Mercadona founder starts “Silicon Valley” in the port of Valencia

by Lorraine Williamson
Valencia "Silicon Valley"

VALENCIA – Businessman Juan Roig, founder of Spain’s largest supermarket company Mercadona, has a new goal: He wants to consolidate the marina of Valencia as “one of the most important centres of innovation in Spain”. Like “Silicon Valley”, but in Valencia.

In addition, he wants to “make Valencia the Mediterranean, Spanish and European capital of innovation”. To this end, the Marina de Empresas, a commercial space in the port focused on the development of start-ups and led by the Mercadona founder, has reached an agreement with the city council. Based on this agreement, they can expand the facilities. 

Also read: Valencia, a city full of architecture, history, culture and design

The local company will hand over the space known as Tinglado 4. This is an 11,600 m² warehouse for the storage of goods so that the entrepreneurial project can grow. The expansion will have a second phase, adding municipal land in the districts of Camins al Grau and Poblados Marítimos. 

The core of entrepreneurship in Spain and Europe 

Roig has stated to the press that they see a “great opportunity” for this place to become the “core of entrepreneurship in Spain and Europe”. Mercadona’s founder went so far as to associate his Valencia initiative with the entrepreneurship and innovation par excellence of North America: “Silicon Valley is a port of business in the United States”. 

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The Spanish initiative is currently known as District Design Valencia or Maritime District of Innovation and Creativity and consists of three initiatives: EDEM — School of Business and Management —, the Lanzadera start-up accelerator and the investment company Angels. 

8,000 Jobs created 

Since its inception in 2013, Lanzadera has accelerated 900 companies and provided more than €20 million in loans. In addition, the promoted companies have realised a total investment of €615 million and generated more than 8,000 jobs. 

Meanwhile, Angels have invested more than €32 million in 40 companies and currently owns 27 companies. EDEM, for its part, welcomed 3,000 students last year. 

Also read: Malaga technical centre “Silicon Valley”

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