BBVA joins Startup Valencia to boost the Valencian entrepreneurship ecosystem

BBVA has joined forces with Startup Valencia to boost the entrepreneurship ecosystem of the Valencian Community. The aim of this alliance is to consolidate the region’s position as a hub for tech and innovation companies.

The financial institution has become a Corporate Partner of Startup Valencia, which will enable it to actively contribute to the revitalisation and development of the Valencian ecosystem, participate in open innovation programmes with startups, and interact with agents to share experiences and best practices. 

BBVA will structure this cooperation through BBVA Spark, a new business unit specialising in high-growth innovative companies. Its Head of Banking in Spain, Verónica Ruiz, says, "Valencia has become one of the main tech hubs in Spain in recent years thanks to the promotion of initiatives such as Startup Valencia, an association that is developing an ecosystem with great opportunities for growth". 

"This collaboration is another example of BBVA's commitment to entrepreneurship and innovation as key elements for tackling the challenges of today and tomorrow with the support of entrepreneurs," she said. BBVA's agreement with Startup Valencia will enable it to actively contribute to the development of the region's tech and innovation ecosystem, participate in programmes to connect with startups, attend meetings with agents of the ecosystem, and exchange experiences and best practices. 

"At BBVA Spark we want to be the financial partner for high-growth companies with innovative models, providing not only traditional financial products, but also more typical debt fund products such as venture debt or growth loans. With this comprehensive proposal, we want to contribute to the growth of the Spanish business fabric and to that of startups, accompanying and supporting them in their development," adds Ruíz. 

For Juan Luis Hortelano, president of Startup Valencia, "The partnership between BBVA Spark and Startup Valencia is a great opportunity for Valencian entrepreneurs as they will have the necessary guidance and financial products adapted to their needs integrated into their own ecosystem".

This BBVA Spark alliance comes shortly after the ones it signed with the BAT Tower in Bilbao and the Health Hub in Barcelona. With these agreements, BBVA Spark aims to promote innovation and help the main companies in Spain that are transforming various sectors with technological and digital proposals to grow.

 

 

 

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Women entrepreneurs assert their role in the innovation ecosystem

Women’s Entrepreneurship Day is celebrated on the 19th of November, a date set by the UN in 2014 with the aim of drawing special attention to the work of women who have embarked on the adventure of entrepreneurship. 

The role of women in the entrepreneurship ecosystem in our country is remarkable and they are responsible for a large part of Spanish social and economic development. However, as in other fields and sectors, the representation of women in entrepreneurial activities is still inferior when compared to that of men. Nevertheless, this disproportion is evolving every year towards more equitable figures.

The philosopher Amelia Valcárcel, when asked what more women want now that they have all their rights recognised, said that women should have the right to half of everything since they make up 49.5% of the world's population. In the field of entrepreneurship, this proportional representation of men and women has not yet been reached, but it is a gap that is narrowing every year, according to data from GEM Spain.

In 2017, the GEM Special Report on Women’s Entrepreneurship already showed that the gap between female and male entrepreneurs is decreasing. Specifically, the document pointed out that the gender gap in Spain had narrowed by 36% in the last decade. In 2020, the same institution published a report called Mujer Emprendedora (Woman Entrepreneur) outlining that, as was already evident in the international context, women in Spain participate to a lesser extent in the different phases of the entrepreneurship process. 

A reading of the data reveals the existence of this gap that we have been referring to, but it also illustrates the gradual transformation of the situation. As we have already mentioned, the reports show that the gap is narrowing every year to such an extent that, according to the latest GEM Report, in 2021 the percentage of women entrepreneurs increased in all phases of the entrepreneurship process.

Specifically, when it comes to recent entrepreneurial activity (TEA), women actually outnumbered men last year, representing 5.6% and 5.4% respectively. The same report shows that the number of women entrepreneurs also outnumbered men in the 18-34 and 35-44 age groups. We can deduce from this that women are starting businesses at a younger age (18-44 years), while men are doing so at increasingly later ages. Moreover, in 2021, the percentage of women entrepreneurs with a university education exceeded that of men in all phases of the entrepreneurship process.

If we look at data from our own tech and innovation ecosystem, the Startup Observatory of the Valencian Community’s 2022 Report carried out by Startup Valencia shows that more than a third of Valencian startups have been founded by women, 36% to be exact. Likewise, 80% of the startups analysed claimed to be committed to gender equality and the empowerment of women as part of the Sustainable Development Goals promoted by the United Nations.

At Startup Valencia, we believe that this data is extremely promising and reaffirms our notion that in the near future women will have their share of representation everywhere, even in the traditionally male-dominated tech and innovation ecosystem. Women entrepreneurs are asserting their role and importance as drivers of the Valencian economy, with entrepreneurial projects that offer a differentiating factor.

In order to boost this transformation, the association organises numerous meetings and activities in which we seek to make the talent of women in our ecosystem more visible, so that it can serve as an inspiration and, at the same time, increase the representation of women in this sector.

 

 

 

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valencian startup valencia digital summit

Valencian startups showcase themselves at Valencia Digital Summit 2022

Valencia Digital Summit 2022 has demonstrated the strength of the Valencian tech and innovation ecosystem. The event, which celebrated its fifth edition this year at the City of Arts and Sciences, brought together startups, accelerators and key players in the industry to showcase their projects to an international audience. In addition, the various presentations and round tables explored some of the challenges facing society and some of the opportunities for development.

