Author Archives: Sofia Benjumea

Google for Startups Campus in Madrid reopens

During the pandemic, startups have proven to be key in driving the economic recovery of many countries. Entrepreneurs have taken on many challenges using one of their primary qualities: adapting to change.

Because of COVID-19, our Google for Startups Campus in Madrid closed its doors. But our team found new and creative ways to keep close to founders. With a focus on the sectors most affected by the pandemic, and also those that were on the rise and generating economic recovery, we launched Google for Startups Growth Academies to support almost 20 projects related to e-commerce, tourism, well-being and digital transformation.

Two years later, Google for Startups Campus in Madrid is reopening, with the objective of fostering entrepreneurial talent, and focusing on diversity and inclusion.

More resources for growing startups

Campus Madrid returns with a new look, where the Google for Startups community and its partners will be center stage. The spaces that were wide open to the general public before the pandemic are now available exclusively to alumni startups that have completed one of our in-depth training programs. The rapid growth of the entrepreneurial community in Madrid, with almost 100 startups in its network, has created the need to prioritize space for them so that they can continue their growth with greater access to the resources and space they need to get to the next level.

Campus Madrid will have more Googlers on-site, with some of our product experts moving their offices there to work closer to the entrepreneurs and offer personalized mentoring and training. There will also be ongoing training events and access to customized mentoring on Google products such as Google Cloud or Google Ads; these Startup School sessions, facilitated by PUE, will be open to a wider community beyond the resident startups.

Supporting women's leadership

The first program that Google for Startups will launch in person at Campus Madrid aims to promote female leadership: Women Founders Academy, a three-month program in which selected women will receive support to boost their leadership through mentoring, networking and targeted training. 11 women founders have been already selected for this program, that will kick off on March 21st.

Support for social entrepreneurship

Thanks to support from, Google’s philanthropic arm, and its Social Innovation Fund, which supports social enterprises and entrepreneurs across Europe, €2.5 million will go towards organisations working to strengthen the social innovation community in Spain. As part of this fund, will provide a grant to Ashoka to make social entrepreneurship more inclusive, diverse and accessible in Spain. The project will support the creation of three social innovation labs to tackle territorial, socio-economic, gender and generational gaps in the social entrepreneurship world. In addition, is supporting INCO, an international nonprofit to offer access to capital, incubation and mentorship support to social entrepreneurs from disadvantaged communities in Spain.

Google for Startups Campus in Madrid is coming back stronger than ever. We hope these new initiatives will bring about much-needed change and support the efforts of a network of talented, committed and diverse people who are fostering economic recovery in Spain.

Meet the health startups joining Accelerator: Europe

The pandemic accelerated a global movement towards digital health and wellbeing services, and startups across Europe are using technology to solve some of the biggest challenges in this space. This trend is reflected in how investors view this sector: since 2016, the combined value of healthtech startups in Europe increased from €6.8 billion to €35 billion and in 2020 the sector saw a €644m increase in funding.

As more entrepreneurs address the growing need for more accessible healthcare with their technology, we announced a special health and wellbeing-focused edition of Google for Startups Accelerator: Europe earlier this year.

Meet the 15 startups selected for our class

  • Alike Health (Israel): A healthcare solution that taps into the power of medical records by utilizing proprietary AI, crowdsourcing, and big data.

  • BIOTTS (Poland): A company developing proprietary drug delivery technologies and formulas in the fields of diabetology, oncology, and dermatology.

  • Braive (Norway): A psychotherapy platform that gives people access to tools to help tackle life’s challenges.

  • Cuideo (Spain): A home care solution for the elderly, using an advanced matching algorithm to bring together caregivers and users.

  • dermanostic: (Germany): An online dermatology practice where patients can be treated digitally and receive prescriptions via an app.

  • goodsleeper (Poland): A digital self-help solution to treating chronic insomnia, based on scientifically-proven and drug-free methods.

  • Happy Bob (Finland): A personal digital health assistant that reduces the stress of diabetes data overload and helps achieve better glycemic control.

  • Hyperhuman (Romania): An AI-powered platform that helps you transform your video workouts into reusable fitness content.

  • LactApp (Spain): A mobile app that gives new mothers customized expert answers to breastfeeding and maternity questions, powered by AI technology.

  • MedApp (Poland): A startup developing technologies to support diagnostic imaging and next-gen digital medicine, specializing in AI, 3D imaging, and big data analysis.

  • MESI Medical (Slovenia): A diagnostics company developing medical devices and providing clinicians with tools for predictive medical assessment.

  • Mindly (Ukraine): An online marketplace for mental health specialists and their clients. Using tech and AI, they are making psychology accessible to everyone.

  • (Czech Republic): A functional age monitoring system that measures the rate of aging and provides effective lifestyle recommendations to improve patients’ health.

  • Nye Health (United Kingdom): A patient-facing app making it simpler for people to manage their medical data and improve their health.

  • Regimen (Germany): A digital program for erectile dysfunction, fighting the stigma around men’s intimate health.

Google for Startups Accelerator is designed to bring the best of Google's products, people, and technology to startups. In addition to mentorship and technical project support, the program also includes workshops focused on product design, customer acquisition, and leadership development for founders. 

Key challenges, according to the founders

It’s important for startups to have specific goals for the program, so we talked to founders about the biggest challenges they hope to tackle with Google support. 


MedApp wants to expand internationally. Krzysztof Mędrala, MedApp’s CEO, hopes that mentorship will help support in “scaling the business to other countries and optimizing the development process, covering all activities related to its introduction to the market such as marketing and communication with new business partners, investors and key opinion leaders.”

