We spoke with Zach Butler, the Event Director of TNW València, and he went in depth about the upcoming event and what makes it stand out.
To start off, it would not be a surprise given the success of TNW but for what other reason(s) did TNW decide to branch out and create TNW València?
TNW has hosted regional events in more developed ecosystems New York and Sau Palo before but when we look at what value our flagship event TNW Conference has brought to developing the Amsterdam startup ecosystem over the last 1.5 decades, it made us realize that our sweet spot is helping more immature and developing startup innovation ecosystems form quicker by using our platform.
València is exactly that. An admittedly fairly nascent startup ecosystem - but with a strong government mandate and support to digitise its economy, a mix of highly relevant verticals which are game changing, and what we believe is the right culture of entrepreneurship and collaboration. We believe that these are the necessary ingredients that will accelerate València’s innovation ecosystem over the next 5-10 years, and TNW València is here to be the platform to make that happen faster and with greater impact. Oh, and to ensure those doing the hard work get to have some fun along the way…
TNW València's speaker lineup is quite impressive! Who are you most excited to hear from during this inaugural event?
We are super excited to be bringing a number of international investors into València for the very first time. Such as.. Monica Wheat from Venture Catalysts, Scott Hartley form The Fund, and Darien Shirazi from Gradient Ventures. Alongside this we want to showcase the best of the local ecosystem of startups, corporates and government speakers. A couple of headliners I am looking forward to are Àlex Roca, FC Barelona’s latest ambassador and Javier Gómez Molina, CEO of La Liga.
TNW València is shaping up to be a great opportunity for startups to showcase their innovative new tech to industry experts. Are there any unprecedented technologies included in the batch of applicants that we should keep our eye on this year?
Just like every tech event in 2023, AI or Generative AI to be more specific is coming out strongly from our TNW for Startups cohort. But, based on vertical strengths in the region, there are dozens of startups across sports, health and wellbeing, agritech and supply chain and logistics. We will have over 95 exhibiting startups and companies which span quite a mix, but that is the point.
We’re pleased to see that you’ll be focusing on sustainability during this event. What can potential attendees look forward to re: new sustainable tech / initiatives this year?
We take on our responsibility for delivering a sustainable but also inclusive experience seriously. Therefore we’ve made sure that wherever possible we are collaborating with local suppliers to deliver TNW València. This has been a challenge for us and the ecosystem as an event like this has never been held in the city, and we have very high production values. The closest examples would be consumer events like the marathon or even back to the America’s cup and F1. We will also be storing and reusing much of our printed produce for future editions.
Finally, TNW València is planning to tackle topics that aren’t usually presented on stage during most Tech events. What are some of the innovative topics that will be included in the program this year?
Something that makes TNW a bit different, is not always about what the topics are, but how they are delivered to cut through the crap and get to the stuff that you really won't get (even from the same person) on another stage. You’ll see this in a session we have titled “confessions of an investor” - where founders will get to hear what keeps investors up at night.
You’ll see other tech events leaning into AI this year, creating their propositions and themes, but as TNW is the <3 of tech, we are leaning into the humanisation of bringing people together. The beating hearts that attend TNW Conferences are reclaiming the future of tech.
Check it out 👉 smrs.link/TNWVLC23