VDS2022 has served to give visibility to the projects being carried out in the Valencian Community and highlight the talent and technology being developed in the region. Across these two days, more than 12,000 attendees from over 35 countries, more than 400 investors with a portfolio of more than €6 billion euros to invest in the coming year, and various CEOs and founders of some of the world's leading multinationals have set their eyes on the Valencian ecosystem.

A rapidly growing and consolidating tech hub in Spain, third only to Madrid and Barcelona. This is how Valencia comes across in the 2022 report by the Startup Observatory of the Valencian Community, developed by Startup Valencia, which was presented on the second day of the conference. Teresa García, Head of Entrepreneurship and Cooperativism at the Regional Ministry of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Employment, and Virginia Sánchez, Managing Director at Zubi Labs, were responsible for presenting the data in this report, which highlights that this year the ecosystem has experienced a growth of 12.5% compared to 2021 and that it has birthed over 1,130 new startups – 12% more than the previous year. These figures will increase by the end of the year, as they only cover the period from January to September 2022. 

With regard to these figures, Teresa García emphasised that the Valencian ecosystem is a "strong and solid ecosystem, one more than ready for start-ups to emerge, grow and consolidate. It’s an ecosystem capable of attracting international investment. Tech events such as this one," she added, "confirm that the ecosystem has sufficient significance to add value to the productive sector of the Valencian Community”. He also pointed out that the existing connection between all the agents "makes us capable and, although we are smaller in size, we are growing proportionally more than Madrid, for example".

The report also shows that 68% of Valencian startups have increased their workforce and have created jobs with high added value. Among the sectors that have grown the most over the course of 2022 are human resources and content. Startups operating in the legaltech field or pursuing triple impact have also maintained their growth trend. When it comes to technologies being developed in the Valencian ecosystem, blockchain and those helping companies with digitalisation, such as 5G connectivity, stand out. 50% of the startups analysed have a B2B business model, "which shows that many of them are born out of the need for digitalisation that companies have", says Teresa García.

 

Analysis of strategic sectors

Valencia Digital Summit 2022 analysed the latest tech and innovation trends in strategic sectors of the Valencian Community. This was the case of the Aerospace forum, designed in collaboration with AEROCAS (Castellón Airport), in which the potential of this infrastructure as a key for the implementation of business projects in the aerospace sector and as a business incubator for the development of R&D initiatives was presented.

Throughout three sessions participated in by the regional secretary of the Regional Ministry of Economy, Empar Martínez; the general manager of Aerocas, Blanca Marín; the Universitat Politècnica de València (UPV), Espai Aero, Val Space Consortium, the College of Aeronautical Engineers (COIAE-AIAE) and the companies Arkadia Space, PLD, COMET Ingeniería and NAX Solutions, the attractiveness of the Valencian Community to the aerospace sector and the bases for the development of this industry were analysed. In addition, research experiences and success stories of Valencian companies were presented.

Also held today was the Ports and Logistics forum, a meeting point for investors, start-ups and corporations in the sector to analyse the challenges facing ports, promoted by Opentop, the Innovation Hub of Valenciaport.

Among the great challenges that the sector has to respond to are, firstly, the growth in the demand for logistics services that push the envelope of capacity and efficiency, and secondly, the pressing need to reduce the carbon footprint of port operations. Tech and innovation are emerging as the optimal tools for meeting these challenges, but the traditional nature of ports could mean that the adoption of these disruptive solutions will be slower than desired. 

VDS2022 also hosted the Health Forum, organised by the Regional Ministry for Innovation, Universities, Science and Digital Society, with the participation of Sonia Tirado, the Ministry’s Head of Innovation.

 

Afternoon programme

This afternoon, the winners of the VDS2022 Competition will be announced during the awards ceremony moderated by Paloma Mas, Events and Culture Manager at Plug and Play. An international jury, made up of key players of the ecosystem such as Sébastien Lefebvre, Partner at the French venture capital firm Elaia; Nelly Markova, Principal of the English venture capital firm Molten Ventures; Rachelle Young, Program Director for TNW – the main event of Amsterdam's tech ecosystem promoted by the Financial Times – and Juan Luis Hortelano, president of Startup Valencia, has been in charge of choosing the winners in the Seed and Growth categories from the following list of startups: Trebellar, Arkadia Space, Mojito360, Exheus, Reental, Proky, Delivers.ai, Drill Surgeries, BizAway and IDNow. 

The winners will be awarded a stand at VDS2023, a stand at TNW Valencia, and tickets to TNW Amsterdam. After the awards ceremony, Francisco Polo, High Commissioner for the Spanish Government’s Spain Entrepreneurial Nation authority; Pilar Bernabé, Government Delegate for the Valencian Community; Sandra Gómez, Deputy Mayor of Valencia; Nacho Mas, CEO of Startup Valencia, and Juan Luis Hortelano, President of Startup Valencia, will bring Valencia Digital Summit 2022 to a close with some final remarks.

 

An international tech event

Since its first edition in 2018, Valencia Digital Summit has recorded exponential growth that has led it to become an internationally recognised tech event. The latest edition alone, held on the 15th and 16th of December last year, generated an economic impact of more than €4.8 million. The event, which was attended by leaders of world-renowned companies such as Airbus, Google and Amazon, as well as consolidated startups such as Jeff, Jobandtalent and Gorillas, brought together more than 5,500 people in person and more than 5,000 online. In addition, 20% of all attendees came from abroad and from up to 25 different countries.

