The space hosts dozens of free events each week, and meetings to encourage diversity and entrepreneurship
What were the goals pursued with the launch of Google Campus?
Campus came about as part of the Google for Entrepreneurs initiative as a means of reinforcing entrepreneurial ecosystems outside Silicon Valley and helping startups grow through connections, education programs and access to Google experts. Campus Madrid is a space in which entrepreneurs can learn, connect with the community and of course work on their projects, which we hope will become global companies. Entrepreneurship and innovation are in Google's DNA; this is a company that continues to be headed by its founders and has not forgotten how hard it is when you're starting out. Through Campus, we've created a space in which opportunities are multiplied, a meeting point for all the actors in the ecosystem.
Why did the company decide to open one of its first campuses in Madrid?
After opening Campus London and Tel Aviv, Google wanted to extend its network of spaces by opening in Asia, Latin America and Europe. And Madrid was a perfect candidate. In recent years, the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem has evolved spectacularly, positioning itself on the international scene due to its high level of talent, with a young but energetic community we can work with, and a Google office with workers willing to share their time, experience and knowledge to support startups.
What investment was required for the opening in Madrid?
We don't share any figures on the investment made in Campus Madrid. Google has spent tens of millions of dollars on supporting entrepreneurship worldwide and the campuses undoubtedly represent the lion's share of that investment.
What do they offer the entrepreneurs who inquire?
First of all, Campus Madrid offers a place to start out, a completely free coworking space where any Campus member can work from Monday to Friday from 9 in the morning to 9 at night. The Campus cafeteria not only has connected desks, wi-fi and coffee, but it's also the ideal place for starting out, as you'll be surrounded by people who are doing the same thing, plus developers and many more. In addition, our auditorium hosts dozens of free events each week –800 in 2016 alone– with content on technology, business and marketing, and –even more important– events that attract investors, successful entrepreneurs, talent and many more. Campus is therefore a space where things are always happening, a space where –as some of our residents say– things happen even faster. Finally, here at Campus we organize hundreds of education programs, everything from talks and workshops to more in-depth programs such as interviews with experts and Google workers, or meetings with corporations. What's more, given that diversity is so important to us, we organize events aimed at encouraging diversity, including Campus Women, a monthly meeting of almost 100 women that takes place each month. Since we opened the doors of Campus Madrid, proportion of women in our community has risen from 30% to 37%.
How important is Spain to Google's strategy?
Entrepreneurship is one of the cornerstones of any economy, and through Campus we want to help reinforce the ecosystem in Spain and allow its entrepreneurs to grow. This is Google's clear commitment, and our way of showing how important Spain is to us. The last study published on the impact of Campus Madrid revealed that the Campus community has generated almost 2,500 jobs and raised over 37 million euros since we opened our doors.
What new developments do you foresee for the future?
This June we launched a new program called Campus Residency, a six-month program involving seven startups who we will support and help grow by giving them access to connections, mentorships and the chance to meet experts from Google and other industries.