«I'm lucky to have been able to start my business with the UOC's support»
 Jordi Vall

Jordi Vall is finishing his second degree at the UOC and boosting one start-up supported by the university (photo: Jordi Vall)

Rubén Permuy
Jordi Vall, holder of a Master's Degree in Legal Practice, student of the Bachelor's Degree in Humanities at the UOC, and a driving force behind the start-up Opground


A 27-year-old entrepreneur whose academic and professional interests have no limits. Jordi Vall started his relationship with the Universitat Oberta de Catalunya (UOC) with a Bachelor's Degree in Humanities, which he is about to complete, and finishing the Master's Degree in Legal Practice. In addition, he is currently planning on taking the Double Degree in Computer Engineering and in Business Administration and Management.

In addition to this enthusiasm for learning, he is one of the driving forces behind the start-up Opground, which was a finalist in SpinUOC, the University's annual entrepreneurship programme coordinated by Hubbik. This technology project has been one of the entrepreneurial initiatives included in the University's stand in the recent 4 Years From Now (4YFN) event, the Mobile World Congress technology start-up fair.

Why did you decide to go into the entrepreneurial world?

I've always been interested in the world of start-ups, but I joined a company with a very appealing career plan straight after graduating, so I didn't focus on entrepreneurship. However, one day Eduard, my business partner and CEO of Opground, came to me with an idea that seemed to make complete sense. The two of us and Marcel, the other founder and CTO, started working together on it, and everything went smoothly until we got to an all-or-nothing point. In 2019 I realized that it was time to give it everything I had, and, thanks to the team's support, I made the leap to Opground.

You're 27 years old, and your partner Eduard is 29. What advantages and disadvantages have you encountered as a result of starting a new business at your age?

I think when you're young you can afford to fail, because nobody depends on you. In my case, I was able to give it my full commitment. The three founding partners had no salary for some time, we invested a good chunk of our savings in Opground, and we took a huge risk.

And I'm happy that's how it was. I think that, as young, keen and motivated people, if we'd had financial backing that meant we were allowed to fail or make less of an effort, things would have been different, because we might feel that, if we'd had help once, we'd surely get help for the next project too. In our case, it was more a gamble that, if it didn't take off in the first few years, would stop us from taking on another project because we'd have no way to fund it.

Furthermore, our great challenge precisely because of our youth is the fact that we have to learn very quickly, on the go, a million things that we'd never even thought about.

You have pushed Opground's technology forward. What makes it special compared to other recruitment platforms?

It's an entirely new approach to recruitment that does away with long and repetitive processes. We've developed an AI-based technology that connects businesses and entrepreneurs with talent in IT (short for Information Technology) using the same information that people would use - the initial interview - but in under five minutes.

We are not a recruitment agency, candidate pre-selection software or a job portal. We're a tool that customizes the process and makes it simpler for both parties, carrying it out in a few minutes rather than taking up to a month like many companies.

At the same time, our technology enables professionals to receive customized proposals from companies that match their interests, expectations and future prospects once they've been selected for the final stage of the recruitment process.

You've ended up as finalists in the most recent SpinUOC, an entrepreneurship programme carried out by the University. How do you rate this experience?

It was a great recognition of all the work we've done since we first started. With the huge amount of talent and number of projects in the UOC community, being chosen to take part was a unique feeling. And, in addition to really appreciating the prior preparation and mentoring, we're also very happy with the visibility we're getting thanks to the University, which is very important for carving a place for ourselves in a very competitive market. We really appreciate the UOC's commitment to us.

You are one of the eight start-ups and spin-offs that have taken part in the UOC's 4 Years From Now stand. What has this participation in the Mobile World Congress meant for Opground?

Being at 4YFN with the UOC has been a very enriching and positive experience for the project. The UOC's support has given our project greater credibility, as it's an institution with a strong commitment to innovation that has validated our proposal and supported us in our venture. In addition, beyond the networking part, finding out about other projects and meeting potential new partners, customers and investors, the event has enabled us to meet face to face professionals from this field with whom we're already building a relationship.

How do you rate, in general terms, the entrepreneurship support provided by the UOC through Hubbik?

It's really good. We started using Hubbik about a year and a half ago, just after officially launching the product into the market and following months of technological development, and it was an amazing experience. Thanks to this platform, we've had access to training courses, expert advice and mentoring, places for sharing with other entrepreneurs, resources for staying up to date and more. The support provided by the UOC through Hubbik has been one of our lucky breaks with Opground.

You've done a Master's Degree in Legal Practice and are now finishing the Bachelor's Degree in Humanities at the UOC. What has that training experience been like for you?

I always recommend the UOC to anyone who wants to continue studying. The flexibility it provides, the huge amount of resources you can get in order to gain more in-depth knowledge of the subjects you're interested in, the assessment format and the assistance you get from tutors and faculty members are some of the many things that make it fully compatible with any kind of activity. 

I started studying for the Bachelor's Degree in Humanities when I was in the third year of a Double Degree in Economics and Law at Pompeu Fabra University and working full-time as a waiter, and the flexibility provided by the UOC made it all very easy. You can always find time to do what you enjoy, and the UOC makes it very easy for you to juggle everything and keep going. So, I was completely sure that I wanted to do the Master's Degree in Legal Practice, but I was already working in the corporate world, which would have been impossible to combine with a face-to-face university course, and the UOC made it feasible. 

Your choices show that your interests complement each other but are also different. What fields are you most interested in from a career point of view, and would you like to focus on in the future?

I'd like to learn about a lot of things, and not necessarily in order to use them in the immediate future. For now, my priority is to start the Double Degree in Computer Engineering and in Business Administration and Management at the UOC. I've been wanting to do so for a while, but now that I'm working in a company that focuses on disruptive technologies and I'm surrounded by extremely high-level technological talent, it feels like the right time. I also want to continue with my Humanities training, more specifically Philosophy. And in the very long term... I don't know. I've always wanted to study Medicine, so you never know!



The UOC's research and innovation (R&I) is helping overcome pressing challenges faced by global societies in the 21st century, by studying interactions between technology and human & social sciences with a specific focus on the network society, e-learning and e-health.

Over 500 researchers and 51 research groups work among the University's seven faculties and two research centres: the Internet Interdisciplinary Institute (IN3) and the eHealth Center (eHC).

The University also cultivates online learning innovations at its eLearning Innovation Center (eLinC), as well as UOC community entrepreneurship and knowledge transfer via the Hubbik platform.

The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and open knowledge serve as strategic pillars for the UOC's teaching, research and innovation. More information: #UOC25years

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