Valencian innovation plays a major role in Elewit‘s portfolio of companies, as well as in its Venture Client programme: a strategic commitment that they consider essential to drive the transformation and competitiveness of the economy. 

For the last couple of years, Redeia’s tech platform has collaborated with Startup Valencia as a Partner, fostering innovation in the fields of energy and telecommunications within the Valencian ecosystem. 

Elena de Benavides heads the Corporate Venturing and Innovation Ecosystems division at the company and shares her assessment of Elewit’s three years of growth and its involvement in the Valencian innovation scene.


For those who are not yet familiar with Elewit, could you tell us about its mission and main goals?

Elewit is the tech innovation arm of Redeia. The group operates in two key sectors of the present-day economy that are experiencing significant disruptions. The first is the energy sector, which is undergoing a transition, thereby resulting in a shift of the energy model and, in turn, the economic model.

The other key sector is telecommunications, also undergoing a significant transformation brought on by advancements in connectivity through the development of technologies such as 5G, edge computing and other enabling technologies, as well as the evolution of the satellite industry.

In this context, Elewit emerged to support Redeia, through tech innovation, in reaching its goals as a pillar of the green transition and digital transformation.


How did you become part of the organisation and have you noticed any changes in recent years?

I joined when Elewit was founded, in September 2019. We started with a team of 18 people, some of them coming from Redeia and others from outside the company, but all with a common vision and purpose. 

The Elewit team, from the beginning, had a wealth of experience and strong internal support from Redeia, along with well-defined daily goals to strive for. However, there was still much work to be done. We set out to implement the necessary tools to embark on our journey.      

However, innovation was already at the heart of the group. In fact, it has been an integral part of Redeia’s identity since its inception. We have leveraged this foundation and transformed the way projects are managed. For example, prior to the creation of Elewit, no initiatives or programmes had been put in place to encourage open innovation.     

During our first year, we focused on incorporating agile technology into the group and showcasing our ability to work with startups. To further our reach and impact, we made our first venture capital investment in a fund.

Over the years, we have worked hard to put the pieces of the puzzle together, showcasing the positive impact of our tools and experiencing significant growth. We started investing directly in companies, consolidated our approach to working with startups – regardless of whether we invested in them or not – and have now successfully launched our fourth Venture Client programme.

We were founded with a vision of driving innovation internally, but we also recognise the external potential of our projects. For example, a project aimed at the electrical grid could serve other businesses or be adapted to other industries. Therefore, we also have a strong inclination towards commercialisation. Although this goal wasn’t achievable in our first year, our vision has gradually developed and we have now established a specialised team. In the past year, we have started work on our Venture Builder to identify opportunities where we can offer a unique value proposition. The years of hard work have led to this point, and we’re now entering a phase of consolidation, with a focus on maintaining a strong pace of progress.


Elewit was founded to drive the energy transition and connectivity, what milestones have you achieved so far?

So far, we have successfully developed over 120 innovation projects, establishing Elewit as a trusted source of value creation. Our success is measured by the number of our pilot or proof-of-concept projects that have been adopted. Currently, almost half of those pilot projects have been implemented, delivering cutting-edge solutions to tackle the challenges facing our sector.

Furthermore, the company has established Venture Client, an agile tool for introducing technology to the market. Venture capital has become a cornerstone of our approach to fostering innovation and tracking the latest tech advancements. Our goal is to invest €49 million in the strategic plan.

Lastly, we aim to establish Elewit as a source of new business models and revenue streams. We are fostering disruptive innovation that conveys a higher level of maturity. In these three years, we have worked to position ourselves as a leader in the innovation sector, with a clear and strategic vision for the future.      


You are firm believers in the potential of open innovation, how do you foster this and what is your stance on collaboration between established companies and startups? 

Nowadays it’s challenging to view innovation solely through the lens of a corporation’s in-house capabilities. The pace of change is so fast that innovation is no longer just about refining processes or creating new business opportunities, there has been a complete paradigm shift. The key is for corporations to recognise this, embrace it, and put the necessary systems in place to foster innovation.  


How much did Elewit invest in startups in 2022? What do you think the investment trend for venture capital will be in 2023?

We closed 2022 with a Venture Capital investment of just over €23 million. It was a year marked by three key lessons that will shape our strategy in 2023. Firstly, we focused on supporting our portfolio by backing companies that showed growth potential and providing them with the resources they needed to grow. Secondly, we took steps to establish our international investments. This ties in with our forecast for 2023 because we believe that corporate investment is critical during uncertain times as it offers a return beyond financial gains and allows for more exploration and patience.

Lastly, our years of experience have taught us a valuable lesson in the entrepreneurial ecosystem: good entrepreneurs have a knack for identifying promising projects, and there is always investment available for good projects.


The decision to join forces with Startup Valencia as partners was a calculated move, driven by the growth and positioning of Valencia as a hub of innovation within the larger national framework. Looking ahead, how do you see the Valencian Community evolving and thriving in the coming years?

We have a close relationship with the Valencian Community. Of all the regions we invest in, it’s the only one where we repeat our investments and many innovation projects within the company are located here. 

This region has successfully taken advantage of the opportunity to focus on industrial environments, setting it apart from other innovation hubs in our country. This focus on B2B business markets has been a very smart move and has made the Valencian Community a magnet for talent. 


You have taken part in the last two editions of Valencia Digital Summit, what is your assessment of this tech event?

This year, we have been struck by its remarkable growth, with attendance figures tripling. As a tech-focused company, opportunities can be hard to come by. However, the Valencian Community’s focus on Industry 4.0 makes Valencia Digital Summit a valuable channel for generating business deals.

Furthermore, it offers a competitive edge that is second to none, delivering a truly memorable experience where you can not only close deals but also immerse yourself in a unique and unparalleled atmosphere.


It’s expected that La Terminal, the new tech hub of the Valencian innovation ecosystem, will be operational by the end of 2023. What do you think this could mean for Valencia?

It will play a pivotal role in solidifying the progress made in recent years. As one of the clear indications that Valencia has become a leading player in the entrepreneurial and business world, it embodies the phrase “actions speak louder than words”. This state-of-the-art infrastructure will serve as a vivid and telling symbol of the city’s commitment to innovation and entrepreneurship.



Working together
makes us stronger

Working together
makes us stronger