INFO Murcia presents its good practices in business scaling up to SCALE UP partners
On the 24th of September, the Instituto de Fomento de la Región de Murcia (Regional Development Agency of Murcia) presented to SCALE UP project partners three good practices aimed at business scaling up in the Region of Murcia
The first best practice (BP) presented was the program of support for the entry of private investors in newly created companies, which supports the financing of innovative companies in early stages. The project partners were interested in the sectors applying to this call and the integration of the call within the Regional Operative Program of Murcia, as well as the role of Murcia BAN as facilitator of the funds. The follow up of the companies drew the interest of some partners. It was interesting to discover that beneficiaries can keep applying after having already received a grant as long as they meet the requirements of the call.
The second BP presented was INCOOVA, which is a program carried out by INFO and CROEM, fostering development of innovative talent projects. A dialogue emerged on how the partners dealt with the Covid-19 situation and how the mentors in the program supported them during different phases in the project. Another topic discussed was about how prototypes are developed in contact with companies for validation. The previous link between business and the program was also found as an interesting question, since it is a key enabler of the program. The link between CROEM and the three Universities in the Region was also remarked as a strength in order to involve talents from the University.
The third BP presented was the Tracción program, carried out by INFO together with Red PuntoPyme which is the network of local development agents from city councils in the region. In this good practice, most of the local development agencies are financed by the Regional Government. Meanwhile, Tractor companies do not receive money. Rather, they receive social recognition through publicity. Big companies are involved because of social responsibility concern and they receive a positive image in the community through publicity in the media. Only the best entrepreneurs are selected which is why, for tractor companies, it is a good way to know new companies which they could be business providers with, in the future. With the collaboration of INFO with the Local Development Agencies, no remarkable difficulties were found to engage tractor companies.
After the presentations of the BPs, the participants in the virtual study visits held a final dialogue. On the financing of the good practices, Fernando from INFO commented that the 1st and 3rd BPs are financed by ERDF. The subsidy programme was remarked as having positive effects in the business angel community increasing the number of business angels in the Region of Murcia. Meanwhile, thanks to the Subsidy Programme the number of investors increased, the number of start-ups increased and what is more important, the number of agreements also increased.
The participants also talked about the protection of intellectual property of companies. A few memorable quotes on this the topic are:
- “as any start up, you should be very diligent with the information you share”
- “as an investor and as a mentor of INCOOVA, ideas are not so valuable, what really works is the effort of people working on the ideas. As investors, we focus on the areas to invest in a company: in the market, the idea and the team”
- “most of investors invest in the team and not in IP because it would be difficult to compete with big companies”.
Finally, the representative from Tractor Programme stated that no special difficulties were found to attract tractor companies into the programme due to the close relationship between the company and their municipalities. In MurciaBan, they encountered problems in attracting investors for early stage entrepreneurs. Hence, they tried to convince investors to diversify their investments to include the investments in early stage companies which could be more profitable for them.