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South Summit 2017: the great encounter for technological startups

Investors and entrepreneurs will once again come together at the South Summit in Madrid, an encounter that has been a proven success in previous years. BBVA will have a distinguished participation in the event.


More than 150 international investment funds with a portfolio of $34 billion, 650 investors and business angels, 300 speakers –many of them internationally renowned– and most importantly, 100 startup companies that are taking their first steps, but have global aspirations. These are the  figures that mark the latest edition of the South Summit, which will again take place at La Nave, a former elevator factory in Madrid’s Valverde neighborhood, on October 4-6.

The latest edition of this global startup summit was presented at the headquarters of the Madrid city government. Its principal promoter, María Benjumea, stressed the international character of the event; of the more than 3,500 projects that have been presented to the Startup Competition, 53% are international, proceeding from 70 different countries.

Apart from the visibility and the contact with the entrepreneurial ecosystem they receive, the participants also compete to take part in the Startup World Cup in Silicon Valley, where the winner will receive a million dollars in financing. Another proof of the international character of the South Summit is the fact that it's already preparing for its first edition ouside Spain –in Bogotá, Colombia from Nov. 30 to Dec 1 of this year.

So far, 91% of the startup finalists from previous editions of the South Summit are still active and they have obtained more than a billion dollars in financing.

A date to innovate, grow and learn

Apart from the competition among the startups and the conferences by industry leaders –this year's star will be Werner Vogels, vice-president and Chief Technology Officer at Amazon– the speeches, chats and encounters at South Summit are organized by business areas. This year, there will be as many as 10 such areas. Along with the more conventional ones such as energy and sustainability, biotech, lifestyle and fashion, the organization has included five new panels: smart mobility, content & channels, art & culture, e-governance and deep tech.

All types of companies can take part in these panels, from traditional law firms such as Garrigues to disruptive digital companies like Twitter.

On the opening day of the South Summit, Wednesday Oct. 4, BBVA Global Executive Chairman Francisco González will present his vision of the banks of the future at a conference entitled Financial services in the 21st century.” BBVA will also participate in several of the panels and the presentations during this three-day entrepreneurship summit.

Elena Alfaro, head of Data and Open Innovation, will explain how the bank is participating in the big data revolution; Marisol Menéndez, head of Open Innovation and External Ecosystems, will talk to the startup community about the latest steps in the BBVA Open Talent, the worlds biggest competition for fintech startups. BBVA’s commitment to open banking and the APIs will also have a reserved space: Pablo Narro and Alberto González Peñalver will hold a workshop on BBVA Open APIs; and project head Raúl Lucas will take part in a panel on how technology simplifies personal finance.