Startup Valencia has announced the program for the sixth instalment of Valencia Digital Summit, which promises to analyse the challenges and trends in sectors considered to be strategically important in the near future.

The international tech gathering, scheduled for the 26th and 27th of October at the City of Arts and Sciences in Valencia, is experiencing an unprecedented surge in significance owing to the calibre of its speakers. Leading figures from Europe, Asia, the USA and Latin America have chosen Valencia Digital Summit as the platform to showcase their most recent tech, investment, and business growth innovations.

The summit’s agenda, featuring an array of presentations and expert panels, will tackle disruptive solutions and technological prospects, contributing to societal advancement and fostering a competitive economy. In line with the event’s slogan ‘Building the Good Future’, VDS2023 is set to turn the city into the global epicentre of innovative entrepreneurship, addressing key social and economic challenges.

Startup Valencia’s goal as the organiser of this global tech event is to consolidate the city’s status as an international social and economic hub where entrepreneurs, corporations, institutions, investors, and education centres can exchange their experiences and knowledge.  

The program for Valencia Digital Summit will include the examination of pivotal sectors including mobility, ports, healthcare, and aerospace. Additionally, the event will foster discussions on cross-disciplinary topics such as AI and Blockchain technology, essential strategies for startup expansion, and the influential role of women within the tech sphere.

Vala Afshar, Chief Digital Evangelist at Salesforce, and Ángel Rivera, CEO of Santander Spain, will discuss ‘The future of Corporations’. Accompanying this, Alfonso Núñez, Director of Digital Strategy & Innovation at EY Parthenon; Juan Cumbrado, Innovation Director at Mapfre; Natalia Álvarez, Open Innovation Senior Analyst at Repsol, and Dámaso Cebrián, Global CIO Corporate & Investment Banking at Banco Santander, will delve into the intricacies of fostering innovation within these corporations.

Ann Hiatt, a Silicon Valley veteran with 15 years of experience as the Executive Business Partner for Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon, and as Chief of Staff for Eric Schmidt, CEO/Executive Chairman of Google, will engage in a conversation with Juan Luis Hortelano, President of Startup Valencia, titled ‘The DNA of Unicorn Leader’, which will explore the essential skills and attributes that leaders can embrace to increase their impact and trajectory. Felipe Peñacoba, CIO & Management Board Member at Revolut, will further contribute to the discourse on unicorns by sharing the compelling success story of the company.

Ángel Sáenz, Country Manager for Spain and Portugal at LinkedIn, will analyse the key elements necessary for attaining brand leadership in the digital era, addressing an audience of over 1,500 startups in attendance at the event.

Regarding the investment sector, the conversation will expand to explore the emerging opportunities offered by the field of aerospace technology, featuring a dialogue between Pedro Duque, astronaut and associate professor at the Polytechnic University of Madrid, and Francho Garcia, CEO & Co-founder of Arkadia Space. There will also be various round table discussions dedicated to examining successful strategies for investors and forthcoming challenges for funds. 

In the realm of sustainability, Dagmar van Ravenswaay, Venture Partner at Borski Fund; Linn Cecilie Linnemann, CEO at Katapult Group; Iker Marcaide, Founder & Executive Chairman at Zubi Group, and Andy Lurling, Founding Partner at Lumo Labs, will discuss the strategies employed by companies to not only thrive but also generate a positive impact on the planet. 

Furthermore, Valencia Digital Summit will host a session titled ‘New Benchmarks in The Ecosystem. Premios EmprendeXXI Investors Day & Kick Off New Edition’, during which the ‘EmprendeXXI’ Investors Day Awards’ ceremony will take place. Organised by CaixaBank and Enisa, these awards are designed to identify and support the most innovative startups in Spain and Portugal. During this session, the winning startups and finalists from previous editions, which include Hotelverse, Arkadia Space, Iberbox and Libeen Smart Housing, will present their projects to investors, along with the announcement of updates regarding the 17th edition of Premios EmprendeXXI.


Thematic forums

The entire innovative ecosystem in the smart mobility sector will be represented at VDS2023 with Smart Mobility Valencia 2023, a side event organised by Mobility Innovation Valencia (MIV) and the Automotive Cluster of the Valencian Community (AVIA). The event will feature an exhibition area and will showcase the Catalogue of Innovative Capacities in intelligent and sustainable mobility, of which more than 40 companies and organisations form part.

Opentop, the innovation hub of the Port of Valencia promoted by the Valenciaport Foundation, is set to host the Port Entrepreneurship International Congress in conjunction with VDS2023. Taking place on the 26th of October, this forum will feature presentations and discussions focused on analysing the current challenges and opportunities within the port logistics sector, deliberating on the latest innovations in the field and the blue economy, and examining the success stories of key stakeholders in the sector as well as their strategies for growing hand in hand with the entrepreneurial ecosystem, such as the case of i4sea.

Furthermore, VDS2023 will introduce the DreamHack Gaming Area, serving as a central hub for all gaming-related activities during the tech event and aimed at both visitors and exhibitors. Participating startups will have the opportunity to engage in a SIM Racing competition, an esports format that simulates car racing within a virtual environment. Additionally, there will be Beat Saber competitions, a popular Virtual Reality game blending music, rhythm and action. Participants will use VR headsets and controllers to play and compete in selected songs. VR activities involving Beat Saber will be available for Valencia Digital Summit attendees as well to allow them to experience the game firsthand. A dedicated PC gaming zone will also be accessible, granting attendees the chance to immerse themselves in free gaming sessions featuring the latest video games.

Finally, on the 27th of October, the Health Forum will take place, hosted by the Department of Innovation, Industry, Trade and Tourism of the Generalitat Valenciana (Valencia Regional Government). Beatriz Jacoste, Director of the KM ZERO Food Innovation Centre, will deliver a presentation highlighting the importance of concepts such as sustainability and health within the agri-food sector, and emphasising the role of innovation in their complete implementation. On top of this, two round table discussions will delve into the latest advancements in intelligent brain technologies, ‘Unleashing Cognitive Potential: Empowering Minds with an Intelligent Brain’, and improvements in sports performance and overall well being, ‘Optimising Performance: Healthy Habits in the World of Sport’.