TNW València is finally here! Founders, investors, business leaders, and tech enthusiasts descended on València’s marina this morning to discover the next in tech, now. Before long, the venue — nestled between the historic inner city and the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean — was bustling with talks, deals, pitches, and a whole lot of fun.
TNW València is officially open! It’s #Time4València and you are all invited to enjoy the @FinancialTimes #tech festival and to discover the Valencian innovative ecosystem.
Let the future of technology surprise you! 🖤👾 pic.twitter.com/e1oAse7yEF
— VLC Tech City (@VLCTechCity) March 29, 2023
The conversations covered everything from funding secrets to sector spotlights, across keynote speeches, startup battles, panel discussions, workshops, fireside chats, and much more. Too much in fact to attend it all — but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Read on for a few highlights.
Our MC for the event, the award-winning Oison Lunny, kicked things off with a call for connections across València’s tech sector. “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. If you want to go fast AND far, go as part of an ecosystem,” he said.
“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. If you want to go fast AND far, go as part of an ecosystem.
After the opening speech, a battle ensued between Valencia’s most promising startups. There were some seriously impressive pitches, and the winners will now face-off at the finals tomorrow.
The role of ecosystems was a recurring theme on day one. Phill Robinson, the CEO of Boardwave, explained how Europe can replicate Silicon Valley’s famous network effects, while Erwin Verstraelen, digital chief at the Port of Antwerp-Bruges, divulged why he founded ‘The Beacon’, an IOT ecosystem of startups, scaleups, and researchers, to boost innovation.
Many of the startups in attendance harbour plans for global expansion, but the conference speakers stressed that they need local roots. At a talk titled, “Going global: a VC’s guide to preparing for international investment,” Vanessa Palmer of CaixaBank DayOne said startups need people “working on the ground in that country who understand that market.”
We’re here at ‘Going global: a VC’s guide to preparing for international investment’ at #TNWValència. For startups to succeed overseas, says @vpalmerbcn, they must have people “working on the ground in that country who understand that market.” pic.twitter.com/UEY39dsY3Z
— TNW (@thenextweb) March 30, 2023
The balance was succinctly summarised by one of the contenders in the startup pitch battle.“Our base is in Spain, but our focus is global,” said Mario García-Granero, CEO and co-founder of Feending.
Amid the rush to innovate and grow, attendees of the event frequently expressed the importance of the tech for the good — particularly around sustainability. “We need to speed up,” said Raquel Espada, sustainability lead at Schneider Electric in Spain. We don’t have time. Climate change is happening, there’s a wildfire near here right now and it’s 30 degrees [centrigrade] in March.”
No doubt one of the most inspiring moments of the day came when endurance athlete and Barcelona ambassador Alex Roca took to the stage to share his unique perspective on persevering against the odds.
We could go on and on about the highlights of Day 1, but then you wouldn’t have any time to enjoy tonight’s festivities and side events. See you tomorrow for another day of TNW València. To discover what’s on the agenda click here.