Southern European Stars 2020: and the winner is…

David Alonso Martínez
Published in
3 min readMay 20, 2020


The winner of the event is Southern Europe as a whole. This morning, I believe we raised our voices to assert that the Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian ecosystems are vibrant, full of talented entrepreneurs and with relevant investors willing to provide capital and brains to help founders create many more success stories than the ones mentioned in my previous post.

The Event in numbers

  • 29 VCs
  • 200 applications → 15 finalists → 3 winners
  • €500k in rewards from IBM Cloud, Google for Startups, AWS Activate, and Microsoft for Startups
  • 3 sessions (B2B, B2C, Healthcare)
  • 200 attendees across sessions
  • 1m laughs organising all the set up

The Jury

They’ve not only been present today but throughout the whole process.It’s been fascinating to see how all of us coordinated to get sponsons onboard, evaluate all the applicants and send the message that Southern Europe rocks. You can check investors participating here. Kudos to all!

B2C Jury
Healthcare Jury
B2B Jury

The Real Winners

Competition has been intense and the bar has been as high as Mont Blanc. Choosing the finalist involved tough decisions but choosing a unique winner… These three startups outcompeted all:


Kotokan (Spain): a game that teaches problem-solving skills through mathematics to children aged 7 to 12.


KeyLess (Italy): Keyless is a deeptech, cybersecurity company building the world’s first privacy-preserving biometric authentication and personal identity management platform.


Virtuleap (Portugal): VR brain training games designed to help increase attention levels, and address cognitive illnesses, disorders, and learning challenges.

Bonus Anecdote

11am CET, May 20th. Event stars. Wait — let’s go back 10 minutes. We realise the Zoom links we had sent to everybody don’t work since they were all relying on my account and you cannot run 3 webinars at the same time. Anxiety comes in (last time I was this tense I think was at university). Rodrigo (Kibo) and Marcos (Bright Pixel) take the lead and fix it around the clock. KINGS! Really enjoyed organising this event with you two, amazing team :)

All in all, given our scarce resources, we launched the first version of an amazing initiative which I hope has been beneficial to all the involved in one way or another. We have taken notes of all the things to improve (feedback welcome — please DM) and we’re really looking forward to build a better edition next year!

2021 Southern European Stars… Vamos lá! Andiamo! A por ello!