Virtual South Summit, the first digital meeting of South Summit and IE University

South Summit, the global connection platform that drives innovation and generates business opportunities, will hold its first virtual meeting on April 28 under the auspices of IE University with the goal of reviving the ecosystem in the face of the current unexpected situation.

A series of e-Challenges will bring together investors from world-class international funds, corporations that believe in open innovation via startup, as well as the main players in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Each e-Challenge will be themed, and the first will start with Health & Wellbeing on April 28 and will be followed by others focused on Connectivity (May6), Mobility & Logistics (12 May), Education (19 May), Sustainability (28 May) and Fintech (2 June).

Startups that want to participate in each Virtual South Summit will be able to do so via the South Summit website. The winners will participate as finalists at South Summit 2020, which will be held between October 6 and October 8 in Madrid.

Madrid, 3 April 2020. Committed to reviving the innovation ecosystem at a time of unprecedented challenges, South Summit and IE University are launching the Virtual South Summit, an initiative to keep the global innovation ecosystem connected by offering new networking formats, raising visibility and generating business opportunities.

Taking advantage of the success and experience of the South Summit, the goal of these virtual meetings is to build new online formats organized by themes oriented to increase visibility and boost the ecosystem at this difficult time, which will be called e-Challenge. This initiative will feature the latest technology from IE University to organize virtual meetings in real time with the whole community through the Wow Room, IE University’s virtual classroom, which is revolutionizing teaching. All online meetings can be followed via live streaming from the South Summit website, after registration.

The first e-Challenge, Challenge focused on Health & Wellbeing, will take place on April 28, and will feature leading corporations committed to open innovation via startup, among them Lilly, Novartis, Merck, Nestlé and HM Hospitals, as well as investors from top international funds such as Softbank, Idinvest, Ysios Capital and Inveready, among others. The opening keynote address will be carried out by Dr. Mario Alonso Puig, president of the IE Center for Health, Well-Being & Happiness;; and will be closed by Martin Varsavsky, investor and founder of numerous companies and Chairman of the largest chain of fertility clinics in the US, Prelude Fertility, in addition to coordinating the creation of Coronamadrid, the app being used in the Spanish capital in the fight against coronavirus.

In addition, Health & Wellbeing, to be held on April 28, the next scheduled e-Challenges will be on May 6, on Connectivity, May 12, on Mobility & Logistics; May 19 on Education; May28 on Sustainability and June 2 on Fintech. The Startup Competition is now open for sectoral projects to be registered through the South Summit website.

During each of the Virtual South Summits, a Startup Competition will be held with virtual pitches and with Q&A from a jury made up of members of the world’s leading investment funds and relevant industry-leading corporations. The call is now open for all tracks, and projects can be registered through the South Summit website. The winner of each e-Challenge will join the hundred finalists at South Summit 2020, which will be held from October 6 to October 8 at Madrid’s La Nave events center. As finalists, startups will be able to present their projects to more than 1,100 international investors and corporations around the world actively searching for innovation thus accessing multiple business opportunities.

“Faced with the unprecedented challenge of COVID 19, today we are more convinced than ever that only together and under the flag of innovation, will we find solutions to situations as challenging as the current one. That is why we have thrown our weight behind launching this initiative to reactivate connections and thus generate new opportunities: there is nobody better equipped than startups to develop them,” explains María Benjumea, founder of South Summit-Spain Startup.

“Innovation and rapid adaptation to constant change are part of IE University’s core values. Therefore, from the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation we want to continue supporting the entrepreneurial community at this difficult time. The launch of this new joint initiative with South Summit is the perfect setting to show the resilience of the entrepreneurial ecosystem, and at IE University, we are delighted to put all our technology and experience at the service of entrepreneurs so that they can develop their projects, adds Nacho Mateo, Chief of Investor Relations at IE University.

This first Virtual South Summit: e-Challenge in Health & Wellbeing is just an appetizer of the meeting due to be held on April 28 in Valencia, but which had to be postponed following the coronavirus lockdown. As Spain Startup has noted, when the situation is normalized, the new date of the meeting will be communicated.