This week marks the seventh anniversary since the founding of Demium. Since 2013 we’ve had over 10,000 applications for our AllStartup Weekends, created over 600 jobs, and launched more than 100 startups. In the past year alone, we’ve opened new Demium sites in Belarus, Greece, Hungary, Poland, Portugal and Ukraine, having already set up five thriving incubators across Spain.
Before we arrived, many of our locations had little to no startup ecosystem, but had untapped pools of entrepreneurial talent just waiting for a helping hand. Our founder, Jorge Dobon, strongly believes that great companies can be formed anywhere, which is how Demium’s multi-attribute Expansion Model Index (EMI) came into being. This system allows us to analyse the startup potential of cities all over the world.
We’re proud of our model because it works and genuinely helps ambitious entrepreneurs achieve their goals. As a talent investor, it is our job to seek out capable individuals – before they have a company or even a concept – in markets that are lacking the fundamental infrastructure. We help them find a co-founder for their venture, we work with them in developing solutions to real (and verified) problems, and then supply access to all our resources to help bring their solution to life and get their startup incorporated. Plus, as many of our locations are relatively fresh to the startup world, our entrepreneurs are afforded the exciting chance to scale their business in new territories.
Our high success rate is largely down to the EMI, as previously mentioned. Without this, we wouldn’t have key data about a city and know whether or not it would be easy to invest in talent there. Our covers everything from the quality of local business schools and universities, to the presence of big tech companies’ HQs, to the number of pre-existing co-working spaces and government support. We then map this against our ability to find the right mentors to join the Demium team locally and, in doing so, help build the region’s startup ecosystem from the ground up.
There are very few talent investors doing it like us: delving into new territories and lowering the barriers for aspiring entrepreneurs. We devote the entirety of our extensive resources into the startups every step of the way; utilising our tried-and-tested methodology, knowledgeable incubation teams, and our ever expanding network contacts. We also understand the importance of working in a team that is both complementary and cohesive, so ensure every individual is paired with the right teammates to maximise each other’s talent and potential.
We’ve talked previously about our Ideation Committee, which analyses problems and business ideas, and verifies these in-house before they reach potential entrepreneurs. Once a problem is selected by a startup team, we hand over the controls, but continue to support them throughout. Demium takes a 15% equity start, but the rest belongs to the co-founders.