“To be able to work with a company like Banco Santander is the best endorsement we could have internationally”. Daniel Suárez, CEO and founder of Zapiens

05/03/2021 | Daniel Suárez

Helping people to achieve lifelong learning in a simple and fast way is the goal pursued by Daniel Suárez, CEO and founder of Zapiens, an intelligent knowledge management software for companies. This platform makes it possible to assess team skills, design training courses for acquiring necessary skills and facilitate access to training for employees. 

As part of the startup's growth plan, Zapiens decided to apply for the Re-Skill category of the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge (2020), a call for global entrepreneurship launched by Banco Santander due to the COVID-19 health crisis with the aim of promoting innovative solutions to the problems caused by the pandemic.  

“To be able to work with a company like Banco Santander is the best endorsement we could have internationally to ensure that a small Spanish company continues to manage knowledge and to be the operating system for large multinationals”.

Daniel Suárez, CEO and founder of Zapiens, one of the five winning projects of the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge in the Re-Skill category

Zapiens was part of the Re-Skill category along with 400 other companies, and its innovative proposal was worthy of one of the five prizes awarded in this category, with significant benefits.  

“We have been able to grow and increase the previous year's figures and continue to consolidate our position in Europe and open up the market to Latin America and the United States, and this is partly thanks to the national and international visibility that participating in these awards has given us”.

Although Zapiens was fortunate to work from the beginning with large companies such as Nespresso, Unilever and Vodafone, thanks to the experience gained in Santander X Tomorrow Challenge 2020, the company was able to fulfil precisely the spirit of its ethos: continuous improvement.

“It has brought us recognition and potential customers, but above all it has given us the opportunity to explore a new world, namely education. Participating in this project and having Banco Santander as a sponsor, which has a network such as Universia, with the ability to access and introduce us to rectors and academic staff, has opened up a lot of possibilities within the future growth that we have as a company in this field through the Zapiens Open Education project”.


However, such contacts in themselves would not have had much of a future if it were not for the value proposition provided by Zapiens, which arose in response to a customer's training problem at the business management consultancy where Daniel worked.  

“COVID-19 has driven digital transformation globally, and today almost everyone needs to grow personally and professionally in areas such as digital skills and soft skills. Our application software allows everyone to know everything they need to know, when they need to know it and in a very easy, fast and highly engaging way - five times higher than other tools that are commonly used”. 

Daniel also points to the mentoring programme that accompanied his award at the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge 2020 as one of the major insights that Zapiens gained throughout his entrepreneurial journey. 

“We were fortunate that someone was able to help us from the outside and give us an external view on how we present the product, how we focus on customer problems and how we can focus even more on specific use cases to further advance knowledge management and respond to the problems we solve”. 

For this reason, Daniel recommends that other entrepreneurs take the reins of their projects and get them off the ground, regardless of the current social and economic situation, as even a highly uncertain environment can be a good opportunity to grow. 

“As customer needs have changed, so should your approach as an entrepreneur. Some markets and opportunities that existed in February 2020 are no longer there, but many others are mushrooming as the new situation creates needs that were not there before. At Zapiens, for instance, we have seen an increased interest in our software due to the rush for companies to digitally transform in order to cope with this crisis”. 

Following the success of the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge 2020, with more than 2,250 projects registered, Banco Santander is now launching, in collaboration with the Oxentia Foundation, the Santander X Environmental Challenge, a global challenge aimed at entrepreneurs with innovative ideas to build a more sustainable future. 

With prizes worth 120,000 euros, mentoring programmes and campaigns to publicise the winning proposals, Santander X Environmental Challenge aims to highlight solutions that fight climate change and have a positive impact on the environment. Projects or companies wishing to take part in this new challenge can sign up for one of these two categories:

  • Be Sustainable: promote green finance and investment. How does your solution attract sustainable investment and financing from people and investors who want to support economic activities with a positive environmental impact? How does your solution help investors or financial institutions to help companies take the lead in the transition to a low-carbon economy?
  • Be Mindful: raise awareness of the importance of reducing the environmental footprint. How can your solution help individuals and companies, including their supply chain, to measure their environmental footprint? How can you help them with solutions that enhance the reinvention of business and industry to reduce their environmental impact and promote biodiversity?

Are you an entrepreneur with solutions that combat climate change and have a positive impact on the environment? Sign up for the global Santander X Environmental Challenge and seize the opportunity!