From humble beginnings to now expecting over 10,000 attendees this October 24th - 26th, Valencia Digital Summit has come a long way in a short amount of time and now garnering the eyes of speakers hailing from titans Airbus, Google, and Amazon as well as wave-making startups including Jeff, Jobandtalent, and Gorillas.
In what appears to be an unending news stream of doom and gloom, the fifth edition of Valencia Digital Summit (VDS2022) couldn’t have chosen a more appropriate theme: Inspiring the Good Future. Providing a much-needed balance to the dismal headlines, Valencia Digital Summit’s goal is to showcase the positive impact technology, innovation, and digitialisation have in our lives, and how they can be the catalyst for change and transformation.
Just one look at the iconic venue, the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia tells you that this is no ordinary tech event. While some might pack us all into football-sized arenas for an opening ceremony, I’m hard-pressed to find another event that wears its purpose more profoundly: Arts and Sciences. Progress.
The jewel in the crown for Startup Valencia, an innovative ecosystem association in the region, Valencia Digital Summit organiser and tasked with spreading the world about the region’s talent and prowess as an international tech hub, the 2021 edition welcomed guests from 25 countries around the globe, and according to Startup Valencia, generated an economic impact of more than €4.8 million.
“Valencia has become the open innovation space for corporations and startups through its ecosystem of innovative and tech-oriented companies. Valencia Digital Summit is the vital catalyst for reinforcing these connections and, consequently, attracting talent, investment and business to the Valencian Community,” commented Startup Valencia’s President Juan Luis Hortelano.
Clearly not resting on its laurels, VDS2022 is slated to present attendees with over 300 national and international speakers, 250+ investors, 150+ major corporations, and some 1,500 startups.
For free. Yes, you read that right, Valencia Digital Summit is free of charge to attend.
There may be no such thing as a free lunch, but just because VDS2022 is opening its doors to the public free of charge, don’t think for a second that the level of quality is anything less than stellar.
The organisation has already confirmed speakers Lina Chong, Investment Director, Target Global, Egita Polanska, Partner, Startup Wise Guys, Laura González, Founder and CEO, TheVentureCity, Merit Valdsalu, co-founder and CEO, Single.Earth, Elias Veris, Head of Global Operations at Google for Startups, Stephanie Hospital, CEO and co-founder, OneRagtime,
Sebastian Greiss, Head of Startup Partnering at Siemens Mobility, and Gonzalo Galindo, President of CEMEX Ventures. In addition to these headliners, additional top-tier speakers scheduled to appear include Felipe Navío, Co-CEO and Co-founder of Jobandtalent; Pep Gómez, Founder of Reby and Fever; Eloi Gómez, CEO at Jeff, and Javier Jiménez, General Director of Lanzadera, and many, many more.
If you look closely at a well-organised and meaningful tech event, there’s a symbiotic relationship transpiring. Startups are there to learn, network, promote their business, and quite possibly be in the midst of assembling a new funding round.
Conversely, VCs are there to do much the same, save for the fact that they’re also there on a scouting mission. They’re hunting for their next portfolio companies.
To this end, VDS2022 has assembled a strong lineup on both sides of the equation with Spanish funds CEMEX Ventures, Telefónica Ventures, GoHub Ventures, Bankinter VC, Seaya Ventures, K Fund Ventures, Adara Ventures, JME Ventures, 7R Ventures, Draper B1, Conexo Ventures, PaoCapital, and Kibo Ventures all confirming their presence.
Not wanting to be outdone by the Spaniards, international investment funds such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Cocoa, Elaia, Pipeline Capital, Dynamo Ventures, Startup Wise Guys, TheVentureCity, Beacon, Golden Gate Ventures, Pear VC, OneRagtime, ARCAP, and Nemetschek have all signaled their intent to attend.
According to VDS2022, the combined portfolio capital ready to be deployed by next year by attending funds is in excess of €6 billion.
A new addition to this fifth edition is a segment being referred to as ‘Summit Pro’. As the name implies, Summit Pro is catering specifically to the wheelers and the dealers - entrepreneurs and a wide range of business professionals looking to drum up business opportunities. In so much, the Summit Pro does require a nominal fee to gain access to, but if the cost of admission leads to a multi-year deal? I’ll say no more.
If you can’t walk away from this tech event, with either a notebook full of fresh ideas, an almost unmanageable stack of business cards, or even a potential new business partner, you’re doing it wrong. Oh, and did I mention the weather? Facing the Mediterranean Sea at the end of October? I don’t know about you, but I couldn’t think of a better place to share a cerveza with friends both new and old.
Both Free and Summit Pro Pass tickets are now available at Valencia Digital Summit. I’ll see you there.