Who better than Maria Benjumea, founder and president of South Summit to tell us what's in store for this year's 10th edition event?
We can’t believe it’s been 10 YEARS already since South Summit first launched back in 2012! How will this year’s special edition stand apart from all the others?
Since our first meeting 10 years ago, South Summit has established itself as the main meeting point for global players in a constantly evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our objective will be to generate real business opportunities and to showcase the main trends in the ecosystem with the main actors.
South Summit Madrid 2022 will bring together almost 22,000 attendees, more than 200 investment funds, 75% of them international, with an investment portfolio of 180 billion dollars, along with more than 450 speakers and a large number of corporations.
An ecosystem that is growing at breakneck speed due to the complexity of the world around us and the growing evolution of technologies and trends.
The main novelty of South Summit for its tenth anniversary will be to make all this complexity more accessible to the ecosystem and society as a whole. A goal we have set ourselves with our claim 'decoding complexity'.
Weaving both local & international ideas into a wider narrative on sustainability remains one of South Summit’s specialties. Which speakers are you most looking forward to welcoming on stage?
Speakers have always been a fundamental part of the content of South Summit.
In this edition we will have 450 confirmed speakers. Among them, entrepreneurs, investors, business people of recognised prestige and success and corporates like BBVA, AstraZeneca, endesa, Wayra Telefónica Innovation, Google for Startups, Sabadell BStartup o Mutua Madrileña.
Sustainability is one of the pillars of South Summit. This year we have one of the world's leading figures in the environmental field: Al Gore, former Vice President of the United States and one of the most renowned environmental activists in the world. It is a real pleasure to have one of the first people to put the spotlight on the challenge that climate change poses for all of us.
But it is not only Al Gore who will be this year's recognised speaker. We will also be very well accompanied by other prestigious names such as Pablo Isla, CEO and president of Inditex until last March; Marc Oshima, co-founder and CMO of AeroFarms, leaders in sustainable indoor agriculture, Marci Zaroff, Founder & CEO ecofashionCORP, who coined the term "ECOfashion" in 1995, or David Berry, CEO of Valo Health, and a strong advocate for sustainability globally.
Investors love South Summit. For investors that are just getting into the game, what are the top 3 (or more) reasons they should definitely get their tickets today?
South Summit is the leading meeting point for entrepreneurship and innovation globally, thanks to our 10-year history of connecting the best talent and the most powerful investors to generate real business opportunities and valuable connections.
Investors know this and continue to show great confidence in South Summit as an attractive place for their interests. At the last meeting in Madrid we had 1,600 investors, with an investment portfolio of $135 billion.
We could name many reasons why investors will find great opportunities at South Summit, but we can summarize them in these three:
1. South Summit currently attracts around 8,000 entrepreneurs from all over the world, more than double the number when it started in 2014, with 3,800 projects presented each year in the Startup Competition. Many of these finalist projects end up becoming well-known companies or unicorns, such as Cabify or Glovo, the first two Spanish unicorns.
2. South Summit has become a pillar for the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain. Since the appearance of our meeting in 2012, the Spanish ecosystem has multiplied by 20 its value, with expectations of reaching 83,000 million euros by 2022. In addition, Spain is now the 4th European country in terms of number of startups, approximately 11,100.
3. South Summit also brings together representatives of major Spanish and international corporations.
With so many investors in the crowd, you must have an incredible list of startups already confirmed! In addition to (one of our personal favorites) Road.Travel, who else should we keep an eye on?
In South Summit will be our 100 finalist startups of our Startup Competition. They are truly innovative and cutting-edge projects and we are sure that they will have a great future ahead of them. It is very difficult, in this sense, to mention any startup among these 100.
What kind of networking opportunities should South Summit attendees already be preparing for before the event?
South Summit is a unique opportunity to connect with key players in the entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem.
Everything at South Summit is designed to facilitate networking and meetings between the different players in the ecosystem. The way in which the network is promoted is total: very open spaces, areas to promote 1:1 relationships, and a technological platform so that everyone knows who is there and who they can contact. The whole development of the South Summit pursues the clear objective that people meet and connect to multiply connections that help generate business.
Before arriving at La Nave, it is important to do the homework. On the startups' side, analyze well which investors will be there and which ones might be interested in the business because not all of them are equally valid.
Investors and corporations must first visualize which startups will be to try to connect with those that really interest them.
And for all attendees, look at the programme and what content is of most interest for their learning and professional development.
Are you planning any online / hybrid access for attendees that may not be able to attend in person?
Streaming options. Access to general content. There you will find the different keynotes, talks and fireside chats of our speakers, corporations and experts.
With any of the tickets, those interested will be able to access a streaming with general access to the content of the meeting; keynotes, chats with speakers, networking opportunities, the pitches of the finalist startups of the Startup Competition...
It’s been a year since we first heard about South Summit’s additional satellite events spreading out across the globe. What’s been the most surprising result / key takeaways from running these satellite events throughout the year?
The most recent example is Brazil, where we held the first edition from 4 to 6 May, specifically in the city of Porto Alegre. The support and enthusiasm that South Summit received in Brazil was incredible. All of Porto Alegre has welcomed us with open arms.
It was a real success, with more than 20,000 attendees from 50 different countries, and more than 500 investors and 80 investment funds, with a portfolio of 65 billion dollars. After this successful, South Summit will have more editions in Brazil at 2023 and 2024
Previously, we have also held meetings in Mexico and Colombia between 2017-2019.