María Benjumea is the chairman and founder of Spain Startup, the company that promotes and organizes The South Summit; a unique initiative aimed to celebrate entrepreneurship and innovation and showcase to the world the talent, the technology and the entrepreneurial character of the South; by bringing together the most promising startups from Southern Europe, the Mediterranean and Latin America, with top-tier international investors and the top leading and most innovative corporations from around the world. An exceptional context designed to transform Madrid into a new Global Hub; which took place in Las Ventas during the 8th till 10th of October.
From the very beginning of her professional career, María has been an entrepreneur. Once she got her Geography and History degree in Madrid Complutense university, when she was 25 she started her first project, Taller del Arte, a very innovative space which combined a business based in antiques, art gallery and restoration.
In 1981, she founded Círculo de Progreso, years later transformed into Infoempleo, which became the top site as a job active search, reaching 3 millions of visitors per month, and a data base composed by more than 5 million of candidates and 80.000 companies. Bearing in mind the relevance of information dissemination, Infoempleo developed a very important collection of market research studies focused on the world of work.
With this track record, Spain Startup is Maria’s the last project, founded in 2012, to which devotes the most of her time and energy.
Spain Startup arises from her wide experience as entrepreneur and business woman, from her deep knowledge about the business world and her unrest concern about the promotion of innovative and entrepreneurship initiatives. Spain Startup is aimed to promote entrepreneurship and innovation, creating an ecosystem in which entrepreneurs, investors and corporates share their knowledge and projects to add value.
María Benjumea reconciles Spain Startup and Infoempleo chairs. Furthermore, she is the founder partner of IWF España (International Women Forum), and vicepresident of Círculo de Empresarios y de Secot .
In 2011 she was awarded with the “Premio Nacional a la Mujer Directiva” in business innovation category; as well as the Premio Clara Campoamor in 2009 by Madrid Town Hall, Business woman of the year in 2007 by ASEME; and one of the top one hundred leader women in Spain in the last editions.
María Benjumea (Madrid, 1954) is married, mother of a son and a daughter, and has 3 grand daughters.