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,, 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.



Working together
makes us stronger

Working together
makes us stronger