There are different reasons why someone chooses to set up and work with start-ups, and more specifically with tech start-ups. But what are the reasons why a company chooses to set up shop in one place and not another? Why are there places that are more likely to catch the attention of entrepreneurs, talent, mentors and investors and become the first choice venue for sector congresses? The answer lies in the tools that a city has to promote the starting up of new companies and the factors that foster their development, for example, the presence of stakeholders related to these start-ups.
Barcelona has at least five of these ingredients:
The pulse of an innovative city
These types of companies have a strong sense of community. And in order to create this community you need support not only from government and the city council, but also from universities, incubators, banks and service providers who reinforce and back the community.
Barcelona has a natural appeal of its own that not only attracts tourists, but also citizens from other European Union countries and other parts of the world who come here to launch their ideas and projects thanks to the technology ecosystem that has emerged.
It comes as no surprise that Barcelona is climbing up the ranking and becoming a world hub for technology companies due to the energy emanating from local stakeholders. Companies with worldwide success such as Softonic, eDreams and Wallapop started out in Barcelona.
In addition to this, the city boasts some of the best business schools in the world as well as design schools, yet another magnet that attracts talent from all over the world.
The city is lucky in that it has four of the best start-up accelerators in Spain.
Wayra: Telefónica’s technology start-ups accelerator. It uses its global connections to provide contacts with investors, potential partners and mentors.
Startupbootcamp: Startupbootcamp’s headquarters in Barcelona is Internet of Things & Data. It focuses on start-ups providing solutions that use data to create more intelligent and customised services for their customers.
Seedrocket: As its name indicates, this accelerator provides funding for technology solutions start-ups in their initial phase. They provide consultancy from experts to give the start-ups the support they need to take off. Centred on communication, they encourage start-ups to help one another and transmit their know-how and experiences.
Conector: It offers a programme that is targeted at digital technology start-ups in their initial phases. It connects them with experts, online entrepreneurs and legal services, and offers them the chance to give a presentation before private investors and venture capital firms at the end of the programme.
Access to funding
The belief that there is very little or no capital funding for start-ups is quite widespread, but the truth is that there are firms such as Nauta Capital, Activo VP, Caixa Capital Risc, Inveready, Keiretsu Forum and Finaves that are looking for investment opportunities in promising technology start-ups.
Barcelona Activa is a flagship organisation for Barcelona entrepreneurs. It was founded in 1986 with the aim of promoting Barcelona’s economic growth. They provide training courses, consultancy, different programmes and company planning tools as well as an introduction to legal aspects.
This is a clear sign of the buzz that exists in the technology sector, taking into account the potential impact it has on the city and its citizens.
In addition to all this, the fact that the city is one of the most popular destinations in the Mediterranean with thousands of visitors a year, a place where you can enjoy a good lifestyle, quality cuisine, art-nouveau architecture, a unique historical heritage and beaches, constitutes another pretty hefty reason why entrepreneurs and start-ups choose Barcelona to set up a business and try their luck.