European Stories – Barcelona

8 March, 2017


Barcelona, entrepreneurs, Europe, startup ecosystem, startups, tech scene


Mobile Capital of the World

Barcelona wants to set itself as one of the major tech hubs in Europe and it’s pushing hard for it. Much like in the Champions League, the competition to be the best European start-up ecosystem happens at city level, not country-level. And much like its football club, Barcelona would love for its start-up ecosystem to be the best in Europe.

And Barcelona has strong arguments to present for its case.

Every year, the Barcelona tech scene basically becomes the center of the world for one week.

The Mobile World Congress is THE show of the year; all the innovation related to connectivity is presented during the week. And innovation in the connectivity sector is pretty much ruling the pace of innovation in every other sector.

But Barcelona wants more, and can have more. Why should you restrain yourself to attracting the world’s best talents for only 1 week in the year when you could have them living and working in Barcelona?

It’s  quick math, and the answer is easy.

In the wake of the 4YFN conference, happening on the verge of the MWC, Barcelona is hustling to get tomorrow’s start-up champions’ eyes on its bustling start-up ecosystem. Barcelona’s attraction power isn’t to demonstrate. You have an awesome quality of life, the city is very affordable (including salaries if you’re reading this from a founder’s position), and has all the infrastructure you can wish for.

The conference attracts thousands of start-ups each year, offering a golden opportunity for a showcase.

Barcelona needs to attract more world-class start-ups; the city is a wonderful place to educate the talents they need to keep pushing the boundaries of innovation. But those talents need challenges to keep expanding their knowledge; otherwise they will relocate instead of encouraging the development of more talents.

And as a priority over attracting champions, Barcelona needs to start building its own. Barcelona’s start-up ecosystem needs a leader, a figure entrepreneurs can look up to, and be inspired by. It’s almost there, but it has to keep pushing further. Only homemade champions will help Barcelona win the cup, and they know that better than anyone else.

Barcelona has it all, but it needs to get better with its talents. This is the only way to develop the ecosystem on the long run, convincing the Connectivity giants to see in Barcelona more than their annual hangout.

Barcelona Start-up Ecosystem by the numbers:

1,3B € 282M € 36 45%
Barcelona start-ups revenues 2016 ? Capital invested in start-ups 2016 ? Number of exits in 2016 for a total of 700+M € ? Percentage of funders coming from abroad ?

Best incubators/accelerators:

  • Conector
  • StartupBootcamp
  • Ogilvy Upcelerator
  • BarcelonActiva

Top VC:

  • Wayra
  • Seedrocket
  • Caixa Capital Risc

Best Start-ups:

  • Privalia – Acquired $500M by Vente Privée in March 2016
  • Scytl – Voting and electoral modernization solutions. Raised $126.2M in funding.

Cool stuff:

  • Pier01
  • Barcelona Activa
  • Harbour Space University
  • Mobile World Congress
  • 4 Years From Now
  • Media-Tic
  • Startup Grind
  • French Tech Barcelona

Best Coworking spaces:

  • One Cowork
  • Betahaus
  • Talent Garden

Best media:

  • Barcinno