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Women Entrepreneurs: Sharing Careers and Perspectives

With the goal of learning about the experiences, challenges, and successes of women entrepreneurs, the Esade Alumni WE Club and Esade Alumni Entrepreneurship organized a session with three prominent women entrepreneurs.
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Entrepreneurship with a gender perspective

The gathering was a unique opportunity to share knowledge in the field of entrepreneurship and to encourage more alumni to develop their own projects. This was the message of Jérôme Trochet (EMBA 09), vice-president of the Esade Alumni Women Empowerment Club:  “with events like this one, we spark debate and encourage networking so that each person can find the tools they need for their personal growth and organizational development.” He stressed several figures from the 2023 Spanish Entrepreneurship Map to highlight the importance of promoting entrepreneurship among women: “only 7% of women entrepreneurs secure their first financing from private funds, compared to 14% of men, while 10% secure public funds, compared to 5% of men. We still have a lot of work to do in equal opportunity, and this is why today the experiences of extraordinarily inspiring prominent women entrepreneurs are going to excite us.”

Jerome Trochet

Joan Riera (Lic&MBA ‘99)professor in the departments of Operations, Innovations, and Data Sciences, and of Strategy and General Management at Esade, presented the panelists and asked them to talk about how they got their start, what challenges they have faced, and how they had sought capital for their projects. “We have three successful women entrepreneurs with initiatives that are capitalized. Cristina Corchero (Promociona '22) 
has achieved success with his visionary startup of technological solutions for the energy transition; Ariadna Masó (Lic&MBA ‘11) raised half a million euros in financing with her project and has partners like Founders Factory and Johnson&Johnson; and Teresa López (EMBA '09) is an Esade BAN success story with 18 business angels from the network,” he highlighted.

Experiences and lessons learned that they shared with the audience

Cristina Corchero is the co-founder and CTO of Bamboo Energy, a software platform that provides ways of monetizing the flexibility of energy assets and the integration of increasingly renewable energy sources.

Cristina Corchero

“I have a PhD in statistics and had been a researcher and professor at the UPC until the possibility arose of setting up a spinoff from the Instituto de Investigación de Cataluña, where I used to work. I was ready to shift gears and threw myself into the venture. It was a transformation that went from 0 to 100: an experience of personal and professional growth with the constant adrenaline of learning different challenges every single minute. The first few months were extraordinarily intense, and that doesn’t work for just anyone because it’s a constant challenge. You’re everything at once: you have to learn marketing, finances, operations, sales… because you’re the senior manager and you have to develop different skills.”

“I was one of the few women researchers looking into the application of artificial intelligence in the field of energy, and today I’m one of the few women entrepreneurs in the energy sector. I have been involved in studying gender differences for years, and I think that the gap doesn’t lie in the fact of being a woman but in the way you pitch and present your project. That is, there is a different in the way men and women sell their companies. I’ve seen differences in the way investors approach entrepreneurs depending on whether they are women or men.”

“At first, two potential investors told me that I couldn’t be the CEO of a company. At that time, I believed it. I’ve seen women entrepreneurs with the same insecurity, and I have to say that we women have to take a good look at how we see and visualize ourselves. I personally would have liked to know what I was capable of doing, so don’t let anyone make you believe that you can’t do it.”

Ariadna Masó is the founder and CEO of SANNO, a tech platform to track patients and analyze data for better treatment and research.

Ariadna Maso

“When I left Esade, I knew that I wanted to work in finances, so I started working in an investment bank and spent 10 years living in London. But I always wanted to be an entrepreneur and create my own project. It came about from a health issue, because I was diagnosed with colitis and it was really hard for me. So, I studied how the disease could be managed, and based on this experience I created SANNO, which analyzes patient data with AI by connecting clinics and the research community. Because I have such a strong connection with the business, I really enjoy it. It’s the best decision I’ve ever made.”

“Many women are afraid to pitch because investment is a men’s world. I was very lucky that my first business angel was a woman, but the financing was a challenge, and my experience in finances helped me a lot. I recall several very difficult conversations, like when I was asked if I was planning to have children and what would happen to the project if I did. That’s why I recommend doing due diligence on potential investors and ensuring that the conversation is two-way. We have to make sure that they share our vision and support us.”

“Your environment goes a long way to help you find balance, but you have to try to find ways to disconnect, talk with your family, with your team, with other founders… Plus, people in the Esade community open doors and help you however they can, so you should take advantage of that.”

“If I have to give advice to women who are turning a project over in their minds, it would be go for it! Do it! It’s possible. It’s hard, but it’s the best decision. Talk to lots of people and go for it.”

Teresa López is co-founder & CEO of Love TV Channels, a thematic producer for TV channels which is distributed free of charge with advertising and via streaming.

Teresa López

“We’ve been around more than a year and we’ve launched 14 channels on 4 different themes; we produce 2 localized markets and are in 17 countries. I’ve always worked in the entertainment sector, even though I’m a lawyer by training. My experiences at Rakuten and Viacom enabled me to see how these projects began and grew. But the time came when I wanted to make thematic channels, so I proposed it but it never happened. At that point, I decided that I had to leave because we work so many hours every day and should do things that we love. I was lucky enough to talk to Jacinto Roca (Lic&MBA 99), founder of, and he convinced me to found Love TV Channels.”

“I’m really enjoying it and learning things, like you always have to have a plan B, because the challenges are nonstop and things don’t turn out the way you had planned. For example, I had managed teams before this, but now I have a minimal staff and have to be sure that they are happy if they’re going to stay with me.”

“Having a co-founder can be really helpful. For example, I had no experience with financing rounds, but my co-founder did. His role is not so much in the day-to-day operations as in raising private financing, and in this sense he complements me. Jacinto Roca had been my boss before at Rakuten, so we were familiar with the pros and cons and it has been easy to work together. Esade BAN has also been extraordinarily helpful in the project’s financing and development, and I’m very pleased. It’s important to find support around you.”

With these testimonials, the event was not only able to answer questions and encourage alumni who are thinking of starting their own business, but it also showcased how women are carving a niche for themselves in a sector dominated by men, challenging preconceived ideas, and managing to position their projects.