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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