Joan Riera

Founder and CEO of Active Development

Joan Riera welcomes you to the website of Active Development,

We’re thrilled to receive your visit and that you’re reading these lines. In Active Development we are determined to help you grow, prosper and expand your business

After living projects in Northampton (UK), Los Angeles (USA) and New York (USA), Joan Riera decided to settle in his hometown, Barcelona. The late 90s were a time of revolution, the Internet boom seemed to open a new world. An ocean of opportunities would not let him sleep, so being only 23 years old, he decided to leave his position as an internal consultant in a large bank to partner with a group of engineers and create his first company. Despite having all the tools and knowledge assimilated at ESADE, this was definitely his other masters. It was such an intense experience that changed his life forever; he lived the full cycle, from creation, development, growth to settlement.

Since then, Joan has become what is called a serial entrepreneur. There are now a total of 7 companies created, because when you start you can’t stop. From a new business unit in a multinational, a spin-off or new initiatives from scratch.

When you get to this point, it’s inevitable to be tempted, so it couldn’t be otherwise, he is also a private investor or business angel. As early as 2004 the intelligent private capital was in everyone’s mouth, so Joan helped organize the first forum of investors in Spain. The embryo of the first network of business angels was an Excel spreadsheet with just 15 guests, which led to ESADE BAN, today the largest network in Spain with more than 130 partners. Today, he continues as a member of the Board and the Project Review Committee.

Joan Riera and business consultancy

From the side of counseling, he had a stint as an executive in ESADE where he helped develop the service platform for alumni who are entrepreneurs and businessmen. In three years he came to advise more than 400 entrepreneurs, some of which have forged great success stories. This allowed him to create an extensive network of contacts in multiple business sectors with very different natures.

One of the most emblematic projects was ESADE CREAPOLIS, which became an independent company representing the most important project in the history of ESADE Business School. It was born from the question: What is the role to be played by a business school in the world of innovation? Leading its conception, design and plan allowed us to raise €40M to undertake its construction and launch, positioning itself as an international pioneer innovation park. Following its opening, in just one year they already had 42 resident companies. The innovation of more than 3,000 companies was analyzed, which helped position Active Development as a national reference with unique services in the market. In addition, Joan chairs the Innovation Club of the Alumni Association of ESADE.


In parallel to this occupation, from a very Young age he had a passion for teaching and transmitting what he was learning to those around him. It is a way to thank, it’s his way of giving back to society what it has given him so much. Even today, he has not been able to find such a wonderful and rewarding activity in which to share experiences, techniques, errors and new tools. For over 15 years he has been professor of Strategy and General Management of ESADE. Of course, based on a fundamental aspect, never leave the practical side, because falling in theory is losing the essence, the value and focus. Nothing like giving example, talking in the first person because he has really been there and has gone through what you’re going.

Where is he a speaker?

In this line, he is also a speaker at national and international forums related to innovation, entrepreneurship, growth management and leadership. In Active Development we are at the forefront of trends and new techniques, which make him an active writer who contributes with press, such as Expansión, Cinco Días, Financial Times, ABC, El País, Emprendedores and Actualidad Económica. In addition, next to Tomas Soler, they are the authors of EMPRENDE TU PROPIA AVENTURA (, an innovative book in which the reader is the main character and leads many stories with over 35 different endings. It is a hybrid of the business case as used in business schools and methodology ‘Choose Your Adventure’, which at the end of each chapter you make a decision that will define your destiny.

Thank you very much for your visit. We want to know you, do you want to talk?

Meanwhile, I invite you to follow me on Twitter and Linkedin.

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