Three and a half years seems a bit too short of a cycle, but these have been intense and meaningful years indeed!. A rollercoaster of intentions, which now comes to an abrupt end. This is surely not a good-bye, but years from now, when we look back in time, I am sure that we will feel that these years defined us, in quite profound ways.
There is a Chamberi Valley mafia, Alexis, María, Iñaki/s, Diego, Ander, Aquilino, Jorge/s, Sergio, Javier/s, Raul… shaping up nicely along the years. We have become good friends and helped each others as the ecosystem matured. As we grew up, a golpes.
As Guillermo Abril states in his great article in El Pais Semanal this weekend, we have cried on each others shoulders when we had nowhere else to go.
We have had our decent dose of successes and failures, and most importantly, we have build strong bonds. But James Costos helped galvanize our relationships and our self esteem in unthinkable ways. He made us feel important, relevant and gave us a wider sense of purpose, all the american way. He gently shared with us his own spotlight and we used all that care and interest to mature even faster, to become wiser and to look fearlessly into the future. Shaping up the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem and connecting with top entrepreneurs and investors on the other side of the pond.
Our new Chamberi Valley Honorary President (we are so privileged that the Mr. Ambassador accepted to honor us) was paramount to put Chamberi Valley at the decisions table, where not so many small entrepreneurs have been before. It might be anecdotical that I got to share dinner with our King and Eric Schmidt, but it is telling, nonetheless, of the clear mindset of Ambassador Costos. Entrepreneurs are the pillar of job creation and are risking their wealth and health to create value where there is none, hence they deserve to have a relevant space in our society.
Three years and a half ago, sitting at a sofa in the Embassy’s residency, the Ambassador asked us what he could do for us, and we plainly asked him to become our Champion. What a champion he has been!! he took the challenge and transformed it in a personal quest, and we rode along his energy and the efficiency of his incredible team. Which will also ensure there is continuity in the legacy of Mr. Costos.
We got to tell our story to the world and share our thoughts with people that matter. I bitterly regret to have not been able to meet Michelle and Barack Obama, yet, despite Mr. Ambassador’s tireless efforts.
We will miss you Mr Ambassador, your sense of humor, your open mindset and closeness, your unparalleled mastery of attentive silences, listening first, to give, always, the most appropriate answer.
The embassy will be missed too (I am afraid the new Ambassador might look at the list of previous guests and ban us for life ;)), it became our house, as you became the Ambassador of the Spanish Entrepreneurs.
Being Ambassador is a title that you get to keep for life, as I am sure that your bond with Spain will remain strong over the years. I feel sad, as Maria tweeted, “When you feel sad for someone leaving it means he has made an impact”.
And I have the hope I will be able to call you among my friends and honor my promise to invite you and Michael to have dinner at my place some years from now, and show you I have been worthy to buy at least the smallest of the great Julie Merethu’s paintings, so that we can admire her art.