Startup Huddle Barcelona Helps Local Entrepreneurs Respond to Pandemic
Mireia Falgueras, Assistant Managing Director of GEN Spain and the local organizer for Startup Huddle Barcelona, explores challenges faced by two local startups focused on growing tourism.
8 Mar 2021

Startups around the world are being challenged to come up with new solutions to problems stemming from the pandemic. During Startup Huddle Barcelona, Spain, two startups from the region presented their challenges to help tourism continue thriving in the region.

Sandbeds, a startup that helps travelers find the best beach clubs around the world, talked about the impact the pandemic has had on their business. They asked the audience if they should change their specialization and move from being a beach club booking platform to one that offers day passes? Or should they be a combination of both, considering the pros and cons of both solutions?

Due to covid-19, many hotels have started offering day passes so that people who are not staying at the hotel can enjoy the facilities and amenities. Sandbeds is providing a platform that can help hotels and beach clubs scale this new offering, by letting outside guests purchase services on the platform. Users can book a hammock, Balinese beds, and other amenities in seconds. Co-founders César Mayol and Santiago Bonet, have been validating the MVP throughout the summer of 2020.

The platform has generated interest from users booking services as well as the hotels and clubs providing them. Their business model is based on a 10% reservation fee and they plan to expand their business opportunities through advertising.

The majority of the audience suggested providing day-passes to provide more services and to research their competitors to better understand the value proposition. Other audience members proposed creating an application to display the number of people at beach clubs in realtime. 

Oasis Hunters, a startup that specializes in providing rural getaways in Catalonia for urban dwellers, shared that now that they have validated the model in the Spanish region of Catalonia, how should they do it to scale it rapidly and efficiently throughout all Spain?

The surprise rural trip platform gives people the ability to book one to three nights in a town based on how far and long they would like to travel. On the website, users can choose the town where to depart from, the number of people joining, the distance, and the dates that they travel. In 48 hours, users will receive an email with the details of the accommodation and an interactive guide with the points of interest around the trip. 

Co-founders Joshua Molina and Marina Teixidor started their activity six months ago. For the past 3 months, they have been in a business accelerator and are now preparing for their first round of funding.  During this time, they have been able to validate their target audience, people between 25 and 40 years old, and how much people would like to spend per trip, which is about 200€. They charge a 30% fee on each sale.

The audience questioned the role of partnerships in their business model since users must be using the services and amenities of the hotels and businesses at their destination. The audience suggested developing formal partnerships with tour guides using Instagram.

The next Startup Huddle Barcelona will be held on April 26th.

Startup Huddle Barcelona is made possible by Autoocupació, a private non-profit organization whose mission is to promote entrepreneurship and facilitate access to the necessary resources to create a business. Since 1986, Autoocupació has promoted the creation of 4,136 new companies and 9,682 new jobs. It provides professional orientation, advice, training, financing, intermediation, and mentoring services to entrepreneurs from Barcelona, Girona, Lleida, and Tarragona delegations in collaboration with public, private, national, and international institutions.

Startup Huddle is a program of the Global Entrepreneurship Network. It is supported through national licensees, a global network of volunteer local organizers, and companies like Crowne Plaza, a multinational chain of full-service, upscale hotels that cater to entrepreneurs and other business travelers.


Pauly Suchy

Manager for Startup Programs | Global Entrepreneurship Network

Pauly is the Manager for Startup Programs at the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), where he is responsible for running and growing GEN's… More

Mireia Falgueras

Assistant Managing Director | GEN Spain | Autoocupació

Assistant Managing Director of GEN Spain at Autoocupació. Graduated in International Business Economics and passionate about… MORE