 

 

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valencia digital summit carbon neutral

Valencia Digital Summit will be carbon neutral for its fifth edition

Valencia Digital Summit (VDS), the international tech event of the Valencian innovation ecosystem hosted by Startup Valencia from the 24th to the 26th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences, will offset its carbon footprint as a result of its collaboration with ClimateTrade, Green Partner of VDS2022.

Through this initiative with the climate marketplace, the fifth edition of the event that each year turns Valencia into the world capital of tech innovation will be carbon neutral.

As Juan Luis Hortelano, president of Startup Valencia, explains: "Sustainability is one of the strategic pillars of VDS2022 and during the third week of October, the Valencian entrepreneurial ecosystem will show the world how technology, innovation and digitalisation can inspire a better future for the planet".

At Valencia Digital Summit 2022, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their projects to the more than 10,000 people expected this year. The tech event will feature more than 300 presentations by renowned national and international leaders, which will be given between the 25th and 26th of October. In addition, it will bring together more than 150 corporations and more than 1,500 startups. Taking these figures as a reference, ClimateTrade estimates that the carbon footprint to be offset will exceed 100 tonnes of CO2. 

Under the agreement signed between both entities, ClimateTrade will calculate the total emissions of the tech event according to the Greenhouse Gas Protocol methodology, taking into account four main areas: transport, accommodation, venue and food. Once the carbon footprint has been calculated, Startup Valencia will choose one or several certified projects among the more than 80 available on ClimateTrade's marketplace and will buy the corresponding carbon credits to offset the total emissions of the event.

Thanks to ClimateTrade's blockchain platform, the credits are 100% traceable and the offset is reflected through a personalised certificate with information about the chosen projects. This transparency guarantees the positive impact of carbon offsetting for the planet. 

This initiative is part of the content strategy of Valencia Digital Summit 2022, which spans four themes: innovation, growth, transformation and sustainability. In each of these aspects, challenges, success stories and personal experiences will be presented that will inspire the attendees. 

In the field of innovation, the roundtable on sustainable construction will feature Iker Marcaide, founder and Executive Chairman of Zubi Group; Gonzalo Galindo, president of CEMEX Ventures, and Tanja Kufner, head of Ventures at Nemetschek SE. Furthermore, Alicante-born Iñaki Berenguer, founder of CoverWallet, Pixable and Contactive and co-founder of iPronics, who recently launched a $100 million fund focusing on software and science, will speak about sustainability in investment.  

According to Francisco Benedito, CEO of ClimateTrade, "it is a pleasure to support the carbon neutrality of this tech event with which we have been collaborating for years as members of the startup ecosystem of the Valencian Community. With this initiative, Valencia Digital Summit positions itself as a benchmark not only in innovation, but also in sustainability". 

VDS2022 will turn Valencia into the world capital of tech innovation and, thanks to this carbon offsetting project, it will become a symbol for the ecosystem’s commitment to the environment and its positive response to major social challenges.

 

 

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valencia digital summit agenda

Valencia Digital Summit 2022 will explore the latest tech trends in strategic sectors

The latest tech and innovation trends in strategic sectors of the Valencia Region will be explored at this year’s Valencia Digital Summit. The fifth edition of the tech event, which positions the city as the world capital of innovation entrepreneurship, will be held from the 24th to the 26th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences. 

Throughout an ambitious programme of talks, round tables, workshops and themed forums, the disruptive solutions and challenges faced by sectors such as the automotive, aerospace, construction, port, health, agri-food and human resources industries will be presented. To this end, the event will feature key figures in tech and innovation such as Ann Hiatt, a leadership strategist with more than 15 years of experience in Silicon Valley as Executive Business Partner of Jeff Bezos (founder and CEO of Amazon) and of Eric Schmidt (CEO/Executive Chairman of Google), the latter currently based in the Valencian Community.

As Juan Luis Hortelano, president of Startup Valencia, explained: "Valencia Digital Summit 2022 seeks to boost the Valencian entrepreneurial ecosystem, making it known around the world and attracting talent and investment to the region, so it is essential to analyse what projects and solutions are being developed in strategic sectors. Tech, open innovation, calls for talent and venture capital are key to making the Valencian economy more competitive", he added.

 

Success stories and inspiring experiences

The timetable of talks and debates will kick off on Tuesday, the 25th of October, with an analysis of one of the most important companies in the Valencian automotive industry: “Valencia and Ford: a success story”. The Regional Minister for Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labour, Rafael Climent; the General Director for Internationalisation at the Generalitat Valenciana, Mª Dolores Parra, and the Transformation and Innovation Manager of Ford Europe, Paula Carsi, will participate in the talk.

The agri-food sector will also be the subject of study through various presentations such as 'The rise of the FoodTech sector' and 'Technology behind a lettuce', with Sergio Pajares (CTO of Mercadona). On top of this, some agrotech and foodtech startups will present their projects at the VDS2022 Pitch Corner and there will be a meeting between chef Quique Dacosta and the CEO of KM ZERO Food Innovation Hub, Beatriz Jacoste, which will allow attendees to gain an insight into the professional career of the triple Michelin-starred chef.

Mobility and smart cities will also feature prominently in the VDS2022 programme, with companies such as Zeleros, Siemens Mobility, Cooltra and Accenture Song taking the stage and presentations such as 'Smart cities for a more liveable future'.

