The sixth edition of Valencia Digital Summit has yet again exceeded all expectations by bringing together a staggering 12,000 professionals from 91 countries. This exceptional international turnout marks the second consecutive year that the event has broken its own attendance record.

VDS is committed to advancing the Valencian innovation ecosystem and driving the evolution of startups into competitive scaleups. The international tech event, organised by Startup Valencia and taking place today and tomorrow at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, will be attended by renowned tech leaders and experts from across the globe who, through a range of talks and panel discussions, will share their insights to inspire growth and build a better future.

A significant portion of the morning’s discussions revolved around the keys to facing the challenges of international expansion and startup growth. The session titled ‘The DNA of Unicorn Leader’ featured the President of Startup Valencia Juan Luis Hortelano, together with Ann Hiatt, a Silicon Valley veteran with 15 years of experience as the Executive Business Partner of Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, and as Chief of Staff for Eric Schmidt CEO/Executive Chairman of Google. They delved into the essential skills and traits that leaders can adopt to amplify their impact and trajectory. Additionally, Felipe Peñacoba, CIO & Management Board Member at Revolut, shared the success story of the company, adding depth to the conversation on unicorns.

The event further explored the journey from startup to scale-up with discussions led by Anamaria Meshkurti, from Unorthodox Ventures, Juan González, from Armilar Venture Partners, Nikolas Mastroyiannopoulos, from W11 Ventures, and Ankita Mathew, from Triple G Ventures, as a moderator in the panel titled ‘From Seed to Success: Navigating Early Stage Tech Investments in Startups’. Later in the afternoon, Adria Cortes of Amphora Logistics and Francisco Tormo of Singularu Trendy Jewels will continue the exploration of this transition in panel ‘Winning Strategies’.

CEOs of leading international companies, such as Ángel Alberich of Quibim and Francisco Benedito of ClimateTrade, shared their insights on the challenges and opportunities associated with expanding operations into the United States in the panel titled ‘How to Scale your Company in the US’, held at the Innovation Stage by Banco Santander, Diamond Sponsor of VDS2023. The panel titled ‘The Ecosystem and Investment Strategies in the U.S. and LATAM Market’, delved into the key trends, regulatory considerations, and successful strategies for navigating the investment ecosystems across the pond.

Furthermore, Valencia Digital Summit hosted the session ‘New Referents in The Ecosystem: Premios EmprendeXXI Investors Day & Kick Off New Edition’, featuring the ‘Investors Day Premios EmprendeXXI’. CaixaBank and Enisa jointly organised these awards to identify and support the most innovative startups in Spain and Portugal. During this session, finalists and winning startups of previous editions, including Hotelverse, Arkadia Space, Iberbox and Libeen Smart Housing, presented their projects to investors, and the new features of the 17th edition of Premios EmprendeXXI were announced.


Institutional welcome

Carlos Mazón, President of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencian Regional Government), María José Catalá, Mayor of Valencia, and Vicente Mompó, President of the Diputación de Valencia (Valencian Provincial Government), took part in the institutional welcome of VDS2023, held at midday on the main stage.

The three institutional representatives highlighted the event’s pivotal role in positioning the city as a benchmark for innovation and the celebration of tech events, and reaffirmed their pride in hosting such a prestigious gathering.

A few hours earlier, Juan Luis Hortelano kicked off the event, underscoring the role of VDS in promoting the Valencian Community as a leader in today’s social and economic landscape.


Innovation in the fields of mobility and ports

Exploring key sectors of the Valencian economy, a variety of thematic side-events are taking place within the framework of Valencia Digital Summit. Notably, SMV, organised by AVIA as part of Mobility Innovation Valencia, the innovation area of the Automotive and Mobility Cluster of the Valencia Region. The event is bringing together the entire innovative ecosystem in the field of intelligent and sustainable mobility.

Opentop is also hosting the Port Entrepreneurship International Congress within VDS2023. Throughout the morning, this forum witnessed presentations and round table discussions analysing the current challenges and opportunities of port logistics, deliberating over innovation in the sector and the blue economy, sharing success stories, such as i4sea, and exploring the strategies used by key figures in the sector to grow hand in hand with the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This afternoon, Antonio Torregrosa, Managing Director at the Valenciaport Foundation, will present the conclusions of the congress and the roadmap to promote innovation in the sector.


International startup competition

Later today, the 10 finalists of the VDS2023 international startup competition will have the opportunity to showcase their projects on the main stage of the event.

A distinguished jury of high-level investors and business leaders will choose the best startup in both the Seed and Growth stages, with the winners set to be announced during the closing ceremony tomorrow.

The 10 finalists are as follows: Cafler, Quantic Brains, Autoscriber, Legitify, Ender Turing, Spendbase, Welii, Zim Connections, Beynex and Bridgewise. These technological and innovative companies have been chosen from a first selection of 50 startups out of over 600 applications received from 48 different countries.

Looking ahead to tomorrow, Friday, the 27th of October, the programme will continue with Banco Santander hosting a panel featuring Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, and Ángel Rivera, CEO of Santander Spain at Banco Santander, titled ‘The future of Corporations’.

There will also be several panels dedicated to Artificial Intelligence, including ‘Innovative Applications of AI: Pioneering Solutions for Business Success’ and ‘How to Succeed in the Age of Artificial Intelligence’. Tomorrow will also give attendees the opportunity to visit the Aerospace and Blockchain forums, among others.