Valencia Digital Summit is returning to the iconic city of Valencia on Oct 24-26. We interviewed the director of the VDS event, Alejandra Menéndez to get the inside scoop on what this year's event has to offer!
Valencia Digital Summit (VDS) will be hosted in Valencia this year at the City of Arts and Sciences. What is it about this venue that makes VDS2022 such a special event to attend?
Valencia Digital Summit returns to the iconic City of Arts and Sciences from the 24th to the 26th of October to celebrate its fifth edition. The venue itself is a symbolic spot in the city, exhibiting unique architecture, where technology and art coexist side by side. Choosing this venue, known as the heart of technology in Valencia, to celebrate an international tech event is no coincidence.
The event will feature more than 300 presentations by leading national and international speakers and will bring together over 250 investors, over 150 corporations, and over 1,500 startups.
Since its first edition in 2018, Valencia Digital Summit has recorded exponential growth that has made it a key annual event for the tech and innovation ecosystem at an international level.
What sets this year apart from previous editions of the summit and what are your ambitions for the future?
As a result of its last 4 editions, Valencia Digital Summit has managed to position itself as an international meeting point for startups, investors, companies, and institutions and a benchmark for tech events in Spain. The event has established itself as a global 360-degree platform that showcases disruptive solutions and creates business opportunities, all while fostering innovation, promoting entrepreneurial culture, and boosting the Valencian tech and innovation ecosystem.
In this fifth edition, under the slogan 'Inspiring the Good Future', VDS2022 will showcase how technology, innovation, and digitalization are building a better future and why they are fundamental to tackling the major social and economic challenges facing society. In addition, it will do so by undertaking the main pillars of innovation: Ignition, Growth, Transformation, and Sustainability.
We are working to continue positioning the Valencian Community as an internationally recognized tech hub with the aim of attracting talent and investment, as well as boosting the competitiveness of the Valencian economy. Continuing the exponential growth that VDS has recorded as a tech event over the last 5 years will be key, and we will work hard to achieve this.
VDS encourages startups to focus on disruptive and innovative solutions to solve the leading problems in the tech industry. How does your summit hope to foster the experimentation between incumbents and disruptors during this 2022 edition?
Startups, through technology and innovation, are leading the digital transformation in the world. Valencia Digital Summit highlights these startups and their disruptive solutions with the aim of connecting them with corporations, investors, and institutions so that they can continue scaling their businesses and have a positive impact on building a better future.
Through open innovation, collaboration and the exchange of ideas between corporations and startups are achieved which allows the development of these disruptive and innovative solutions. Often, large companies do not have the knowledge, technology, or flexibility to develop these solutions and their work with startups allows them to access them and incorporate them in an agile way.
The Valencian Community already has several successful projects as a result of this collaboration between startups and corporations, and in recent years it has become a benchmark for open innovation.
We would also love to hear about some local startup success stories in Valencia. Are there any unicorns in the region that we should be aware of or any that you find particularly exciting?
According to data from the Spanish Tech Ecosystem report, Valencia is the third most important tech hub in Spain, only behind Madrid and Barcelona, but also far ahead of the rest. The hub boasts very talented entrepreneurs with innovative and disruptive projects that increasingly have more initiatives to develop and scale. Among them, are 2 unicorns.
Fever, a leading startup in the digitalization of leisure experiences, founded in 2011 by Pep Gómez from Castellón, and one of the first partners of Startup Valencia, became the second unicorn of Valencian origin to exceed the $1 billion valuation last February.
Fever, therefore, followed in the footsteps of Flywire, a global payment service for educational and healthcare institutions founded by Valencian Iker Marcaida, a member of Startup Valencia's Board of Directors, which surpassed the $1 billion valuation in 2020 and was the first Spanish startup to go public on the US Nasdaq in May of 2021.
The key theme this year is ‘Inspiring the Good Future’, showcasing how technology, innovation, and digitalization can transform every aspect of our lives. Why did you choose this as your key theme for VDS2022 and what can we expect from this complex topic?
The truth is that we live in an ever-changing world where technology is transforming every aspect of our lives. Investment in innovation makes a difference and offers companies the opportunity to be more competitive in a market that is evolving by leaps and bounds. That investment has a positive impact on society, turning technology into a key factor in improving people's lives.
VDS2022's goal is to showcase the positive impact technology, innovation, and digitalization have on our lives, as well as how they can be the catalysts for the change and transformation we need to inspire a good future.
Lastly, VDS2022 has launched an experience called Summit Pro for B2B companies who wish to participate in the industry professional forum. What was the catalyst which helped create this format/space and what sets it apart from other similar events?
One of the new features of this fifth edition is the launch of Summit Pro, a B2B forum with exclusive content and activities for professionals to generate business opportunities.
It is a space to discuss different issues related to the entrepreneurial ecosystem, learn about success stories, and discover disruptive ventures. It will take the form of a business forum in which, for three days, different activities will be carried out with the aim of promoting business relationships, taking full advantage of connections, and sharing synergies and collaboration networks at the highest level.
The event will include a completely free section open to the public where attendees will be able to enjoy exhibition areas showcasing the latest trends, tech innovations, and disruptive products by means of interactive experiences, all with the aim of highlighting the existing talent in the Valencian Community, attracting investment to the region, and creating business opportunities between corporations and startups.