The health, aerospace, port and blockchain technology sectors will have their own forums that will host an array of sessions in which experiences of innovation and digitisation, as well as success stories, will be presented.

The construction industry will be addressed from a sustainable perspective at a round table moderated by Marija Rucevsk, Managing Partner & Cofounder of Helve, with the participation of Iker Marcaide, Founder and Executive Chairman of Zubi Group; Gonzalo Galindo, President of CEMEX Ventures; Tanja Kufner, Head of Ventures at Nemetschek SE and Paula Sánchez, CEO & Cofounder of CoCircular.

Furthermore, more than 60 tech companies from sectors such as FoodTech, Industry 4.0, Health, Mobility and FinTech, among others, will participate in 'Meet the Startups', a networking event with a "speed dating" format in which these companies will be able to connect and generate synergies between them, as well as explore new business opportunities.

At the awards ceremony at 17:00 on the 26th of October, an international jury made up of Sébastien Lefebvre, Partner at French venture capital firm Elaia; Mariano Amartino, Managing Director for the Americas at Microsoft for Startups; Nelly Markova, Principal of UK venture capital firm Molten Ventures; Rachelle Young, Program Director for TNW, the main event of Amsterdam's tech ecosystem promoted by the Financial Times, and Juan Luis Hortelano, President of Startup Valencia, will be in charge of choosing the winning startups of the VDS2022 Competition in the Seed and Growth categories, in which more than 500 startups from 35 different countries participated. This event will be moderated by Paloma Mas, Events and Culture Manager at Plug and Play,

After the awards ceremony, Francisco Polo, High Commissioner for the Spanish Government’s Spain Entrepreneurial Nation authority; Pilar Bernabé, Government Delegate for the Valencian Community; Sandra Gómez, Deputy Mayor of Valencia; Nacho Mas, CEO of Startup Valencia, and Juan Luis Hortelano, President of Startup Valencia, will participate in the closing ceremony of Valencia Digital Summit 2022.

You can check the full programme here.

 

Great prospects

 

Under the slogan 'Inspiring the Good Future', Valencia Digital Summit 2022 will showcase how technology, innovation and digitalisation are building a better future and why they are key to tackling the main social and economic challenges facing society. 

In this fifth edition, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their projects to the more than 10,000 people expected this year. The event will feature more than 300 presentations by national and international leaders of renowned prestige. In addition, it will bring together more than 150 corporations and more than 1,500 startups.

Entry to Valencia Digital Summit is completely free with prior registration through the website. At the event, attendees will be able to enjoy exhibition areas showcasing the latest trends, tech innovations and disruptive products by means of interactive experiences with the aim of highlighting the existing talent in the Valencian Community, attracting investment to the region, and creating business opportunities between corporations and startups. As a novelty of this fifth edition, the tech event will feature a B2B forum with exclusive content and activities for entrepreneurs and businesspeople: Summit Pro.

 

An international tech event

Since its first edition in 2018, Valencia Digital Summit has recorded exponential growth that has led it to become an internationally recognised tech event. The latest edition alone, held on the 15th and 16th of December last year, generated an economic impact of more than €4.8 million. The event, which was attended by leaders of world-renowned companies such as Airbus, Google and Amazon, as well as consolidated startups such as Jeff, Jobandtalent and Gorillas, brought together more than 5,500 people in person and more than 5,000 online. In addition, 20% of all attendees came from abroad and from up to 25 different countries.

 

 

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corporate innovation

Corporate innovation: the key to startup success

Corporate innovation has become the fundamental ingredient for companies to gain competitiveness and face the challenges of today's markets, markets that are in continuous transformation and that are for products with an increasingly shorter life cycle. Open innovation, understood as collaboration between corporations and startups, allows the agility and great technological capacity of startups to be transferred to corporations, resulting in a value proposition with opportunities to be more disruptive.

This was the context in which the latest edition of Focus Pyme was held yesterday, the 27th of September, at Jeff Works. This initiative, organised by Startup Valencia and CEEI Valencia, and promoted and funded by the Generalitat Valenciana through the Instituto Valenciano de Competitividad Empresarial (IVACE) as part of its policy of supporting innovative entrepreneurship, was attended by leading professionals who shared real experiences of corporate innovation in our city.

Nacho Mas, CEO of Startup Valencia, and Ramón Ferrandis, CEO of CEEI Valencia, were in charge of welcoming the participants to this event, which started with the round table ''Corporate innovation & startups: a trend or a necessity?”. José Ignacio Ruiz, head of open innovation at GoHub Ventures; Cristian Ull, co-founder of Area101; Luz Adell, partner at Draper B1; and Alberto Escalera, innovation consultant at Elewit, concluded that open innovation should not respond to a trend, as it yields positive results for both parties.

 

The second round table was led by Nora Romero, innovation coordinator at KM Zero Hub; Francesc Pons, CEO of Innsomnia; Ismael Valero, head of Lanzadera Corporate, and Jorge Marcos, project manager at Opentop. Under the theme of "Boosting corporate innovation from Valencia", the speakers, moderated by Paloma Mas, highlighted the strength of the Valencian entrepreneurial ecosystem and some of the ingredients that make the city a benchmark region for open innovation, such as quality of life, good climate, talent development, and the innovation factor.

