The Crown Prince of Spain visits Wayra Barcelona


On Wednesday, 4 December, Crown Prince Felipe of Spain, together with Cesar Alierta, President of Telefonica, and various other dignitaries including the Mayor of Barcelona (Xavier Trias) and the Secretary of State for Telecommunications (Víctor Calvo-Sotelo), visited the Wayra Barcelona Academy to meet 10 start-up teams and listen to their pitches. The visit was part of a larger tour of Telefónica Catalonia’s headquarters, which included a stop to Telefonica’s R&D division.

Gonzalo Martin-Villa, CEO of Wayra, summarized the event as follows: “We are very proud that the Crown Prince of Spain has visited us. He encouraged us to keep working very hard to help our start-ups. He was pleasantly surprised both by the depth of human kindness exhibited by our entrepreneurs and by how technologically disruptive their projects are.

As might be expected when the Crown Prince visits, there was a very large media presence at the event, which translated into great exposure and networking opportunities for all of the start-ups in attendance. As Julián Vinúe, the Director of Wayra Barcelona, explains: “Today demonstrated one of Wayra’s main intangible assets: visibility. Our start-ups were presented the unique opportunity to pitch not just to the Crown Prince, to Cesar Alierta, to the Mayor of Barcelona (Xavier Trias), to the Secretary of State for Telecommunications (Víctor Calvo-Sotelo) and to other senior executives from Telefonica like Carlos Domingo (CEO of R&D), Kim Faura (CEO of Telefonica Catalonia) and Carlos Colomer (a member of Telefonica’s board of directors); they were also able to pitch to more than 40 journalists that attended the event. This is something that very few start-up accelerators are able to offer on such a consistent basis.”

Source: Wayra Espana


At the end of the visit the Crown Prince had the opportunity to interact with some of the startups. Mint Labs presented the cutting edge medical visualization and touch(less) interaction for brain images. The Prince was interacting with the framework, literarily exploring one of the brains of the founders of Mint Labs. One of the questions the Crown Prince was interested was on the nature of the underlying images. He wondered if any MRI scanner is capable to provide the data needed to generate these images. Paulo, the CEO of Mint Labs, explained that in fact, it is very common to have this so called “diffusion” protocol included in the standard clinical scanning sequences. However, in clinical practice they are lacking the tools to analyze and create the 3D maps of the brain and interact in this novel approach that the Prince was experiencing.