Spain’s South Summit considers expansion to Israel


Spain’s esteemed South Summit, a premier event in the realm of innovation and entrepreneurship, has concluded its 11th edition in Madrid. Following its success, the event’s founder, María Benjumea, has set her sights on Israel as a potential collaborator, citing the nation’s exceptional track record and Spain’s robust relationship with it.

“When we talk about start-ups and about innovation, our mind immediately goes to Israel, as the Start-Up Nation. We think it would be absolutely extraordinary and amazing to do something with Israel because I think that we do things very similar. In the next few years, I think we can work together much more closely,” Benjumea said, noting that the event already has a successful cohort in Brazil.

Co-organized by IE University and backed by esteemed organizations such as Spain Up Nation, the regional government of Madrid, and Madrid City Hall, the event brought together industry leaders, start-ups, investors, and government representatives. With notable participation from renowned companies including Mutua Madrileña, Google for start-ups and start-up of Banco Sabadell, the South Summit showcased Spain’s vibrant start-up ecosystem; highlighting the co-organizers focus on innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity.

The event witnessed a remarkable turnout, with La Nave in Madrid filled to pre-pandemic levels. Out of the 20,000 attendees, an impressive 6,500 were entrepreneurs, accompanied by 2,000 investors boasting a combined investment portfolio exceeding $326 billion. Over the course of the event, 650 high-level speakers shared their expertise, fostering valuable connections and generating opportunities for growth. The South Summit facilitated over 175,000 connections, highlighting its pivotal role in fostering collaboration within the entrepreneurial community.

The benefits of Israel-Spain collaboration to the global start-up landscape

The prospect of a mutually beneficial collaboration between Israel and Spain – two entrepreneurial powerhouses – looms large, holding significant potential in the global start-up landscape.

Israel Start up (credit: INGIMAGE)

With Spain’s South Summit recognized as a catalyst for innovation and Israel’s dynamic start-up ecosystem renowned for its trailblazing technologies, the convergence of these two forces holds much promise in regards to transformative ideas and cross-border collaboration. The shared values and complementary strengths of Spain and Israel in fostering entrepreneurship, technological advancements, and investment opportunities create a fertile ground for a beneficial alliance.

Looking toward the future, Benjumea expressed her admiration for Israel and its thriving start-up ecosystem. She highlighted the strong relationship between Spain and Israel, stating, “I admire Israel very much. Spain has a very good relationship with Israel, and [the start-ups in Israel] always do such great work.”