The global expansion of the Valencian tech ecosystem is gaining momentum. This assertion is supported by the latest insights from the Startup Observatory of the Valencian Community’s 2023 Report, compiled by Startup Valencia in collaboration with the Generalitat Valenciana, and presented this morning during Valencia Digital Summit. According to the report, over half of Valencian startups, precisely 50.36%, have an international market reach.

The findings of this report also highlight the growth of the Valencian ecosystem, both in terms of the increasing number of startups and the diverse stakeholders that make it up. Today, the Valencian region boasts a thriving community of 1,314 startups, 16% more than in 2022, and 1,677 entities, a 14.31% increase.

In the realm of technology, artificial intelligence asserts its dominance, serving as the framework for over 20% of the startups. However, when it comes to startups founded this year, the majority revolve around the integration of nanotechnology/new materials, biotechnology and blockchain.

Karina Virrueta and Ángela Castelló, Head of Innovation Ecosystem and Head of Partnerships respectively at Startup Valencia, revealed these insights during their presentation of the report at VDS2023.

This global reach was further underscored by the diverse profile of attendees at VDS2023, attracting 12,000 professionals from 91 different countries. The event’s various sessions delved deep into the keys for understanding future global trends in tech and innovation, and the city solidified its status as an international meeting point for investors, startups and corporations.

Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, and Ángel Rivera, CEO of Santander Spain, shared their insights on this topic and how it will influence businesses and companies at the Innovation Stage, hosted by Banco Santander (Diamond Sponsor of VDS2023). As Afshar pointed out, “We are currently living in an era in which the success of startups and their founders depends on their ability to pursue strategies that mutually benefit their environments as well as themselves.” Ángel Rivera, for his part, underscored the fact that the key to a company or startup’s success lies in its ability to adapt to trends in the market and prepare for the future: “If you want your company to be successful, you have to put yourself in the customer’s shoes,” he emphasised.

Pedro Duque, astronaut and associate professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and Francho García, CEO & Co-founder of Arkadia Space, discussed aerospace technology as a new area of interest for investment.

Moreover, Javier Megias, vice-president of Startup Valencia, moderated the panel titled ‘The Spain Future Unicorns Formula‘. Media reports stated that Spain is aiming to welcome 25 more unicorns by the end of 2023. Nina Cardelus (Lightrock), Victor Navarro (Yellow), and Stefano Guidotti (P101) engaged in a dynamic exchange of ideas to navigate this goal amid an investment crisis, exploring the factors contributing to the success of certain startups.

Simultaneously, the Aerospace Forum is also taking place today. Francho García, from Arkadia Space, shed light on the opportunities that are emerging for the Valencian Community with the establishment of the European Space Agency‘s business incubation centre at Castellón Airport.


Afternoon programme

This afternoon the winners of the VDS2023 international startup competition will be announced. A distinguished jury of high-level investors and global business leaders will select the winners in both the Seed and Growth categories from among Cafler, Quantic Brains, Autoscriber, Legitify, Ender Turing, Spendbase, Welii, Zim Connections, Beynex and Bridgewise.

The two winning startups from the final will be awarded various prizes, including an exhibition space for the 2024 edition of the Valencia Digital Summit, and will have the opportunity to leverage the networking and business promotion opportunities provided by an international event like VDS.

The closing ceremony will be led by the delegate of the Government of Valencia, Pilar Bernabé, alongside Juan Luis Hortelano and Nacho Mas, President and CEO of Startup Valencia, respectively.