FOR INTERNATIONAL STARTUPS

7 things you need to know to set up your startup in Barcelona & Catalonia


Barcelona and Catalonia appear high up in a several worldwide rankings classifying places in terms of creativity, entrepreneurship and business relations. If you are interested in setting up your startup in Barcelona, take a look at these 7 facts about the region that will help you make up your mind.

1) One of Europe’s most dynamic startup ecosystems

Barcelona is the 5th most dynamic startup ecosystem in Europe, especially in the field of new technologies. It has become a clear benchmark worldwide in the creation of new companies, being home to 1,500 startups with ambition and global vision. The startup economy in Catalonia employs some 16,900 people.

The international feel of the city translates into the figures: 19% of all employees are from abroad, mainly from Western Europe (44%), followed by South America, Eastern Europe, North America, Asia and Africa. In addition, 15% of startup founders are from abroad.

2) 3rd preferred city for building a startup

Where would you set up your startup if you were to establish one again? When asked this question, 18% of startup founders in Europe chose Barcelona, being the third favorite hub after London and Berlin, according to StartUp Heatmap Europe 2019.

3) No. 5 in funds raised in Europe

Besides talent and clients, funding is key for startup success. And Barcelona keeps claiming its spot in the international sphere. Nowadays Barcelona lies 5th in the ranking of European tech hubs by volume of capital raised: startups in the city received €2,509M from 2015 to 2019, only behind London, Berlin, Paris and Stockholm.

4) 5th most attractive city in the world for digital talent

Barcelona is the fifth city in the world to attract digital experts, according to the Decoding Global Talent 2019 from The Boston Consulting Group. The truth is that many IT multinationals are building their tech hubs and innovation centres in the Catalan capital, where skilled labor in digital areas abounds.

Seeing it from another perspective, working in the field of technology is what mostly attracts foreign talent: 27% of international employees develop their activity in this area, followed by sales (22%), management (20%) and operations (17%).

5) The world’s most popular international conference city

Business connections are enhanced by internationally acclaimed fairs and congresses that bring the latest technologies, companies, knowledge and trends to Barcelona, such as the Mobile World Congress or the 4 Years From Now.

In fact, the International Congress and Convention Association (ICCA) states that Barcelona was the best-attended conference city in the world last year, as it welcomed 135,000 delegates. Furthermore, many investors’ meetings and forums are organized throughout the year that provide an opportunity for startups to access private capital.

6) A synonym of quality of life

With an unbeatable location on the Mediterranean Sea, a mild climate and an efficient mobility system for easy commuting, Barcelona classifies as one of the best cities to combine work and personal life. In fact, it lies 8th in the world ranking, ahead of cities like Paris or Vancouver and only behind Helsinki, Munich, Oslo, Hamburg, Stockholm, Berlin and Zurich.

As for real state, Barcelona offers an unbeatable value for money office space. Specific locations for startups can be found at the Pier 01 building and several coworking spaces in the city.

7) A leading city in innovation and entrepreneurship

Barcelona is considered the 4th most innovative city in Europe in 2019, and the 21st in the world among 500 cities analyzed by Innovation Cities Index by 2thinknow. The city has undergone great progress in this area: going up four positions in the European classification and nine in the world, compared to 2018.

Entrepreneurship in Catalonia is also in good shape: Catalonia surpasses European (8%) and Spanish (6.39%) averages on entrepreneurial activity with an 8.13% rate.

Has this helped you make up your mind? Allow us to guide you through our services for setting up a startup in Barcelona and Catalonia.