Finally, Karina Virrueta, head of ecosystem development at Startup Valencia, moderated the last panel, which included David Ortega, CEO of Dekalabs; Miguel Ángel Cintas, CEO and co-founder of Atribus; Miguel Silva-Constenla, CEO and co-founder of AllRead; and Joaquín Costa, co-founder and manager of Grupo Casfid, as examples of success stories. All participants agreed that one must be aware of one’s capabilities and must know the product very well, in order to succeed as a startup.

 

 

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vds2022 presentation

Valencia Digital Summit 2022 will position the city as the world capital of tech innovation

Valencia Digital Summit (VDS2022) will position Valencia as the world capital of tech innovation. This is the statement that Juan Luis Hortelano, president of Startup Valencia, made during the press conference held to present the Valencian Community’s flagship tech event, to be hosted from the 24th to the 26th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences.

Taking part in the presentation alongside Juan Luis Hortelano were Rafael Climent, Minister of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labour; Borja Sanjuán, Councillor for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development; and Pere Fuset, Councillor for the Digital Agenda and e-Government Delegation. Also attending were Teresa García, Head of Entrepreneurship and Cooperativism at the Generalitat Valenciana, and Antonio Torres, managing director of the City of Arts and Sciences.

During his speech, the president of Startup Valencia, a non-profit organisation that has been organising this international tech event since 2018, highlighted the importance of the event for consolidating Valencia's position as the third leading tech ecosystem in Spain and for putting the region on the map of entrepreneurship and innovation. "Since its first edition, Valencia Digital Summit has carved a niche in the international scene and is already an essential yearly meeting point for entrepreneurs, startups, investors, corporations and institutions," he said.

In other words, the importance of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the Valencian economy is significant. According to data from the Startup Observatory of the Valencian Community collected by Startup Valencia, the number of startups in the region has increased by 12% since November 2021 and has reached a total of 1,133. The sectors  in which these types of companies grow the most are human resources, content and sportstech. When it comes to technology, more than 50% of Valencian startups develop solutions based around artificial intelligence, big data, internet of things and cloud computing. Furthermore, nanotechnology and blockchain are the technologies that have grown the most: 20% compared to 2021.

Rafael Climent, Minister of Sustainable Economy, Productive Sectors, Trade and Labour, explained that "in the Valencian Region we are not only looking for entrepreneurship based on innovation, but also entrepreneurship that is sustainable, that generates triple impact, that transcends financial gain, and also generates positive benefits for society and the environment". Climent said that "we must create the suitable conditions for entrepreneurs to start businesses, from the ideation phase to the financing and consolidation ones", and for this, "it is also key that the various agents and entities that make up the entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as institutions, administrations, universities and business organisations, are committed to it and work together in the same direction".

The Councillor for Entrepreneurship and Economic Development, Borja Sanjuán, said that "tech events like Valencia Digital Summit contribute to building the model of a city that we seek at VLC Tech City, and they are a driving force to improve the quality of life of all citizens".

Lastly, Pere Fuset, Councillor for the Digital Agenda and e-Government Delegation, expressed the importance of "supporting and  promoting these types of tech events that generate value in the Valencian entrepreneurial ecosystem". He also stressed that "collaboration between all stakeholders is key to consolidating Valencia’s position as the world capital of innovation".

VDS 2022 presentation

 

Internationally renowned speakers

Elias Veris, Head of Global Operations at Google for Startups; Sebastian Greiss, Head of Startup Partnering at Siemens Mobility; and Mariano Amartino, Americas Managing Director at Microsoft for Startups, are some of the internationally renowned speakers who have already confirmed their participation in Valencia Digital Summit 2022

The summit will also feature Ann Hiatt, a leadership strategist with more than 15 years of experience in Silicon Valley as Jeff Bezos’ Executive Business Partner, and Eric Schmidt, former Google CEO/Executive Chairman, who is currently based in the Valencian Community.

Furthermore, Valencia Digital Summit will address the main issues facing modern society from the perspective of innovation and sustainable development. The tech event will kick off with a panel of European investors who will give their point of view on the Valencian ecosystem. Quantum computing will be discussed by one of the Spanish stars in this field, Enrique Lisazo, Founder & CEO of Multiverse Computing. There will also be featured content on Blockchain technology, and Opentop, the open innovation hub of Valenciaport, will delve into the digitalisation of ports. 

The four thematic pillars on which VDS2022 content will be based are innovation, growth, transformation and sustainability. Challenges, success stories and personal experiences to inspire attendees will be presented on each of these topics.

In the area of innovation, the roundtable on sustainable construction will feature Iker Marcaide, founder and Executive Chairman of Zubi Group; Gonzalo Galindo, president of CEMEX Ventures; and Tanja Kufner, head of Ventures at Nemetschek SE. To illustrate a growth example, Pep Gómez, founder of Fever, a startup that became a unicorn in January of this year, as well as founder of Reby, will also tell us his experience.

Iñaki Berenguer from Alicante, founder of CoverWallet, Pixable and Contactive, as well as co-founder of iPronics, which recently launched a $100 million fund aimed at software and science, will speak about sustainability in investment. In the field of transformation, it is worth mentioning the session on the problems of investing in content for Virtual Reality in which Orla Harris, COO & cofounder of SideQuet, and Carmen Alfonso Rico, founder of Cocoa, will participate.

More than 60 tech companies from sectors such as FoodTech, Industry 4.0, Health, Mobility and FinTech, among others, will participate in 'Meet the Startups', a networking side event with a "speed dating" format which will allow these companies to connect and generate synergies as well as explore new business opportunities.

