There are 1,835 foreign technology companies in Catalonia, 6% more than in 2022

International Events · Tech & Digital Transformation · Life Sciences

13 Dec 2023

According to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, companies from the United States, France, and the United Kingdom stand out in ICT, electronics, audiovisual, health products, and R&D sectors.

Albert Castellanos, the Secretary of Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, announced this Tuesday that 1,835 foreign companies in the technology sector are established in Catalonia. According to ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment - the Business Competitiveness Agency of the Ministry of Business and Labour - this is 5.9% more than in 2022 and 34% more than in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Barcelona has made a giant leap to become the second preferred hub in the European Union for entrepreneurs to create their own companies”

Miguel Vicente, president of Tech Barcelona.

Castellanos announced this during the inauguration of the fourth edition of Tech Spirit Barcelona, one of the most important annual meetings held in Catalonia in the field of startups and technological and digital companies. Organized by Tech Barcelona with the support of ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the event is being held at the Llotja de Mar in Barcelona and will continue until tomorrow, with an expected attendance of more than 8,500 people, including startups, scale-ups, investment funds, and large corporations.

During his speech, Castellanos highlighted the evolution of the startup ecosystem in Catalonia over the last decade, emphasizing "the commitment of Tech Barcelona, accelerators, private entities, and ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment to make Barcelona and Catalonia a hub for startups and entrepreneurship on a European scale". The Secretary of Business and Competitiveness also highlighted the importance of "public-private collaboration" during these ten years, a fact that has allowed Barcelona to become "the first startup hub in Southern Europe, the second favorite in the European Union to create a startup, and the fifth in rounds of financing raised". "Just six years ago, we had half as many startups as today, and they attracted four times less funding than today", he said.

In this sense, Castellanos explained that "having created this leading ecosystem in Europe has also allowed us to attract foreign technology multinationals to Catalonia, who have decided to locate their R&D and innovation centers here". Thus, he announced that "almost 20% of foreign companies established in Catalonia are technology-based: we already have 1,835 companies with this profile, 6% more than last year". As for future challenges, he pointed out "increasing the critical mass of startups, especially deep-tech ones, so that open innovation becomes a more common practice in Catalonia and so that emerging companies act as a stimulus for R&D greater technological risk".

"This fourth edition of Tech Spirit Barcelona is very special for us, as it coincides with the tenth anniversary of Tech Barcelona, an initiative driven by and for entrepreneurs", said Miguel Vicente, president of Tech Barcelona, highlighting the "giant leap" that Barcelona has made to become "the second preferred hub in the European Union for entrepreneurs to create their companies". "Looking to the future, we are faced with deep technological disruption or artificial intelligence, technologies that will transform the sectors of health, mobility, commerce, leisure, energy or sustainability: this is what Tech Spirit Barcelona 2023 is all about", concluded Vicente.

According to data published today by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, the 1,835 technology companies in Catalonia represent 19.8% of our country's total number of foreign subsidiaries (9,255 companies). These companies come mainly from the United States (19% of the total), France (13.4%), the United Kingdom (13%), Germany (10%) and Italy (5.3%).

In terms of sectors, companies from the ICT and electronics (56%), audiovisual (10,5%), health products and services (9,4%) and R&D (9%) sectors stand out.

Tech Spirit, the technological spirit of Barcelona and Catalonia

Castellanos also explained that as part of Tech Spirit, held at the Llotja de Mar, ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment has organized more than 500 meetings between Catalan startups and local and international investors. The aim is for Catalan entrepreneurs to find investors, partners, or clients, gain visibility, and open up new global markets.

On the other hand, this Wednesday, the Catalan Startup of the Year 2023 will be awarded as part of the 28th edition of the Catalan Pitch Competition organized by ACCIÓ-Catalonia Trade & Investment, in which a group of 26 finalist startups from the Health, ICT, and Deep tech sectors will present their projects to the entrepreneurs and investors attending the event.

Download here the Catalogue of Startups participating in the Catalan Pitch Competition 2023 (.PDF document), competing for the Catalan Startup of the Year award.

The catalog provides an overview of new solutions to social challenges, characteristics of different markets and technological areas, and, most importantly, the people behind the projects. You will learn about their reasons for developing these projects and find their contacts so that you can share knowledge and do business together.

The Tech Spirit was born spontaneously four years ago after 4YFN and Mobile World Congress were canceled due to the pandemic. With more than 140 speakers and more than 70 sessions, participants from companies such as Holaluz, LinkedIn, Nestle, the Emirates New Zealand team of the America's Cup Sailing, Bayer, Cruïlla or Dindog, among others, discuss the present and future of the local technology ecosystem, network and share success stories.

Catalan Pitch Competition 2023

Multimedia gallery.


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