Miriam Segura, Cleantech Camp’s Program Manager: “This year’s edition has turned out to be quite a challenge”
Linked from the first edition to the Cleantech camp organization, Miriam Segura is responsible for the entire operational part of the program and a fundamental “piece” for its performance. Her work ranges from managing the project selection process or coordinating the different partners, teachers, coaches, and suppliers. She is also responsible for organizing the training and networking sessions, as well as the final event. In addition, this year she has worked intensely to make the digitalization of the program a reality.
How was the selection process this year?
Initially, we received a total of 75 projects that aspired to be able to follow the program, the highest number in terms of proposals received in the different editions of Cleantech Camp. Of all of them, 45 were selected to present their project to our Committee of experts, who were the ones who finally chose the 15 business ideas that will follow this year’s edition. It should be noted that the selection has been complicated since we are pleasantly surprised by the level of the proposals received. In the era of entrepreneurship, many projects are beginning to develop, but there are not so many ideas that have the necessary solidity or an innovative approach.
What would you highlight of the selected projects?
It is one of the editions in which we have received a greater number of projects from Spain, which allows us to have an optimistic view of the situation of the sector in our country. We also have Portuguese, French and British projects, in less quantity, but equally high quality. Regarding the thematic areas, the most prominent are Biogas and Hydrogen and Mobility, which could be interpreted as a reflection of the needs and trends of the market, in terms of energy and sustainability.
This year’s edition is marked by the need to adapt to the current situation. How will this year’s edition develop?
For us, it is turning out very interesting, as well as a great challenge, to move the content of the program from the traditional format to the digital one. We have implemented two platforms to the program, in order to adapt the content to the new situation, but all this without losing value. On one hand, we are using software that combines all live sessions on a single platform, the meetings, training sessions or networking events. On the other hand, we are working with the 2DigitsGrowth team and its Acceleralia platform to manage the Business Plan and pilot proposals.
It is a very useful tool, since it offers support throughout the process, guiding the development of the pilots and providing extra resources to the training sessions that we give them in live format during the program. The combination of both platforms covers all the needs of Cleantech Camp. All this has meant a great change in operations and has required the adaptation of all the professionals who are part of the program, but we are very satisfied with the work we have done!
What will entrepreneurs who follow the program find on the platform?
The program follows the same structure as in previous editions: during four weeks of training, entrepreneurs will have access to valuable content, such as training and workshops, which will help them prepare or improve their Business Plan. In addition, and as a novelty in this year’s edition, they will collaborate hand by hand with our industry partners, to develop a pilot proposal that could even be financed. And all this with the support of a mentor who will give them individual assistance.
As for the training sessions from other years, will anything change?
No, everything will remain the same, although adding more educational content. We work with top-level professionals and we have made a great effort so that the digitalization of the program does not entail changes that reduce training quality.
What advantages does the new format offer to start-ups?
Mainly comfort. In previous editions, participants traveled to Barcelona, Madrid, or Lisbon during the training weeks. On this occasion, by making it digital, entrepreneurs will be able to combine the program more easily with their daily work. If there is a busy agenda, it is the entrepreneur’s one! It is also true that being able to see the different ecosystems and interact in person with colleagues and relevant players in the sector has great value, and it is something that I hope you do not have to miss. In general, we can say that everything has its advantages and disadvantages.
Finally, what expectations does the Organization have regarding the projects that will follow the program?
We would like to close a pilot with each Industry partner and help the projects mature enough for InnoEnergy to invest in them. Regardless of this, what we want is to encourage participants to enjoy their time at Cleantech Camp, to learn everything they can, and to enrich them from the experience and from everything that the program can offer them. In this way, they will be able to give their best and their projects will benefit.