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Crowe launches a start-up accelerator in Barcelona

Crowe launches a start-up accelerator in Barcelona
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· The company opens its innovation process to a global ecosystem to speed up its own transformation and tap into the attractive entrepreneurial community in the southern Europe sweet spot for innovation

miércoles 10 de octubre de 2018, 09:23h
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Crowe, the eight largest advisory and accounting firm in the world, has announced the launch of a Start-up Accelerator Programme in Spain from its Barcelona office. Backed by an ‘ecosystem’ crafted over the last months, the accelerator has partnered with Venture Capital Funds, universities and entrepreneurs from Latin America and Europe. We are not hunting unicorns but crafting business partners that could help us with our transformation, or eventually become themselves key clients in some years, said Luis Piacenza, Advisory Partner in Barcelona and one of the developers of the initiative. We have been in these ecosystems for years and saw how innovative companies became big enterprises, but it takes time, effort, and skin in the game. Regarding the type of start-ups scouted, Crowe will prioritise those who look for a stable cycle of development instead of a quick exit.

Closed innovation is not an option for certain industries, like ours, says Piacenza who was teaching and researching for a long as a member of Engineering School faculty in Argentina. Cross-pollination is not only business jargon; in industries that have not been innovating as a process, the open innovation paradigms can create the flexibility and the exchange of knowledge needed to disrupt industries like accounting and advisory. Is not about digitalising what we do, it is about rethinking processes from a very different perspective.

Put it simply; we cannot fall in the arrogance of believing that in a complex and hyperconnected world our best solutions are limited to our minds. We ought to go outside and see what is going on. Our values are caring, sharing, investing and growing, so thinking that way is very familiar to us.

The start-ups with a core business close to Crowe’s industry have a particular interest. According to the initial research phases, the accelerator found solutions that could shorten some process times by 98%, so even when it takes time to develop, they consider investing in it.

But the endeavour is not limited to the core activities of Crowe; the ecosystem-like model allows to create a marketplace where innovation and business development can thrive. We know that one of each three euros in revenues in the services' industry in the coming years will come from some ecosystem. It is not all about IT, the way we sell services is also being disrupted.

To walk the journey with their ‘future clients and business partners’, the team working on the project designed a process that can help across the whole process not only by financing but with mentoring and strategic planning, as well as with other traditional accounting processes. As a result, companies in the early stages would find experienced mentors to gain tranquillity and support, and those with cutting-edge developments could also match their upscaling needs. We believe our value proposition can be helpful from the Death Valley to the IPO.

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