Going to South Summit in Madrid

Going to South Summit in Madrid


I was at the South Summit in Madrid last week on a mission to explore this innovation platform. I can say it was interesting, impacting and at the same time, consuming. 

Here are my personal takeaways from the event:

The spanish innovation ecosystem is booming, and it’s reaching out to the world

South Summit is, however you want to spin it, a very spanish event. But that is not necessarily a bad thing, quite on the contrary! The startup scene in Spain is becoming very mature. Madrid and Barcelona are true European innovation hotspots and surprising local ecosystems are arising in Andaluzia, Galicia, Asturias and Basque Country. But this is also an event that is attracting startups from all over the world (and not only the usual suspects from Europe and Latin America).   


Collaboration is the name of the game – Corporates <3 Startups <3 Corporates

Innovation is more and more becoming a space for collaboration between different stakeholders, and big corporates are more than ever interested in working with startups in new solutions and testing disruptive technologies in their operations and businesses. Most of the corporates represented in South Summit already have some kind of structured approach to deal with startups and some already have acceleration and open innovation programs. 


Let’s talk about talks! It’s all about networking…

Just between you and me… what’s the thing about these events and the non-ending agenda of talks about the same topics, all over again, where the content ends up being… let’s say it… not really interesting. OK, I do suffer from FOMO everytime I go to these events and end up watching a few talks on topics that I’m interested in. But more times than not I end up being utterly disappointed. But then, the real value of events like this is the networking and the possibility of meeting in the same place amazing startups and innovators. Come for the talks and stay for the networking…


AI in the front seat, Data in the engine

We are finally seeing big companies apply AI in real use cases and not only doing pilots and small controlled experiments. But AI runs on data, and we still need to work on issues like data sharing frameworks, information architecture, stakeholders collaboration and… privacy. The GDPR trauma is long gone but companies are still finding ways to integrate data protection in their data strategies.


Health startups are coming, and Mobility is here

Of the many hot topics in South Summit my eyes went to Healthcare and Mobility. On healthcare new solutions are arising in diagnostics and devices, and you should take a look at Mentalab, one of the amazing startups that accelerated with Data Pitch. Also take a look at the winner of this track – 2eyesvision. And mobility is booming with solutions ranging from drones, logistics, shared mobility and of course, MaaS solutions like iomob, the winner of this track.

10 tech events you should attend this year

10 tech events you should attend this year

Saying 2018 is going to be a good year for technology is overrated because every single year is good for it and is good for tech events. But in a world full of bigger and smaller events spread all over it’s always good to have a guideline and to know which ones would benefit you somehow – there’s many more than these ones.

These 10 events are listed in order of dates, not of size or importance, because all of them are equally important and I wish you can attend all of them (I wish I could, to network, of course).


  1. 4YFN – February 26-28 – Barcelona, Spain

4YFN is the startup business platform of Mobile World Capital Barcelona that enables startups, investors, corporations and public institutions to discover, create and launch new ventures together. Of course it has everything normally attached to this kind of event like networking activities, hackathons, workshops, congresses and open innovation programs.

This event is focused on startups, investors and corporates. Startups can expect a boost in their network and business opportunities. Investors can count on connecting with other investors from different markets and getting in contact with new startups. Corporates may expect help innovating and also meeting new startups which can help their business.


2. SXSW – March 9-18 – Houston, Texas

No presentation is needed for South by Southwest. For those who have been living in a cave, SXSW aims to help creative people achieve their goals. It’s a conference, it’s a festival, all rolled into one with features sessions, showcases, screenings, exhibitions and a lot of opportunities to network.

SXSW claims it’s the living proof that the most unexpected discoveries happen when diverse topics and people come together. It’s a matter of going there and seeing with your own eyes.


3. Wolves Summit – April 10-11 – Warsow, Poland

Innovation meeting business and capital, this is the best definition for Wolves Summit. The conference is dedicated to startups, investors, entrepreneurs, corporates and SMBs. On the way of its seventh edition the event is focused on inspiring, educating and guess what? Networking.

The goal is to create growth opportunities for emerging firms and investment, of course. Connections, innovative solutions, matchmaking tools, meet potential business partners and numerous specialists are all part of this event.


  1. Pioneers – May 24-25 – Wien, Austria

The most promising tech startups meet the world’s top investors and executives at the most amazing venue ever: the Hofburg Imperial Palace. Business meetings, inspiring innovations, founders stories and industry insights all come together in this event.

It’s a great place for startups to create meaningful business relationships with corporates, investors and tech innovators. It’s a win-win for everyone involved. Pioneers has unparalleled access access to European-wide tech leaders.


  1. Latitude 59 – May 24-25 – Tallinn, Estonia

This event gathers the Baltic, CEE and the Nordic tech ecosystem. They provide opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and leaders to learn, connect and network.

Which translated would be something like exploring different startup themes, network with like-minded people, join their investor-startup matchmaking and exchange futuristic ideas. Why Estonia? Because it has most startups per capita in Europe (bet you didn’t know this) and it’s the only functional digital society in the world.


  1. Arctic 15 – May 30-31 – Helsinki, Finland

The event focus on industries and technologies from a wide range of topics such as Talent and Digital Health, Smart Cities and Virtual Reality. There’s a pre-event matchmaking to optimize the network, a Deal Room for one-on-one meetings and the already famous Pitch Competition.

Every year there’s between 1500 and 2000 attendees with more than 300 investors, 450 startups and 150 corporates. Smaller events are the perfect place to get to know who you really want and create lasting connections with those people, ones that can actually change the course of things.


  1. Lisbon Investment Summit – June 6-7 – Lisbon, Portugal

LIS, as it is known, is Europe’s surprisingly informal and slightly unexpected startup conference. The event gathers seasoned investors, daring entrepreneurs and innovative executives for a two-day casual, sunny and action-packed event.

With the motto #nobullshit the event attracts more than 200 investors, 750 startups, 400 corporates, 100 speakers and 2000 attendees work together towards creating unique networking opportunities and real investment.


  1. South Summit – September 3-5 – Madrid, Spain

South Summit connects the most innovative entrepreneurs with the most important investors in the world and the corporations seeking to improve their global competitiveness through innovation.

Grab the opportunity to attend keynote talks and debates with worldwide innovation leaders, meet with the largest business angels and VC firms and do some business and networking (what else?). Shape the future thinking outside the box in Madrid.


  1. Web Summit – November 5-8 – Lisbon, Portugal

There’s no introduction or explanation needed when it comes to Web Summit. For the third year in a row the largest conference in the world is held in Lisbon. The attendees range from Fortune 500 companies to smaller tech companies in a mix of CEOs and founders of tech startups.

We can’t predict how many people will be attending the conference this year, it’s too soon, but if it continues to grow like previous years it will sure have more than 60,000 attendees. It is important to say that Web Summit also runs events around the world, events that you shouldn’t miss as well such as RISE Conference in Hong Kong (July 9-12) and Collision in New Orleans (April 30 – May 3).


  1. Slush – December 4-5 – Helsinki, Finland

We’ve already wrote about Slush when Rodrigo Zwetsch attended the event last year. If you go to Slush know that it happens during the sh*ttiest weather season of the year. The conference, considered by some one of the best kept secrets, is proud of celebrating entrepreneurship.

The event has grown immensely from a 300 person assembly to more than 17,000 attendees, 2,300 startups, 1,100 investors and 600 journalists. Slush is a collision of a festival and a conference and it’s not a business, it’s a community of people who love what they do. The core of the event is to facilitate founder and investor meetings and to build a world-wide startup community. And we are sure that networking is also on their minds.