Startup Valencia celebrates its fifth anniversary this year. The association for the Valencian Community’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has witnessed and been involved in the growth experienced by the sector in recent years. Since its founding as a private non-profit entity in 2017, when a group of entrepreneurs decided to organise and unite to represent Valencian startups and become the benchmark for the ecosystem of tech and innovation companies, the association has hugely increased its number of members, from 20 in 2017 to 311 today, and also its number of partners, from 3 in 2019 to 26 today.

To celebrate these five years, Startup Valencia organised an event at the Veles e Vents building in the Marina of Valencia on the 7th of July. The gathering, attended by all the main agents of the ecosystem and for which more than 1,300 people signed up, started with a round table. Raúl Martín, Javier Megias and Juan Luis Hortelano, the three presidents of the association since its creation, analysed the evolution of the Valencian ecosystem over the years.

The meeting continued with the recognition of founders of the association and professionals who at some point have been part of the Board of Directors of Startup Valencia, such as Ángela Pérez, VP Life Science at Health in Code and recent winner of the Jaume I Award; Iker Marcaide, Founder of Flywire and Zubi Group; and Juan Cartagena, Founder and CEO of Hearts Radiant.

Startup Valencia fifth anniversary

 

Growth of the Valencian innovation ecosystem

According to Juan Luis Hortelano, president of Startup Valencia: “in parallel to the evolution of the association itself, the Valencian tech and innovation ecosystem has also grown exponentially in the last five years”. According to data from the Bankinter Innovation Foundation’s observatory, Valencia is the third leading tech hub in Spain, behind only Madrid and Barcelona. According to data from the Spanish Tech Ecosystem report, venture capital investment in the Valencian hub between 2014 and 2022 exceeded €600 million. This has allowed Valencian startups to grow and scale and as a consequence, the Valencian ecosystem has generated its first two unicorns (startups with a valuation of over $1 billion) thanks to the cases of Flywire, founded by Valencian Iker Marcaide, a member of the Startup Valencia board, and Fever, founded by Pep Gómez, one of the first entrepreneurs to join the association in 2017. “Another consequence is that the Valencian innovation ecosystem has managed to attract talent and tech companies from other territories during these five years, both nationally and internationally,” said Hortelano in his contribution.

 

The figures of the Startup Observatory of the Valencian Community, a project developed since 2020 by Startup Valencia to facilitate the visibility and connection of startups with investors, companies and other organisations with the aim of accessing the best business opportunities, also show this growth of the sector. The number of registered entities has increased from 1,042 in 2020 to more than 1,400 today. Among them, startups have grown from 791 to more than 1,100 today.

As objectives for the coming years, Juan Luis Hortelano highlighted the materialisation of the project for the old harbour of La Marina led by the association: “With the development of this project, entrepreneurs, investors and companies will have a space from which to connect and build joint projects of open innovation. The aim is to create an environment that encourages collaboration and the exchange of ideas and serves as a hub for developing them,” he explained. He also believes that this space will encourage greater involvement from large traditional companies, “this is another of the aspects where we must have a greater impact in the short term, in order to continue showing them the advantages of working with startups and so that they continue to perceive the value of this necessary collaboration as an evolution that is having a positive impact on society and, consequently, on their companies”.

 

Presence on the international scene

With the aim of promoting the image of the Valencian ecosystem to the international scene and attracting talent and investment to the region, Startup Valencia has generated alliances and established a presence in some of the main tech hubs worldwide, such as Miami and its tech event eMerge Americas. The association has also achieved a prominent presence in international innovation events taking place in our country, such as DES Show in Malaga, 4YFN in Barcelona or South Summit in Madrid, as well as WMF2022 in Rimini, Italy.

In this sense, Valencia Digital Summit (VDS2022), the international flagship tech event of the Valencian Community organised by Startup Valencia, aims to bring together in its fifth edition more than 10,000 attendees from over 30 countries. Leaders of companies such as Google, Siemens or CEMEX Ventures, founding entrepreneurs of highly scalable startups such as Jeff, Internxt and JobandTalent, and international investors and key players in the ecosystem have already confirmed their participation as speakers at VDS2022, which will be held from the 24th to the 26th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.

Click here to view and download the photos from Startup Valencia’s 5th Anniversary celebration.

 

 

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