop reading the newspaper and do some work, perhaps Momentum can give you a push in the right direction; unless of course you like the dole queue.

www.momentum.do

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