His Majesty King Felipe VI presided over the inauguration of South Summit 2021, a benchmark meeting of Europe’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, sponsored by IE University in collaboration with the Secretary of State for Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence. The event is co-organized by Madrid City Council in partnership with leading Spanish companies such as BBVA, Telefónica, Endesa and Banco Sabadell's BStartup.
In his speech, H. M. King Felipe highlighted the appeal of Spain as a destination for startups, entrepreneurs and digital nomads from all over the world; he also stressed the country’s technology infrastructure and the open mentality to change, as well as the wide network of training centers, technology parks, incubators and accelerators that promote entrepreneurship and innovation.
During the inauguration, María Benjumea, founder and President of Spain Startup-South Summit, pointed out that entrepreneurship is key to economic development and that protecting the planet is decisive for everyone.
“If there is a community that can achieve both objectives, it is that of startups, entrepreneurs and innovators.”
María Benjumea, Founder and President of Spain Startup-South Summit
The opening event was also attended by Spain’s Minister of Industry, Trade and Tourism, Reyes Maroto; José Luis Martínez-Almeida, Mayor of Madrid; Diego del Alcázar, founder of IE University; Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE University; Salvador Estevan, Spain’s Director General of Digitalization and Artificial Intelligence; Francisco Polo, High Commissioner for Spain, Entrepreneurial Nation; Javier Fernández-Lasquetty, Minister of Economy for the regional government of Madrid; Begoña Villacís, Deputy Mayor of Madrid; Eduardo Leite, Governor of Rio Grande Do Sul (Brazil); Sebastião Melo, Mayor of Porto Alegre (Brazil); Antonio Garamendi, President of the CEOE Spanish Employers’ Federation; José Luis Bonet, President of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce; Carlos Torres Vila, President of BBVA; José María Álvarez-Pallete, President of Telefónica, and Carlos Ventura, General Manager and Director of Corporate and Network Banking, Banco Sabadell.
Among the main speakers from IE University, this edition of South Summit will include Santiago Iñiguez de Onzoño, President of IE University; Diego del Alcázar Benjumea, CEO of IE; Isabela del Alcázar, Global Head of Sustainability; Juan José Güemes, Economic Vice President of IE University; and Lee Newman, Dean of IE Business School. The event will also be attended by: Paris de L'Etraz, Managing Director of the IE Venture Lab; Félix Valdivieso, Chairman of the IE China Center; Bin Ma, Professor of Leadership; and Mario Alonso Puig, President of the IE Center of Health, Well-being and Happiness.