Thomas MacaulaySenior reporter
Thomas is a senior reporter at TNW. He covers European tech, with a focus on deeptech, startups, and government policy. Thomas is a senior reporter at TNW. He covers European tech, with a focus on deeptech, startups, and government policy.
Ladies and gentlemen, the moment has almost arrived: TNW València is next week!
In case you’ve been living under a rock (or frequenting another tech site, you traitor), we’re taking our cherished festival on the road. After 16 glorious years in Amsterdam, we’re bringing the show to Spain’s Mediterranean coast — and you’re all invited.
We’re not only there for the sun, sea, and sand — far from it, in fact. València has the fastest-growing innovation ecosystem in Spain, and the most startups per capita in the country. On March 30th and 31st, we’ll showcase the best tech in the region to over 2,000 guests.
Across the two days, attendees will enjoy inspirational talks, networking events, learning opportunities, and the same festival vibes as our Amsterdam flagship. The entire editorial team will also be there, awaiting your company, ideas, and, of course, abuse.
In total, we’re hosting over 100 speakers, 75 investors, 90 exhibitors, and 3,000 meetings. Admittedly, this has created one big problem: you simply can’t catch them all. To help find your way through the jam-packed agenda, here are eight highlights at TNW València.
1. The official opening ceremony and party
While the main agenda kicks off on March 30, the fun starts a day earlier, at our opening party.
Our guestlist contains a range of political heavyweights. They include Diana Morant, Spain’s Minister of Science and Innovation; Sandra Gomez, Deputy Mayor of València; Arcadi España García, Minister of Finance of the Generalitat Valenciana; and Borja Sanjuán, Vice Mayor of Economic Development at the City of València.
Join them (and us) for drinks, bites, and networking from 19:00 at Zeus València. To register for the party, click here.
2. A game of padel
The opening party is one of 10 side events, offering a healthy mix of learning, networking, and partying. On March 31, you can even join a padel tournament at the València Tennis Center. I’ll be waiting on the court, so you better bring your F-game.
3. Unmissable speakers
We’ve assembled a dazzling array of keynote speeches, fireside chats, panel discussions, and workshops. With more tech luminaries than a PayPal reunion, it’s hard to rank the speakers — but here are five of my favourites:
Heini Zachariassen, Founder and CEO of Vivino
Zachariassen built the world’s most-downloaded wine app and largest online wine marketplace. His company has made wine more accessible — and I speak from experience. My use of Vivino has become alarmingly frequent, but at least it’s finding me quality plonk at bargain prices.
Katica Roy, Founder and CEO of Pipeline Equity
An award-winning economist and former Global 500 executive, Roy founded Pipeline Equity in 2017. At València, she’ll discuss how to close the innovation gap.
Miguel Ángel Leal, Chief Technology and Innovation Officer at LaLiga
As a digital chief at LaLiga, Ángel injects innovation into a legendary football league. His role combines the best of both tech and sports, which sounds like a dream job for me — other than my position at TNW, of course.
Jen Carter, Global Head of Technology at Google.org
Carter leads the pro bono initiatives at Google.org, the Big G’s philanthropic arm. Having spent six years at the organisation, and a decade in Google’s Trust and Safety team, Carter has a unique understanding of using tech for good.
Alex Roca, Ambassador at FC Barcelona
It’s not only tech leaders that are taking the stage. One of our most intriguing speakers is Alex Roca, who recently became the first person with a 76% physical disability to complete a marathon. At TNW València, he’ll give his first public speech since achieving the feat.
4. The FT Power Hours
Our beloved overlords at the Financial Times are bringing their best brains to València. At a series of sessions dubbed FT Power Hours, they’ll discuss tech’s hottest business trends with industry leaders.
5. The Startup Pitch Battle
It’s not all fun and games. While we don’t condone violence at TNW, we do love a pitch battle — and this one’s sure to be fiery. Some of the world’s most exciting startups will be presenting their ideas to our distinguished jury.
The challengers will compete for the attention of top investors, a collection of prizes, and — most importantly of all — a profile by your favourite editorial team. I mean us, by the way.
And if you need to sharpen your skills, check out the startup pitching workshop at 12:30 on Thursday.
6. A ride on the TNW Ferris wheel
It wouldn’t be a TNW festival without our cherished Ferris wheel. As well as offering fun rides and stunning views, the carriages are the perfect place for private meetings — partly because your interlocutor can’t leave.
7. A stroll through the business floor
Our exhibition floor has racked up a vibrant mix of ideas and products.
The 92 organisations in the business hall encompass big brands such as Mercadona, Hubspot, and Helloprint; Valencian tech players like Sesame HR, Social Nest, and Delivers.AI; and government agencies including Spain Up Nation, Valencia Activa, Generalitat, Invest in Valencia.
There’s a lot to see, but our floor plan can smooth your route through the space.
I could go on and on, but my schedule is already bursting at the stems. Hopefully, these seven tips are enough to help you enjoy the festivities.
If they’re not, feel free to give me feedback at the bar. I’ll have an Aigua de València, por favor.
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