Inspiration for 80 innovation districts around the world and several things more than 22@
On Thursday I had the pleasure of being part of the 22afterwork of 22 @ Network, interviewed by Erik Brieva. I really enjoyed the evening. Not only the conversation and the company of enterprising people from that area of the city. Also for that I learned some things I did not know. I’ll tell you about them.
Did you know that Erik Brieva was recently selected by The Technology Headlines magazine as one of the “50 Most-Admired CEOs in tech”? I leave you the link to the news. Erik … Congratulations! You’re a crack guy!
You probably know that Erik is the CEO of Strands. This company is a spinoff from “my time”. It was founded in 2004 as a spin-off company of the CSIC Artificial Intelligence Research Institute (IIIA). Initially it was dedicated to the music sector. This was when Apple created iTunes and started the music revolution on the Internet. Strands developed MusicStrands, which already offered personalized recommendations based on artificial intelligence techniques. The product was very well received. Apple ended up buying 32 patents for these first Strands solutions. The founders had previously created ISOCO, CSIC’s first spinoff, in 1999. Erik was one of those founders of ISOCO. After the agreement with Apple, the company reoriented to the financial sector. Today it is a Fintech that develops solutions for online banks and retailers to increase customer engagement and generate new revenue through digital channels. It has offices at 22 @ in Barcelona and also in Buenos Aires, Miami, Singapore and San Francisco. It has more than 300 corporations as customers and its solutions are used by 70 million users in the world of finance and also manage 900 million product recommendations each month for customers in the retail sector.
Erik is also founder and President of Bcombinator, a 1,000 m2 coworking facility located on the same 22@ and opened in 2018. That’s where we did the 22fterwork.
In the same act Xavier Monzó, president of the Association 22 @ Network told us something very interesting.
Àlex Garcia’s Picture
He informed us that the city of Dublin wants to promote an innovation district. It will be called the Grand Canal Innovation District. Xavier told us that last year, in July, they published a Manifesto that aimed to define the vision of the project. Specifically, they say that “This document outlines our vision and serves as a call to action for industry; higher education and government to Collaborate where a new and Critically important engine of growth for Ireland”.
Xavier wanted to present us with a paragraph from that Manifesto. Specifically, what it says:
“Silicon Valley is in many ways the precursor to the innovation district concept, but Barcelona’s @22, established in the early 2000’s, is seen as the inspiration for more than 80 others around the world: from Kendall Square in Boston in the mid 2000’s to more recent districts in London, New York, Singapore, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Rotterdam and Eindhoven.”
Frankly … that impacts! We knew that the 22 @ was a worldwide example, which has placed the city of Barcelona in the levels of technological prestige that it occupies today. But …. to know that 22 @ has inspired more than 80 projects from all over the world …. this impacts. A few days ago VIA EMPRESA made reference. Read it. It’s worth it. We should be proud of this technological district and of the enormous activity it concentrates!
Congratulations Xavier, Erik and all of you who work and push!
Author: Pere Condom-Vilà