Cris Castiblanque, our Head of Talent at our incubator in Madrid, offers insight into what it is we’re looking for in aspiring entrepreneurs.

We all know someone with that certain special something required of entrepreneurial talent. But what exactly is it and do you have what it takes to embody it? Most entrepreneurs we speak to describe it as a feeling of nonconformity, of continuous improvement and, ultimately, working towards their dreams.

I’m lucky enough to be surrounded by a number of founders and entrepreneurs every day at Demium and I’ve come to understand that these guys are fearless. They’re constantly pushing boundaries and breaking out of comfort zones, they have a clear vision of their goals and they focus every day on achieving them. They’re nonconformist, resilient and face challenges head on, even when uncertainty crosses their path.

Plus they demonstrate on a daily basis that problems are no obstacle for them. In fact, problems help a good entrepreneur to grow. You’ll notice that these kinds of people are as hungry to learn and improve, as they are to share their knowledge with others. But above all, they’re dreamers, who always keep one foot on the ground, but are brave enough to pave their own way through life.

So what are we looking for in people who want to apply to our programme at Demium? As Head of Talent at our incubator in Madrid, it’s my responsibility to assess and recruit applicants and what I look for, first and foremost, are good people. As for the other traits…

1. COMMITMENT

This one’s essential. When we look for entrepreneurial potential, one of the first things we focus on is not someone’s proven capabilities or skills, but evidence that they’re able to commit themselves to entrepreneurial life with real momentum. We’re after a strong desire in applicants to stop helping others achieve their dreams and instead realise their own. Our incubation programme starts the day after the AllStartup Weekend, so applicants need to be fully committed from day one. Entrepreneurship isn’t easy, but if you’re prepared to eat, sleep and breathe that lifestyle, the rewards are unparalleled. 

2. TEAM PLAYER

Our working environment is extremely supportive. No matter what stage you’re at, whether you’re in a large or small startup, working in the incubator includes everyone in the same ecosystem and gives you a sense of belonging. You’ll rejoice in the achievements of your team and others, as well as commiserating in the failures and benefitting from the support network around you. We currently have startups at various stages of development in our incubator and the newbies that regularly come aboard start working alongside them straight away. That’s why we’re on the look-out for great team players.

3. MOTIVATION AND ENERGY

Of course, great teamwork doesn’t just mean being part of a team. We also expect our startups to work kindly and cooperatively with each other, even if that means putting the interests of the group ahead of your own. Entrepreneurs need to be surrounded by the same energy, so the Demium support team works tirelessly to foster a positive vibe and we expect our startups to help keep it maintained. 

While the ‘big three’ are vital attributes we’re after, it’s worth noting a handful of others that serve every entrepreneur well. These include leadership, results orientation, initiative, proactivity and emotional intelligence. We want people with the ability to set goals and achieve them by managing a team. We want to see that hunger and drive when it comes to achieving your goals by being focused. Entrepreneurs aren’t the kinds of people to sit around and wait for things to happen, it’s down to you – and you alone – to make it happen. And let’s not forget the ability to control your emotions. Startup life is a total rollercoaster, so being able to manage the ups with the downs, and how they impact the people around you, is an important part of any entrepreneur’s life. 

If you’ve made it this far, you’re already showing an ability to commit. If you think you have what it takes to fulfil the other qualities then our incubation teams would love to hear from you. We’re ready to help the enthusiastic, the hardworking, the tireless and, especially, the dreamers. The only question is, are you ready to start?