The ninth edition of Startup Day was organised jointly by Esade Alumni and Banc Sabadell to commemorate the vitality of the entire entrepreneurial ecosystem during a year dominated by the pandemic. At the event, the Best Startup of the Year Award was presented to Psious.
Patricia Valentí (MBA ‘03), Director of Esade Alumni, delivered the opening remarks at the ninth edition of Startup Day, which was held at the EsadeForum auditorium in Barcelona but, due to COVID-19 restrictions, was attended virtually by the alumni community.
This event was the result of collaborative efforts on the part of Banc Sabadell and Esade BAN to keep the entrepreneurial community very much alive and help it keep growing. “I would like to thank all the entrepreneurs we have advised this year – more than 400 in total – and all the network’s investors and mentors, for placing their trust in us,” commented Valentí. “As leaders, we are committed to improving organisations and society. At Esade Alumni, we believe that entrepreneurs will be the drivers of economic recovery.”
Best Startup of the Year Award
The Esade Alumni and Banc Sabadell Best Startup of the Year Award was presented by Carlos Ventura (Lic&MBA ‘92), CEO of Banc Sabadell, to Psious, a health-oriented company with a digital business model and a commitment to social impact. The company has designed the first online platform specifically created for mental health professionals. The product was designed by psychologists for psychologists who use virtual reality and 3D technology to treat all sorts of disorders. Psious was selected as the winner primarily on the strength of its growth over the past few years. The company currently has 2,000 users in 60 countries, has helped to treat more than 20,000 patients, employs 50 people and had a turnover of one million euros in 2019.
The CEO of Psious, Xavier Palomer, accepted the award and thanked the more than 50 people who make up the Psious team for their efforts throughout the year to combat the effects of the pandemic. “Awards like this one motivate us and help us keep moving forward,” he said.
“At Psious, we understood right away that the problem of COVID-19 could become an opportunity, since we offer a way to help our patients overcome this situation,” noted Palomer. “The virus has generated another mental health pandemic. Anxiety disorders and stress have increased greatly and we have to find solutions. Digital health is an option that allows us to bring our solution to people. Among our goals for the future are international expansion and the new telemedicine solution that goes along with it.”
Psious has also managed to raise 10 million euros in equity financing, thanks to a contribution from Esade BAN. The startup has adapted very well to the context of COVID-19 and has launched a telemedicine platform that makes it possible to use the tool remotely, while also offering free sessions to healthcare professionals.
Optimism in the face of adversity
Carlos Ventura then interviewed Dr. Luis Rojas Marcos, psychiatrist and professor of psychiatry at New York University, who participated remotely from the United States. Dr. Rojas talked about how to adapt a business to the current situation by applying psychological resources.
According to Dr. Rojas, difficult times are when ideas arise that allow you to put the control centre within yourself: “In the face of adversity, you think you can do something to overcome the problem, to plan your life and pass the test. People who put the control centre within themselves are able to overcome adversity. The opposite of this is passivity – an attitude that will not help you in difficult situations.”
“Optimists seek clear information and put their energy and enthusiasm into solving the problem”
On the subject of optimism, Dr. Rojas explained that a positive outlook is fundamental in entrepreneurship: “Trusting your executive abilities allows you to study both the negative and the positive in order to make a decision. Optimists seek out clear information and put their energy and enthusiasm into solving the problem.” Therefore, according to Dr. Rojas, both entrepreneurs and investors have to be optimistic people.
The doctor proposed a clear recipe for overcoming adversity: adapt tasks to each person’s qualities and capacities, exercise to release tension, learn something new, help other people and split tasks into watertight compartments so that, even if one fails, the others do not. Dr. Rojas also discussed the importance of listening and communicating in order to achieve goals and recognise priorities.
Before signing off, he offered a piece of advice: “Be who you are. Trust in yourselves and trust in others. By supporting each other, we can overcome this adversity.”