Valencia is looking to consolidate the international pulse of its growing tech ecosystem

In 2014, entrepreneur Iker Marcaide founded Zubi Labs, an impact companies and asset management group in Valencia. It came from the creation of the first company of Spanish origin to be listed on Nasdaq, Flywire and formerly known as peerTransfer. Since then, he has promoted business projects such as Woodea, an eco-building company, as well as the La Pinada eco-district, which is currently in the design and development process, and even a private school that follows the Montessori philosophy and is reality in Pattern.

The company is now facing an “expansion and growth strategy”, as confirmed to this media outlet, and in addition to Valencia, it has opened offices in Madrid, Barcelona and Malaga. With examples like Marcaide, Valencia’s entrepreneurial ecosystem shows signs of maturity and clear ambitions for growth. This is also perceived in deals like the one that Startup Valencia closed this week with The Next Web (TNW), a company in Financial Timesan organization that held its event in Marina for the first time in the city last year.

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The SantiagoGrisolía room where some of the VDS panels were developed

Thanks to what was announced on Thursday, they will work to “accelerate” the international expansion of the Valencia Digital Summit (VDS), an international technology event promoted by the Valencia Startup Association, which last year brought together more than 12,000 professionals from 91 countries and more for 600 national and international investors.

“We believe that Valencia has huge potential and the internationalization of VDS will accelerate this. We are excited to continue our journey in Valencia with this strategic agreement to join forces and take VDS to the next level,” said Zach Butler, Director of TNW. For Juan Luis Artellan, president of Startup Valencia, this strategic collaboration serves as a “catalyst for VDS’s global expansion efforts with the hope of breaking records again for the third year in a row.”

We believe that Valencia has huge potential.”

Zack Butler, director of TNW

Participants of the first day of the Digital Summit in Valencia

Participants of the first day of the Digital Summit in Valencia.


The City Council is working to increase the international aspect of Valencia and its ecosystem, which has united in a single brand, València Innovation Capital, the entire innovation strategy of the city, thus absorbing its own brands such as “València Tech City” or others similar that have been promoted in past legislatures. “We want Valencia to be the gateway to a powerful Latin American innovation ecosystem in Europe and hub technological link in the Mediterranean”, says the Councilor for Tourism, Innovation and Acquisition of Investments Paula Llobet, who was yesterday on the last day of the 4YFN in Barcelona, ​​accompanying the sector.

“We want Valencia to be the gateway to a powerful Latin American innovation ecosystem in Europe.”

Paula Llobet, Valencia Councilor for Tourism, Innovation and Investment

From the Barcelona fair to Valencia are brought “a lot of business opportunities”, among them those that may appear after the “interest” shown by the delegation of the Netherlands, or representatives of the government of Medellin, Colombia, with whom they are studying the possibilities of cooperation. GoHub, the investment fund of the Valencian company Global Omnium, with projects and an office in Miami, has already taken steps to open to Latin America.

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Jaime Barba, CEO of Idrica;  Patricia Pastor, CEO of GoHub Ventures and Eugenio Calabuig, President of Global Omnium

At the stand that the City Council of Valencia set up at the 4YFN fair were Startup VLC, Big Ban Inversores Privados, CDTM, Finnova, Drapper B1, Innsomnia, KMZero, Marina de Empresas, Lanzadera, Invest in València, Fundación Social Nest, Opentop, Stars, ZubiLabs, IdeasUPV and The Impact Project, agents of an ecosystem that grew by 16% last year.

For him, his reference will be, even more from now on, in La Harinera and Las Naves, two industrial spaces converted into coworking and innovation rooms, located in the maritime area of ​​the city, where Lanzadera, Angels and Innsomnia have distinguished themselves since years ago as quintessential innovative space of the city.

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The facade of the Farinero del Grau building

Criticism from the opposition

Other spaces promoted by the previous local government are on hold for now. “We have increased the tertiary land in Benimaclet, we have launched the technological development of Vara de Quart and unlocked the PAI del Grao so that leading companies can settle here and create quality work in our areas, but the PP María José Catalá has already excluded or paralyzed these initiatives that would create enough land for the city to become an excellent reference point for companies,” laments Socialist council member Javier Mateo.

The Vara de Quarto project sought to emulate Barcelona’s 22@ in one of the capital’s industrial districts, opposite the Tres Forques district. The man who was going to be its designer, Mikel Barcello, explained to La Vanguardia that he had been given the task of transforming this industrial area into an “innovation area” and that he would do it by fighting what was called the “Valencian Paradox”. But when the current local authority was asked whether it would recover or not, they explained that when they came to the council, “there was nothing, not even a budget, just a Power Point, which we don’t even know where it is”. “, – says councilor Paula Llobet.

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Exterior view of the Colmena warehouse for online sales in Valencia

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