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VDS opens registration for its seventh global startup competition in Valencia

Join VDS's international startup competition in Valencia, connecting disruptive startups with investors. Apply now for a chance to pitch your innovative solution to over 12,000 attendees.
VDS opens registration for its seventh global startup competition in Valencia

VDS has just launched the call for its international startup competition in Valencia. This contest aims to identify the world’s most disruptive startups that are developing innovative solutions to make a positive impact that transforms society and to connect them with the more than 700 investors expected at VDS2024, who collectively manage assets worth more than €30 billion, according to EY.

The seventh edition of this annual event will feature collaboration with TNW – a Financial Times company – organizer of one of Europe’s leading technology festivals, in the development of the VDS Startup Competition. This collaboration will provide additional opportunities for innovative companies across Europe to share their ideas. Furthermore, Plug and Play, the innovation platform that connects corporates with the world’s best technologies through acceleration programs focused on Silicon Valley, will enhance the global attraction of startups.

VDS Startup Competition is divided into two separate tracks:

  • Early Stage Track: your company must be between bootstrapped to seed stage funding, i.e. self-funded or at your first formal round of external funding up until Series A. Startups here must have been founded between 2018-2024, employ under 100 people and build or market software or hardware products.
  • Growth Stage Track: your company must have raised external funding and can be within Series A > B/C, i.e. at or beyond your first significant round of venture capital financing. Startups here must have been founded between 2010-2024, and build or market software or hardware products.

In each track, startups can choose up to two categories that include the technologies they use to compete in. Participants can choose from the following categories: Digital Transformation & Enterprise Solutions, Consumer Technologies & Services, Social Impact & Sustainability, Media & Entertainment, and Emerging Technologies.

Regarding the selection process, a selected jury will choose 50 startups as semi-finalists in the competition, recognizing them as the Top 50. The decks submitted by all the Top 50 startups will then be reviewed, and the Top 10 will be chosen to pitch their projects on the Main Stage at VDS on October 23rd in front of over 12,000 attendees from more than 100 countries. After these presentations, the two winning startups of the VDS Startup Competition 2024 will be selected and announced.

The international competition is open, until June 29, to startups from around the world, with the only requirement being to have at least one MVP (Minimum Viable Product) and to develop an innovative solution that embraces the technological evolution the world is currently undergoing.

Startup Valencia, the organizing entity of VDS, expects to exceed the number of applications received in 2023, when more than 600 proposals from 48 different countries were submitted. During this past edition, 50 startups were selected in the first phase, 70% of which were based outside Spain and mostly worked with artificial intelligence.

In the 2023 edition, the finalists of the second phase were Autoscriber (Netherlands), Beynex (Turkey), Bridgewise (Israel), Cafler (Spain), Ender Turing (Estonia), Legitify (Ireland), Quantic Brains (Spain), Spendbase (Ukraine), Welii (France), and Zim Connections (England), with Ender Turing winning in the Seed category and Cafler in the Growth category.

We encourage you to apply to the VDS2024 international startup competition by clicking here.


VDS is one of Southern Europe's most prominent international tech events and a platform transforming Valencia into a global tech hub. Organized by Startup Valencia, VDS annually gathers the world's top startups along with the most influential corporates and investors at the unparalleled venue of the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia.

Under the theme 'Embracing evolution: Invest in the leaders of tomorrow' it will celebrate its seventh edition on October 23-24, examining how the current technological revolution is positively impacting society. VDS gives a voice to the brightest leaders within the global innovation & tech ecosystem and offers the unique opportunity to connect with companies and individuals you might not typically encounter, all in one place. VDS2024 is expected to bring together over 2,500 startups, attract over 12,000 professionals from 100+ countries, and facilitate connections between global corporations and over 700 investors.

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