Barcelona has emerged as the European startup hub for entrepreneurship and innovation. When it comes to total investment, Barcelona is ranked after London, Paris, Berlin and Stockholm.
Founders and investors prefer this city because of the access to high-quality tech talent, relatively low rent prices, and the high quality of life.
In fact, Barcelona is ranked second among all European cities when it comes to the number of professional developers and has attracted nearly 110 tech companies. Unicorns are some of these companies, and they have created numerous jobs and drawn attention to Barcelona’s potential to provide and attract high-quality talent.
Here are reasons why Barcelona is the best spot in Europe for startups and entrepreneurs.
1. Startup and Tech Hub
Barcelona is a dynamic startup ecosystem situated in South Europe. This tech city is the host of more than 1,300 startups that focus on mobile and software technologies as well as life science.
As a result, over 13,800 tech experts from abroad, Western Europe, South America, East Europe, Asia, Africa and North America are working in the Catalonia startup economy. Further, some international founders have relocated to Barcelona to launch their startup business there.
Therefore, the technology field has drawn foreign talent to Barcelona as well as in sales, management and operations.
2. Easy Access to Venture Capital
Barcelona has a huge volume of venture capital to be invested in the startup ecosystem. Silicon Valley-based firms have lately been showing interest in Barcelona startups. Some venture capitalists actively invest in the local startup scene; these include So capital, Abac Capital, Galdana ventures, Sitak Capital Flint capital, Nero venture.
Spanish startups have a tremendous opportunity to compete for venture capital based on their performance which fuels creativity, hard work and employment opportunities.
3. Top Ranking Schools
Barcelona enjoys partnering with leading schools in Spain and Europe, such as IESE, EADA, and ESADE. Interns from these schools get internship opportunities, and renowned professors come to Spain from across the globe to serve as non-exclusive directors and advisory members.
Graduates from these universities are well known for their great ideas, entrepreneurial spirit, organization, responsibility and hard work.
4. Easy to Find Quality Tech Talent
You can easily find developers in the Barcelona area compared to other European hubs because of high competition. Further, people relocate from different parts of the world to Spain and adopt the spirit of the people in Barcelona, which makes it easy for startups situated in this South European country.
Startups founders are seeking for high-quality tech talents that are adventurous, have their own spirit, and are interested in establishing something completely new.
5. Increased Number of Co-working Spaces
The number of co-working spaces in Barcelona is rapidly growing with time, giving entrepreneurs and tech talent an excellent opportunity to meet other like-minded people. This helps them to brainstorm ideas and come up with new inventions.
Besides promoting human interactions, co-working is cost-effective. It also attracts digital freelancers and nomads from the rest of the world to Barcelona.
6. Quality of Life
The cost of living in major tech hubs like Berlin and London pay their employees hefty salaries; however, these locations have a high cost of living. This is not the case with Barcelona because the cost of living is considerably lower, there is huge access to high-quality education, healthcare, travel connection and more.
You can also enjoy life away from work without breaking a bank, and so organizations can plan for their outdoor activities where they can spend quality time with their teams in an informal ambience as well as work in places with beautiful views without spending a lot of money.
7. Wide Range of Incubators and Accelerators
Incubators and accelerators are an essential part of the startup ecosystem because they promote innovation and help young businesses to grow.
They offer programs that offer mentorship and support at the early stages of startups in addition to business advisory services, thus helping these new businesses avoid errors that can result from management problems and limited experience. Some of the notable accelerators in the Barcelona tech scene are Startupbootcamp, Seedrocket and Connector. These companies provide training and mentorship needed in the initial stages.
8. Dedicated Tech City
Barcelona’s old industrial area El Poblenou is undergoing transformation to become an urban centre for innovation dubbed The 22@ Barcelona innovation district. In this city, many innovative companies co-exist and collaborate in research, training as well as tech transfer centres. This massive innovative zone has occupied the whole of the city’s southeastern quadrant and is set to house new technical knowledge.
As a result, many startups and entrepreneurs are expected to book spaces in this zone, offer co-working spaces and much more services.
9. Regular Tech Event or Meetups
Countless business and networking events are held in Barcelona almost every day and at hundreds of venues. Many entrepreneurs and startup founders travel from all over to meet business leaders they are interested in.
These events range from congress about docker, big data to smaller meetups to discuss project management tools or specific technologies.
Therefore, it’s possible to attend a tech meetup or startup events every single day and in any part of Barcelona. One of such events is The startup Grind Barcelona that helps founders get a glimpse of the local tech scene as well as establish business relationships.
Other events you can attend while in Barcelona are Smart City Expo World Congress, Mobile World Congress and 4YFN.
10. Barcelona Activa
The Barcelona city council runs the organization, and its objective is to promote economic growth. So Barcelona Activa provides support, advice and funds to entrepreneurs and startups.
It provides informative sessions with different programs and business planning tools that welcome entrepreneurs to the Barcelona tech scene as well as introduce them to the specific legal procedures of this city and the country. Therefore, a startup founder can learn about the Spanish business incorporation and taxing before launching the business, thus avoid making mistakes in the future.
Through its weekly program, entrepreneurs renting in the same building have the opportunity of supporting smaller companies in their initial stages.
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