"Enagás Emprende wants to be a partner that provides value to startups in the gas sector"
27 de December de 2018
27 de December de 2018
Located on Madrid's Paseo de los Olmos, the offices of the gas multinational has made space for a business incubator and accelerator known as Enagás FAB, which has been up and running since 2016. On the first floor of the building, it has an open layout and its management is based on the concept of a sandbox. The members working in the incubator are completely autonomous and have complete freedom to create and absolute flexibility.
What is the idea behind this entrepreneurship at Enagás? Emilio Martínez, The Director of Entrepreneurial Promotion at Enagás Emprende, explained that we have to keep one step ahead of the technological revolution in the energy sector and maintain the competitiveness of a company that in a dominant player in Spain's mature market.
Enagás Emprende: Corporate Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation Program
Founded in 2015, this Corporate Entrepreneurship and Open Innovation initiative aims to facilitate ideas that convert the gas sector into a more efficient, competitive and sustainable business and make them a reality. The program's objectives are to develop ideas and generate value, diversifying the business and incorporating disruptive technologies. "Enagás Emprende is a startup itself and we apply the philosophy of learning by doing: test, measure and learn". This is the way they work at the incubator. "We want to be a partner that provides value to entrepreneurs in the gas sector" explained Emilio.
To set objectives and dynamize the projects that are incubated, they have created a cross-disciplinary model of governance consisting of an executive committee, a startup board and a startup team that meet up on a regular basis. The entrepreneurship model is a process that has originates from an entrepreneurial employee's idea, moves onto the analysis and selection of projects and culminates with the business development and acceleration. This is all possible thanks to the set of support services known as the Tool Box, which is an essential resource for the entrepreneurs. This consists of made-to-measure financial support, which may take the form of capital, loans, guarantors, crowdfunding or smart money. In addition, the incubator includes mentoring and acceleration services for the projects. Emilio highlighted a benefit in this respect: "we can test the technology directly in our facilities. Being technical-enablers is one of the main advantages we offer".
The entrepreneurs and the startups
The students on EAE's Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation are seen as an attractive prospect for Enagás as the gas company is currently looking for external and not only internal business ventures. To this end, they operate in ecosystems related to entrepreneurship in which new ideas can emerge in fields such as biogas, energy efficiency, new used for natural gas, sustainable mobility, cold storage solutions, 4.0 technology and clean tech. There are no geographical limitations in this respect. "A large part of my job involves looking for projects abroad. The target startup could be anywhere in the world", explained Emilio.
The Director of Entrepreneurial Promotion at Enagás shared some of his ideas on entrepreneurship in a large corporation with the EAE students, emphasizing that launching an entrepreneurial venture means looking for real business, it is better to do so without being in a hurry when the environment is stable without getting impatient, aiming for long-term results and concentrating on the aspects that really have value. In fact, he explained that "startups are better than corporations in certain respects because they have a greater capacity for adaptability to change", adding that there is still a long road ahead in terms of supporting entrepreneurship.
Seven companies have been founded as a result of the Enagás FAB Incubator, generating a total of 130 jobs: Vita Gas Imaging, Scale Gas, Efficiency, Gas 2 move, H2 Gas, Sercomgas and Smart Energy Access. The last of these used predictive models based on the icloud and machine learning.
The Ingenia Business Awards
Promoting entrepreneurship in Enagás originated at an internal level, providing support to projects devised by the company's employees through the Ingenia Business Awards. Two of the winners of these awards, Javier Ruesga and Estela Vilches, shared their experience with the students of EAE Business School. Javier made his point using a magic trick with ropes, conveying passion as the path to achieving success. "Although it is hard to break moulds, it can be done gradually", he added. Estela gave us an overview of her experience in the second edition of the Ingenia Business Awards, emphasizing that innovation is not just a matter of selling business models, but rather developing a new way of working.