In addition to this, Siemens Mobility, HP, Oracle Netsuite, Helloprint, Demium, Red Eléctrica Elewit, Banco Sabadell BStartup, La Caixa DayOne, Correos, Valenciaport and many other large corporations, tech companies and startups have already confirmed their participation as exhibitors in the expo area of the event.

 

VDS2022 Startup Competition

The press conference held today at the City of Arts and Sciences of Valencia also served to announce the finalists of the VDS2022 Startup Competition. The Valencian startups Trebellar, Arkadia Space and Mojito360, the Barcelona-based startup Exheus, the Madrid-based startup Reental, the Slovakian startup Proky, the British startup Delivers.ai, the Italian startup BizAway and the French startup IDNow will present their projects to the more than 250 investors expected at this edition with a portfolio of more than €6 million to invest in the coming year. With this initiative, the summit seeks to promote innovative companies in the Valencian ecosystem so that their projects consolidate, scale and contribute to inspiring a better future.

An international jury made up of renowned experts from Germany, France and the United States will be in charge of selecting the winners of the Seed and Growth categories.

More than 500 startups from 35 different countries have applied to participate in this pitch competition, supported by Plug and Play and promoted by Startup Valencia. As Juan Luis Hortelano explained: "the large number of startups that have applied to this competition, which has increased by 25% compared to last year, is a sign of the Valencian Community’s potential for attracting talent and investment". 

 

Great perspectives

Under the slogan 'Inspiring the Good Future', Valencia Digital Summit 2022 will showcase how technology, innovation and digitalisation are building a better future and why they are fundamental in tackling the major social and economic challenges society faces. 

In this fifth edition, entrepreneurs will have the opportunity to showcase their projects to the more than 10,000 people expected this year. The event will feature more than 300 presentations by national and international leaders of recognized prestige. In addition, it will bring together more than 150 corporations and more than 1,500 startups.

Entry to Valencia Digital Summit is completely free with prior registration through the website. At the event, attendees will be able to enjoy exhibition areas showcasing the latest trends, tech innovations and disruptive products by means of interactive experiences with the aim of highlighting the existing talent in the Valencian Community, attracting investment to the region, and creating business opportunities between corporations and startups. As a novelty of this fifth edition, the tech event will feature a B2B forum with exclusive content and activities for entrepreneurs and businesspeople: Summit Pro.

 

An international tech event

Since its first edition in 2018, Valencia Digital Summit has recorded exponential growth that has led it to become an internationally recognised tech event. The latest edition alone, held on the 15th and 16th of December last year, generated an economic impact of more than €4.8 million. The event, which was attended by leaders of world-renowned companies such as Airbus, Google and Amazon, as well as consolidated startups such as Jeff, Jobandtalent and Gorillas, brought together more than 5,500 people in person and more than 5,000 online. In addition, 20% of all attendees came from abroad and from up to 25 different countries.

 

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interview with Roberto Serasa

Roberto Sarasa (HP): "Open innovation is fundamental for large corporations"

Following HP's recent arrival in Valencia with its new software innovation and development centre, the US multinational has decided to become fully involved in the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem by joining Startup Valencia as a Corporate Partner.

In line with its goal of turning this centre into a national benchmark in the software sector that combines innovation, creativity and talent, HP has also committed to supporting the annual event of the startup ecosystem in the Valencian Community. The tech company is participating in the fifth edition of the Valencia Digital Summit, to be held from the 24th to the 26th of October, as a Silver Sponsor.

To find out more about the objectives of this new centre and its involvement in the Valencian startup scene, we spoke to Roberto Sarasa, LFP R&D Barcelona Manager and SW HUB Valencia Site Manager at HP.

 

When we talk about HP, we usually think of printers. What don't we know about everything you do?

"It's true, HP is mostly known for its printers and computers, but also for being a tech company with a great capacity for and obsession with innovation. Within this framework, we are always looking for new opportunities, far beyond computers and printers. Furthermore, when we talk about printers, we have to think beyond the printer we have in our homes, we have to think about industrial printers, 3D printers, office printers, etc. There is a whole world of possibilities for innovation in the fields of hardware and software, with dedicated and exclusive products and applications for each type of customer.

Home or office printers and computers are what you see. But HP technology and innovation is behind many of the things we see or use on a daily basis. For example, all the signage we see on the streets: the tarpaulins that cover buildings with advertising, the OPIs, the vinyls that line city buses, or how our technology has changed the experience of children in hospitals, turning scary CAT scan rooms into space stations like an amusement park. Obviously, we can’t forget 3D printing, which was key during the first months of the pandemic, designing and producing parts for ventilators, protective masks, and so on in record time.  At HP we have a vision of a world where innovation makes extraordinary contributions to humanity."

 

What role does HP play in the digital revolution?

"That's a good question for one of the pioneering companies in Silicon Valley, a company that designed the first scientific calculator, the first inkjet printer, that pioneered laptop designs or industrial transformation through 3D printing, etc. I would say that HP has represented a good example of digital revolution for many years, and certainly does now and will in the future."

 

You have recently announced the opening of a new innovation and software development centre in Valencia, what made you choose this destination? Has Valencia's position as the third leading technology hub in Spain played a role?

"Without a doubt! We evaluated many options under different parameters throughout Spain. Valencia offers a very good balance between an attractive city, an entrepreneurial ecosystem, institutional support, good infrastructure and, what is very important for us, access to top-level talent with its universities and its range of technical careers. Among them stands out the UPV, renowned and recognised nationally and internationally as a benchmark for technical training."

