Spain Will Escape Its Economic Crisis Through Innovation, Entrepreneurship

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Founder Friday Madrid will be hosted by Ambiox Biotech Founding CEO Teresa Gonzalo on September 7.

By Teresa Gonzalo (Co-Founder & CEO, Ambiox Biotech)

Innovation is the only way we have to get out of the economic crisis in Spain. We cannot compete anymore in other areas such as labor, with cheaper salaries than our neighbors. Betting on being a vacation destination is not helping our economy grow. What’s left?

Innovation is vital for economic growth and it is linked with entrepreneurial activity. No matter if this activity is created within the corporation or as a sole entrepreneur. In both cases, the key responsibility of the entrepreneur in the innovation process is to convert low-performing assets into efficient onesto enhance return on investment.

Entrepreneurs create value by seizing opportunities which result in innovation. But… what determines what real innovation is?

Innovation is determined by the market. Then, Mr. Market determines what will eventually evolve as a product that the client perceives as something with added value and. Basically, innovation is the result of an entrepreneur executing a creative idea that people are motivated to buy.

It is sometimes difficult to predict the willingness of the people to pay for a creative idea because we should analyze other elements that influence the buyer: competitors, price, if the idea accurately addresses a problem or simply targets the client’s need appropriately.

I attended the MIT M+Vision conference and speaker Peter Farrell reminded us of something basic: once you have transferred your innovation and created your company, always look after three major things to keep your company on top — client satisfaction, employee satisfaction and cash flow.

I really think that this is the key to success; by maintaining these three pillars, it is hard not to be successful. I would add a fourth pillar if you want to conquer the world: think international. This way, you will gather many clients and if your business grows quickly enough, you will gain a competitive advantage.

Another great speaker, Julio Mayol, told us about the importance of not only being a leader, but having followers because “the first follower converts a lonely nut into a leader.”

This is explained in the following hilarious video by Derek Sivers about the importance of nurturing the first followers or clients as equals to start a movement or your own startup:

Summarizing this post in one sentence: the value of innovation is zero until somebody wants to buy it… let’s go for it.

This post was originally posted at Opinno.

About the guest blogger: Teresa Gonzalo is a Co-Founder and CEO at Ambiox Biotech. The need to develop a business plan to transform the market in product innovation motivated Teresa to direct a spin-off from her university: Ambiox Biotech. The company’s objective is to curb the impact of AIDS with a nanotechnology-based microbicidal gel that enables individuals to protect themselves from HIV infection during sexual intercourse. Follow her on Twitter at @TeresaGonzalo.