Barcelona is one of Europe’s most dynamic startup ecosystems, especially in the field of new technologies (Internet, Mobile Software & Services, e-commerce, Big Data and Tourism), thanks to multiple factors that have given the city over 1,200 startups with ambition and global vision.
The startup economy in Catalonia employs some 11,700 people. Barcelona is the 5th European region in terms of startups according to several renowned international rankings such as EU-Startups and Startup Heatmap Europe, among others. EU-Startups places Barcelona behind London, Paris, Berlin and Amsterdam. It has become a clear benchmark in Europe in the creation of new companies, especially those with a technological base.
Barcelona is the fourth European city in whose startups more has been invested (722 million dollars) in 2017, behind London, Berlin and Paris according to the investment fund Atomico. In its third annual report on the Technological Panorama in Europe, this same investment fund highlights that Barcelona is the third city preferred by entrepreneurs to create a new startup, only behind London and Berlin
Today, the Catalan capital has over 1,200 startups with this growth being down to various factors: local infrastructures that both feed and benefit from these projects; public and private support programmes and services for entrepreneurship; successful entrepreneurs who have helped to create networks of incubators; accelerators and investment vehicles that safeguard the new companies; and the presence of internationally renowned trade fairs such as the Mobile World Congress, 4YFN, Smart City Expo, IOT and Barcelona Games World.
Another sign of how the startup sector is maturing is the fact that Catalan startups are interacting and collaborating among themselves; an example of this collaboration is the Barcelona Tech City technological cluster that brings together around one hundred digital and tech companies based in Barcelona. This association estimates that Barcelona-based firms working in digital and tech business have a turnover of 6.7 billion euros and employ some 15,000 workers.
In a recent report about European Venture Capital, Invest Europe examines entrepreneurial hubs and clusters across Europe and identifies Barcelona as the main Sourthern Europe Tech City, focused on mobile telecoms, e-commerce, gaming and software.
Why should your startup be in Barcelona?
With startups being one of the strongest employment and income creators in Europe, the CITIE 2015 report lists Barcelona as the 4th Best city favouring digital entrepreneurship. Furthermore, the Catalan capital ranks extremely well in terms of cost of living & best location for office space costs. In Barcelona, startups find:
- A competitive environment
- Local and international talent
- Access to business angels and venture capital
- Excellent infrastructures in a strategic location
- International Incubators & Accelerators
- Mobile World Congress and other leading technology International Trade Fairs
- A proven success model
- First class business schools
- Quality of life