27 April 2023 TB Members Calling


TB Members Calling #60 | Alessio Merella: “Behind every person is a world full of opportunities to be discovered”

27 April 2023 TB Members Calling

Alessio Merella (Alghero, 1976) is a gateway and a point of reference for Italian talent in Barcelona. Not only for his role as director of Abinsula in Spain, but also for his work as a mentor at the Italian Chamber of Commerce in Catalonia and as an advisor at Com.It.Es, from where he helps the Italian community of technology companies and entrepreneurs to land in the city.

“I arrived in Barcelona 15 years ago working for a French multinational. Then, due to life circumstances, my homeland, the island of Sardinia, called me so that the world could get to know it. It was then, in 2017, when I joined Abinsula, a company that develops software and hardware for multiple solutions and sectors”.

With a degree in Mechanical Engineering and master’s studies in Business Intelligence, Business Development and Digital Transformation, he also has a special interest in handicrafts and ceramics, change management, politics, innovation and, for the last few years, sociology.


TB: What is the purpose of your project?

AM: My main objective is that Catalonia and Spain become increasingly more familiar with the ecosystem of Abinsula, an SME chosen in 2016 as Best Italian Start-Up, and which can boast of working in different disruptive strategic areas in the world of information technology. We have more than ten satellite companies that collaborate synergistically for its growth in mobility, Business Intelligence, Open Data, agrotech, sportech, IoT, etcetera.


TB: A good idea you have had.

AM: Believing that behind every person there is a world full of opportunities to discover: that’s the law of Business Development! And perhaps I would also highlight the idea of advising Abinsula on its international expansion starting from Tech Barcelona’s Pier01.


TB: A bad professional experience.

AM: Bad experiences at 47? Impossible, just learning. Mistakes always happen and will happen, human beings are made to make mistakes and learn.


TB: The best advice you’ve ever been given.

AM: “You have to talk to everyone all the time. This was given to me by my boss, one of my best friends.


TB: A professional reference that inspires you.

AM: Again, my boss and lifelong friend Pierluigi Pinna, founder of Abinsula. I don’t have to look for big names, but rather great people. And on a political and social level, my reference is still José Mujica, of whom I have read a lot about his intense and hard life. Of course, I consider him a role model when it comes to approaching how this fast-paced world we live in should go.


TB: A technology that will shape the future.

AM: Image Recognitioning still has to do its best. So has Natural Language Processing (NPL). The combination of both technologies can have a great effect thanks to today’s computing power.


TB: What are your concerns?

AM: People’s increasing selfishness or opportunism. The fact of trying to be stronger and less collaborative. This is weakening today’s society.


TB: Una startup.

AM: I’m telling you about one that you will soon know in Spain and Tech Barcelona; Adaptronics, a truly impressive deeptech.


TB: A book to recommend.

AM: “Nonviolent Communication” by Marshall Rosenberg. “On Becoming a Person” by Carl Rogers. And “Leading Change” by John Kotter.


TB: A series, film or song that defines your moment in life.

AM: Song? “Don’t stop me now” or “Show Must Go On” by Queen. Film? “The Shawshank Redemption”. Resilience and tenacity above everything else.


TB: A recipe, a meal, a restaurant.

AM: Can Sardi Barceloneta: small, good food and a great corner of my island. One recipe: spaghetti aglio e peperoncino with pecorina on top. I have a spectacular variation with smoked chipotle, a perfect ‘italo-mex’ mix. I love Mexican food and its flavours, not to mention Italian.


TB: A city, a journey.

AM: I love Barcelona. And the next trip will be to Argentina.


TB: Where would you invest 100k?

AM: Surely in inclusive and collaborative projects. I was born to help.


TB: And a million euros?

AM: I am very confident in social inclusion and mental health projects. I am also very interested in the Telemedicine of the future, and I believe in improved ICT infrastructure in depopulated countries. These will be essential for sustainable growth.


TB: If you were not an entrepreneur…

AM: I am not and I don’t think I ever will be (although “mai” I will say “mai”). But I am and will be a great connector.


TB: What is Tech Barcelona for you?

AM: Simply the reason why trusting a good institution is worth thousands of hours of work. When we had to decide where to start our first international experience, I didn’t hesitate to think that Tech Barcelona was the best place to start. And I think I have been right so far. Thanks to the partnership, Spain represents 8% of Abinsula’s total turnover. And this is just the beginning.