To bring Spanish startups closer to venture capital from the rest of Europe, TNW, an acronym for The Next Web, is coming to Valencia for the first time. In the Spanish city, between sheds by the sea and Ferris wheels, the event rediscovers its original atmosphere, more similar to that of a festival or concert than a conference. “The goal is to bring a high-profile conference in the style of the Financial Times to the youngest and Spanish tech entrepreneurs, to grow the startup ecosystem of Valencia, giving it an international perspective”, Orson Francescone tells ushead of FT Livethe events section of the Financial Times, which owns TNW.
“We wanted to invest in this city, one of the fastest growing in Europe – adds Myrthe van der Erve, CEO of TNW – to take this entrepreneurial ecosystem to another level, and to do so we have brought here hundreds of investors who already gravitated to our Amsterdam event, which has a 16-year history, and half of these investors had never been here before.”
All of this takes place in a pleasant atmosphere, among Valencian paellas, yacht parties and meetings between startuppers and venture capital that take place on the Ferris wheel, where the interlocutor must listen for at least 10 minutes.
An ideal ecosystem for startups
Valencia, the third largest Spanish city, but first in terms of density of technological startups, is the headquarters, for example, of Zeleros, a hyperloop that impressed at the Dubai Expo. Exactly as David Pistoni, the CEO of the Valencian hyperloop did, the ecosystem here aims at a balance between quality of life, that of Valencia between good food and a good climate, but with a global mentality, and for this they need international investment, he stresses Maria Escartidirector of Invest in Valenciaand TNW has tried to combine local roots with global expansion.
The most discussed technologies
Two on all the hottest topics in this year’s edition: artificial intelligence, applied to all sectors, from food to sport, as underlined by the analyst investors of the Venture Capital Plug and Play, to technology as an enabler of sustainability, as pointed out by Iker Marcaide, president of Zubi Group; but digital entrepreneur Franziska Schaadt, speaker at the event, hopes that these technologies will always go hand in hand with our humanity.