 

How will you have an impact on the strategic sectors of the Valencian Community?

"We are a small project with the intention of growing in this community and we are connecting from the beginning with the business, education and entrepreneurial network. I’m sure that these collaborations will bear fruit and help make the Valencian Community a place to invest and grow tech and social projects."

 

Your business model needs tech talent, how are you going to work to promote, attract and retain these profiles?

"In two ways: regarding the younger talent, by collaborating with the UPV and through agreements with other universities, by means of scholarship programmes, courses and workshops, talks, tech challenge activities (hackathons), final year project management, etc. For the more experienced talent, the HP project will be a challenge and an opportunity for professionals who are passionate about innovation and digital transformation. We are sure that it will be attractive to come and work with us and together we will continue to grow as professionals and people. As our CEO says, we should be proud to be a school of talent, both inside and outside HP."

 

We always stress the importance of open innovation; how do you manage collaboration with startups at HP?

"In our opinion, open innovation is fundamental for large corporations, there are many opinions and a lot of literature behind these words, but the truth is that we live in a world of collaborative innovation. In a world where disruption very often happens outside large corporations, it would be a mistake to look the other way in the face of these opportunities, you have to look for opportunities and establish collaborations. There is no alternative, and from the beginning we have wanted it to be this way, with Lanzadera, with the universities and with Startup Valencia, we want to work together and learn together from good and bad experiences, but we don’t want to look the other way, it doesn’t align with our culture or our way of being."

 

You are collaborating with Valencia Digital Summit 2022, what is your perception of this tech event and how does its celebration impact your business strategy?

"We have to put Valencia on the map, we have to get people talking about this community and this city, to think big, to make it international, well-known, to make it appear in searches when people talk about hubs, startups, innovation, etc. Valencia Digital Summit is perfect for these objectives and allows us to explain our project and our innovation in areas beyond printers and computers. HP's project in Valencia is innovative and transformative and will be seen at VDS2022 from the 24th to the 26th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences."

 

What do you expect from your collaboration with Startup Valencia that has just started?

"From the beginning it was clear to us that as a startup that had just arrived in Valencia we needed to make visible who we are and what we do, as well as connect with the existing ecosystem of the Valencian Community. In Startup Valencia we saw a perfect opportunity for our objectives, from the first conversation with their team we saw an opportunity to work with them on our goals, we were pleasantly impressed by the amount of activity they were doing, their initiatives, and their effort to connect large corporations like ours. We had no doubt that they were going to help us and although we have just started, we can't be more satisfied. We got it right for sure."

 

 

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Valencia and Miami a technological connection

Valencia and Miami, an innovative and technological connection

Despite the distance and cultural differences, Miami and Valencia have more in common than it seems. Both cities have become ideal destinations for entrepreneurs looking to develop their businesses. The new ways of working, where remote work has taken centre stage, and the commitment to a quality of life that balances work and family life has meant that more and more digital nomads are choosing to live in a pleasant environment that favours the growth of their businesses while enjoying a friendly city with a good climate and a wide range of cultural activities.

Both the American city and the capital of the Valencian region share a privileged climate and a unique environment. Above all, both cities are committed to developing and strengthening an entrepreneurial ecosystem that attracts startups and investors. As pointed out by the Mayor of Miami, Francis X. Suarez, "in addition to historical and cultural ties and the shared language, Miami and Valencia have something else in common and that is that they are stealing the spotlight from large cities thanks to their tech hubs, which have gained popularity in recent years".

At Startup Valencia we have wanted to strengthen this connection through different actions that, in addition, value the work of Valencian entrepreneurs and allow them to make themselves known at the international level. An example of this has been the organisation, together with IVACE, of the participation of nine Valencian startups in eMerge Americas, one of the most symbolic events within the US startup ecosystem that took place in Miami last April. 

Training Experience, Trazable and Iakan Health were the three Valencian startups and members of Startup Valencia that had the opportunity to pitch to international investors at the "Startup Showcase 2022" of eMerge Americas. ClimateTrade, Streamion, Fresh People and Wito, also members of Startup Valencia, as well as the Valencian startups Entrii and Stayforlong presented their projects at this internationally recognised tech event.

Francisco Polo, High Commissioner for España Nación Emprendedora (Spain: an Entrepreneurial Nation), also travelled to this edition of eMerge Americas to participate in the event. There, he explained that "the Spanish innovation ecosystem is going through a good period. There are many entrepreneurs who are exploring international markets with the aim of scaling their businesses".

Valencia and Miami technological connection

 

Miami Valencia Forum

A few months earlier, in December of 2021, the links between Valencia and Miami had already materialised at the Miami Valencia Forum held as part of the Valencia Digital Summit 2021. This initiative launched a collaboration channel between the hubs of both cities to facilitate the exchange of talent and investment and to promote international business opportunities.

This bilateral forum welcomed the participation of renowned agents of the North American ecosystem throughout the programme and positioned the Valencian Community as a gateway to Europe from America.

 

An innovative and technological connection

Valencia and Miami share the present and the future as tech and innovation ecosystems. For the startup sector, this connection represents an air bridge between Europe and the USA and an opportunity for entrepreneurs located in Valencia to accelerate their internationalisation processes. It also positions the Valencian Community as an internationally recognised tech hub and allows the region to continue attracting talent and global investment.