Krzysztof Mędrala, MedApp’s CEO

Krzysztof Mędrala, MedApp’s CEO


Biotts’ CEO, Paweł Biernat, is bringing a leadership focus to Accelerator, with a view to “introducing effective management methods for fast-growing young organizations like ourselves where it’s hard for procedures to keep up with the number of projects and the number of new people.”

BIOTT’s team

BIOTT’s team


For mental health platform Mindly, getting management right will also be an important part of product-building; Dimitri Podoliev, Mindly’s founder and CEO, says they “want to learn how to build a team that will be able to quickly, efficiently and effectively, using a data driven approach, build an amazing product.”

Dimitri Podoliev, founder and CEO of Mindly

Dimitri Podoliev, founder and CEO of Mindly


Some companies, like Braive, come to the program looking for the right support in the decision making around a pivot. “We aim to use our time in the program by matching key people within the organisation with relevant experts from the Google network for sprints across our research and development efforts as well as the pivot planning.” Braive’s co-founder and CEO, Hermine Bonde Jahren, expects their participation will span across tech and design, as well as product discussions.

Henrik Haaland Jahren and Hermine Bonde Jahren, founders of Braive

Henrik Haaland Jahren and Hermine Bonde Jahren, founders of Braive

The program will run until December 9. Ready to solve the world’s biggest challenges with technology? Explore other programs and resources designed to help entrepreneurs, like you, start, build, and grow the companies that will change the world. 

4 resilience lessons from Spanish travel startups

2020 was a difficult year for the travel and tourism sector, but it was also a year of learning how to use technology to better understand and respond to the evolving needs of consumers.

Our Google for Startups Growth Academy: TravelTech program in Spain, where the travel industry accounts for 12% of the national GDP, supported travel startups with digital skills and tools to build resilience for their businesses, so they can overcome challenges brought by travel restrictions. It also shows them how to use data to adapt their product offerings to match the changing needs of travelers. The program included sessions with Google mentors and travel industry experts; 90% of these startups reporting revenue growth and an increase in recruiting, and expanding their business to new international markets. 

Here are four lessons 12 travel and tourism startups learned from the program.

1. Go with the flow.

If there is one thing that defines a startup, it is the ability to adapt, and to adapt fast. Andrea Cayon, co-founder of Passporter, appreciated learning from other startup founders and Google analysts on how to analyze changes in travel demand and respond to travelers’ new preferences, like outdoor and nature destinations. Passporter helps people improve their travel experiences by sharing socially curated itineraries and trip recommendations. For Andrea, having access to a startup founder community that fosters knowledge and experience sharing is key to growing her business. 

This level of networking and knowledge-sharing with other entrepreneurs didn’t exist two decades ago when Destinia, another travel startup participating in the program, was founded. "There were no doors to knock on, no one to ask for advice,” says Destinia's co-founder, Amuda Goueli. “You could waste a whole year if you chose the wrong route." That’s why, for Goueli, being part of a community like Google for Startups helps her find and test new ideas on how to grow her business.

A group of people standing around a laptop computer, which is sitting on a desk. One man in a gray sweater is speaking and the rest of the group is listening.

Triporate team at Google for Startups Campus, 2018

2. Turn problems into opportunities.

Big challenges require big solutions. The pandemic forced entrepreneurs to do something that is not in their DNA: take a step back. Many startups acknowledge that they used this forced downtime to rethink their strategies.Triporate, initially an online travel agency focused on business trips, pivoted to becoming a platform offering technology solutions for traditional travel agencies to make their processes more efficient. Transparent, a startup helping tourist destinations improve their online presences to reach more potential visitors, took a step back to rethink their strategy. As its CEO Pierre Becerril noted, the slow down helped them focus on "things they used to not have time to do before, such as content marketing, localization and improving their site's SEO ranking."

3. Become stronger together. 

Startups can also drive digital transformation for other companies, helping travel agencies and hotels use digital tools to better understand where travel demand is coming from and how to reach new customers. This is the case ofDoinn, a company that manages cleaning services for rental apartments, which, during the pandemic, grew its property base as much as in the previous four years together, by helping traditional cleaning companies become digital. Hotelbreak helped hotels make their facilities profitable by offering day passes and experiences to local visitors to compensate for the lack of night stays. AndSpazious realized that their 3D, 360-degree virtual tours helped hotels increase by 20% the number of website visitors to hotel visitors.
Three people working on laptops while sitting on a purple cushion, divided by a white wall. One person is using a cell phone.

Doinn team working at Campus Madrid, February 2020.

4. Use technology and insights to improve your business strategy.

During the pandemic, technology became a lifeline to help businesses and people stay connected. Using data analysis tools for businesses like Analytics, Firebase, TagManager and Google Search Console help travel insurance Mondo get actionable information on what's going on in the business and data related to travel flows, restrictions and user demands. Thanks to that new data, they've grown 63% in international markets after the lockdown. 

Triporate uses AI to provide their users a complete customer experience. This technology can analyze, by its own, the users demands and respond to them in a very accurate way. To develop this software, Triporate has used Google’s tool TensorFlow. Passporter also uses AI to show their clients photos of destinations and trips they are interested in. They can impact the users in this way thanks to Google Vision tool. Transparent focuses most of the technology they use in data analytics. That’s why they work with Google Data Studio, to provide their clients (normally institutions and governments) with important insights about travel flows in their action area. 

At Google for Startups, we continue to promote entrepreneurial talent because we believe that startups are key to foster economic growth. The travel industry was disproportionately impacted by the pandemic and yet used digital tools to build resilience and adaptability so they can come back stronger.