Since the foundation of our firm we aspired to nurturing the Live-Bio family. We developed this concept to reflect the fact that our objective was not to be yet another guest house with stunning views of the Aegean. We wanted Live-Bio to be a place of exchange, interpersonal interaction and at-home experience. Having said that, we had no idea whether the concept of the Live-Bio family would ever come true or whether it would constitute a failed (public relations) idea.

The Live-Bio family in Madrid

During my last visit to Madrid, Spain, I realised that the Live-Bio family is not simply a concept but rather a reality that exceeds even my most optimistic expectations. While in Madrid, I got the opportunity to spend time with all our Live-Bio guests (the Live-Bio family in Madrid) who currently live in this wonderful city.

For the ones who don’t know, and in case you wonder why I visited Madrid without Magdalena, I am a Doctoral student at the Instituto de Empresa (IE Business School), researching something totally unrelated to Live-Bio but very close to my previous life: “the unintended consequences of having different regulatory capital standards in the banking and insurance sectors, despite the overlap in terms of financial instruments employed and the risk types involved”. What did you say, that Live-Bio sounds more interesting? I would tend to agree!

In addition, I was invited to speak at the South Summit conference, that was also taking place in the city during the same time. Please refer to the related post from a few weeks ago. But let’s now go back to the Live-Bio family.

Cenling and Lucia, the Live-Bio interns

First, I had a wonderful tapas meal (and Spanish wine of course) with Lucía and Cenling, our two interns who joined Live-Bio during its embryonic stages. It was amazing to realise (both me and them) how far Live-Bio has grown since the days that they spent with us. In June of this year, Live-Bio was just an idea and a construction site. By now we have had real clients, real revenues and a growing Live-Bio family that shares common memories.

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Cenling & Lucia

Live-Bio family in Madrid – Cenling & Lucia (at school)

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Cenling & Lucia

Live-Bio family in Madrid – Cenling & Lucia (after school)

Cristina and Alvaro

Over the weekend, Álvaro and Christina hosted me at their family home in the picturesque village of Cercedilla, on the mountains of Madrid. I have to admit that my heart felt both warm and embarrassed: I was hosted as a friend at the house of people that we hosted as customers. I could not wish for anything more rewarding from the Live-Bio journey than being able to make new friends through our business venture. I do not know of many businesses in the hospitality sector that have managed to achieve this.

Other than the beautiful sights, the autumn cold and the crisp mountain air, we enjoyed exquisite wine from the private cellar of one of the local restaurants. Can you notice a pattern developing here? Christina and Álvaro, thank you very much for everything, it was amazing reconnecting with you guys in your home turf.

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Christina & Alvaro

Shooting selfies – Álvaro’s favourite 🙂 – at Segovia

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Christina & Alvaro

More wine, less hair, this time at Calle de Pez, Malasaña

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Christina & Alvaro

Yes, Dimitri was also there, don’t ask 🙂

Maria and Raul

On a different occasion, I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with Maria, our American guest who permanently lives in Madrid. Unfortunately Raúl could not join us as he was busy with work, reminiscent of his extremely busy days during the one month he spent with us on the Peloponnese. Maria and I met in the evening after a long day of lectures and hard work (have a look at the webinar she was passionately working for) so you can imagine we paired our time with… yes, more wine. Maria, I really enjoyed chatting to you!

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Maria

Live-Bio family in Madrid – Maria

Even though not strictly a member of the Live-Bio family, one of the surprises of this trip was reconnecting with Eva, one of my classmates at the London School of Economics. Eva recognised me at the South Summit despite the fact that we had not seen each other in 15 years, and the long beard I recently sport. Eva had stood out for me at the LSE and it was wonderful spending time with her and being shown around by a Basque-born Madrileña 🙂

Live-Bio family in Madrid - Eva

Live-Bio family in Madrid – Eva

IE Business School DBA class

Lastly, I had to share a photo with my class mates at the Instituto de Empresa, a wonderful group of people, better than anything I could have asked for. Guys, you make the challenge of the doctoral studies being enjoyable with your kindness, character and sense of humour. Look forward to seeing you soon, if not here at Live-Bio.

Live-Bio family in Madrid - DBA colleagues

Live-Bio family in Madrid – DBA colleagues