 

 

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Why Valencia is the best city in the world for entrepreneurship

By 2030, cities will be home to more than two thirds of the world's population. The concept of a 'city' is changing meaning and the model that gathers the greatest consensus is the one that puts emphasis on innovation, sustainability and wellbeing: three powerful magnets to attract talent that are a must for any city aspiring to become a renowned entrepreneurial hub and are very present in Valencia's value proposition to be one of the best cities in the world for entrepreneurship, if not the best.

 

Why Valencia is already a top destination for startups and talent

The shock of the Covid-19 pandemic accelerated trends that today are the norm, such as remote working. However, if there is one thing that the health crisis has really brought to light and is especially visible in the startup world, it is that talent seeks flexibility, opportunities and a good quality of life. This context represents a historic opportunity for Valencia and the Valencian Community in its plan to consolidate itself as an internationally recognised tech and innovation ecosystem. "We have all the ingredients," wrote Nacho Mas (CEO of Startup Valencia) recently in Levante-EMV. 

The most crucial of all is talent, there is no doubt about it. If we look more to the west, where most of the trends that end up being passed on to the rest of the world are started, Silicon Valley is immersed in what has been dubbed 'The Great Resignation'. This mass and voluntary exodus of professionals resigning from their jobs is indicative of a paradigm shift

A LinkedIn survey sought to find the causes of this unprecedented renunciation and the results were overwhelming: three out of four respondents acknowledged that they were rethinking their work life because of the lockdown, with stress and burnout serving as a backdrop. Talent, from now on, will be concentrated where there is flexibility, good work-life balance and good quality of life, because it is also mobile, ready to take risks and willing to change scenery.

Undoubtedly, it is time to open the doors wide to those who are not here and to motivate and activate those who are already here to start up new business initiatives.

 

A city with unbeatable quality of life seeks talent

Valencia's value proposition in terms of quality of life is probably the best known side of the ecosystem. The city has been chosen two years in a row as the 'World's Healthiest City' for a variety of factors such as the life expectancy of its inhabitants, healthcare costs, low air pollution, safety, average temperature and hours of sunlight. Moreover, there is a will to go further in this regard with the entry into the European network of climate-neutral cities. 

Valencia best city for entrepreneurship

 

In this search for a better quality of life, aspects such as leisure, culture, gastronomy, nature and sport are also relevant. The fact that the city welcomes tourists all year round allows it to show a more relaxed side that appeals to the basic human pleasures and serves as a gateway for talent to discover it. 

With this magnetism, the more than 3,500 engineers and developers who graduate each year from Valencian universities will be joined by foreign talent at the ecosystem’s disposal.

 

Talent in search for opportunities to develop

Attracting talent is one of the ingredients, but not the only one. There is little point in attracting talent if it is not offered a network that allows it to develop. To this end, it is essential to have:

  • Community. A dynamic catalogue of events and spaces in which to encourage networking and help talent find itself. In addition to this, an international mindset that facilitates integration, or as Eloi Gómez (Jeff) would say: "Let the city breathe more English".
  • Knowledge. Training programs that allow talent to learn and improve with the help of professors, researchers, and mentors. This applies not only to universities, but also business schools, accelerators, incubators, bootcamps, etc.
  • Companies. A wide and varied pool of companies that represent an opportunity both for talent that decides to start a business and for talent that seeks to develop a professional career.

Valencia, as the third tech hub in Spain and boasting €600 million in investment rounds in the last five years as well as the first Spanish listed company on the Nasdaq, can lay claim to these ingredients.

Where there is talent there is money; the corporate world and venture capital are increasing their presence in the city and exploring alliances with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, making Valencia the leading ecosystem in terms of quality and number of open innovation programmes between corporates and startups. 

Proof of this are programmes such as Global Omnium's GoHub for open innovation in deep tech, Plug and Play Tech Center as an open innovation platform with its European back office in Valencia, PlayStation with Lanzadera, and CaixaBank with Innsomnia. On top of these are several initiatives with important links to Valencian startups such as Wayra, Telefónica's open innovation programme, Elewit as a technological and innovative platform of the Red Eléctrica Group, Decathlon Open Innovation and its 'Supported by Decathlon' programme aimed at sports tech, retail tech and data tech startups applied to the sports industry, Banco Sabadell's BStartup with its open and collaborative innovation model, and all that is to come with the Volkswagen gigafactory for the development of electric batteries and the high level of specialisation in verticals such as health, mobility, fintech, and water; all of which were recently echoed in the magazine 'Emprendedores'.

The numbers paint the picture described above. The volume of scaleups in the Valencian entrepreneurial ecosystem is evidence of its maturity, as is the consolidation of tech events such as Valencia Digital Summit, which this year celebrates its fifth edition from the 24th to the 26th of October in the City of Arts and Sciences, or the association itself, with more than 300 members and 25 partners.

As an example, Valencia will be one of the stops made by YCombinator - the most prestigious accelerator in the world - on its tour of Europe. Also, if we look at some of the latest rounds of local startups, we see figures such as Internxt's €40 million, Sesame's €10 million or ClimateTrade's €7 million. The opening of the old maritime station in 2023 will provide an even bigger boost to the ecosystem.

To sum it up in a short pitch, as the manuals on presentations dictate, and borrowing the metaphor of Caroline Lagergren (ExpandToSpain.com): Valencia is an unsurpassable base camp for entrepreneurial talent looking for good quality of life and career development opportunities.

 

 

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