Ana Guasch got involved with The Collider as it was making its initial footsteps. She was in fact, one of our very first inspirational speakers thanks to her experience and drive as a serial entrepreneur. Now living in Dubai, and despite the numerous companies she has founded and supported, Ana always maintains an attitude of endless learning and curiosity.
Following her visit to The Collider after-work talks, Ana also offered a lecture on the USP (or unique selling proposition) and ultimately, got involved in one of The Collider teams that had lost its lead scientist (for Silicon Valley, admittedly) and was focussing in the retail industry.
For all of the above, we consider Ana one of our greatest ambassadors and we’re really pleased to interview her today, for everyone else to get to know her a little better.
Meet The Colliders!
What surprised you the most about The Collider and how did you get involved?
I used to get in touch with many business startups models as ventures builders, incubators, and accelerators. When I met The Collider, I was surprised by the high impact innovation has. The variety of the projects, the multidisciplinary talent of each group member and their deep knowledge of Artificial Intelligence (AI), Blockchain, Virtual Reality (VR). Honestly, it was my first big shock. Due to the fact that I live in Dubai, I was involved less than I would have desired, as a mentor and two lectures.
Tell us briefly about your journey as a serial entrepreneur (beginning, hardships, and recent projects).
At 18, I started my first business with some friends: a ski club with more than 150 children per term. I worked for a time for others (Asics, Otto group, Iberostar, Retevision), but when I turned 31, I started ecoology.es ( top 10 eco fashion online in Spain), then showusyourtype.com (an online platform for artists and designers from all around the world to share their talent through typography. We have more than 65.000 artists actively participating in it), and queridacarmen.com (gourmet semi cooked prepared meal. Present at 27 countries) among others.
Currently, I work as a CCO for Robin Brick (former Collider project), I am also a lecturer professor at IQS, I do mentorships in other incubators and I have to joyfully admit that I am constantly learning. I consider myself as an ideas agitator more than an entrepreneur.
Being an entrepreneur is a way of life. I am a self-paced made person. Used to changing environments. I do not matter what or where you get involved in. The first and the main thing you need to have is passion and attitude. Find some time to mature a plan and your ideas. And do not hesitate: be different!!!!! Make sure you make it interesting, desirable… because money is in the list, the journey is limited, and it is not going to be easy.
At least, as I always say: you also need to have fun.
In all my entrepreneur journeys, I have shared that with partners. I consider that travelling along makes you travel quicker, but with a good team, the journey will be far away.
It is also important to remark that actually, the customer experience will overtake the price as the key brand differentiator. So innovate! Because the “coffee for everyone” strategy does not exist, because after being at The Knowledge Society, as Drucker says, we live within the Attention Economy, so explain your idea in 3 lines and you will be the king.
From your experience with the programme, which would you say is the added value of The Collider compared to other venture builders?
There are many items that turn Collider into this uniqueness that a real venture builder needs:
The fact of being under the umbrella of Mobile World Capital – mVenturesBcn , the knowledge of the mentors in different areas, the quality of the projects, the management team – 100% serial entrepreneur because only them know in first person what an entrepreneur feels in each and every stage… not only in terms of management, also how to handle a crisis… Even how to handle loneliness.
Why would you say there are so little women entrepreneurs and investors? Did you find it difficult to position yourself?
The word is not difficult, or not more difficult than it was for our parents or grandparents. I am used to be and develop myself in a man’s world. It is just different. I come from a large family, and I am the older… I am used to making myself visible and my voice and speeches listenable.
Honestly, everything is upon your mind… You need to be patient and keep a strong attitude.
Finally, what would you improve in future editions of The Collider?
I would add different aspects that can give more self-confidence to entrepreneurs. Things that I have passed through during all these years with no help.
I would include a coach (that had been an entrepreneur before) to talk about loneliness. I would invite David Tomas and talk about the “Happy enterprise”. I would invite Arancha Ruiz to talk about Personal Branding or Fernando de La Rosa and talk about Digital Transformation… I am sure all would help to understand the entrepreneur itself and their customer.
We need more mentors. Mentors who have not only launch their own enterprises after falling time after time but also still stand up again. Also people, mentors that have become important working for other enterprises because their deep knowledge of several aspects and relevant facts in their business, no matter the size of the enterprise, can always help. Entrepreneurs need all of them.