Why do startups prefer Barcelona?

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The “startup” concept refers, in general terms, to young, innovative companies that respond to an important business opportunity and have a rapid and intense growth.

For Steve Blank, entrepreneur and promoter of the Lean Startup movement,

startups are not a reduced version of the big traditional company but rather “a temporary organization in search of a profitable business model that can be repeated and that can become  stronger” .

Barcelona, ​​startup destination

According to the recent “Spanish startup ecosystem” report, during 2017, the number of startups in Spain grew by 20% compared to the previous year, reaching 3.258.

Of these 3.258 startups, around 1.100 were located in Barcelona, ​​which thus concentrates 34% of the new startups throughout the State and is ranked as the fifth European hub, only behind London, Paris, Berlin and Dublin.

In addition, Barcelona ranks third in the ranking of the most attractive cities to start a new company.

But what are the assets that make Barcelona such an attractive city? According to Pablo Sánchez, General Manager of Mytaxi in Spain, Barcelona’s attraction for international talent lies in its cosmopolitan and culturally active nature, as well as in its geographical location.

Lorenzo di Pietro, executive director of “Emprendimiento, Empresa e Innovación” of Barcelona Activa, agrees that Barcelona gathers a combination of factors that make it such a seductive destination for startups. In an interview with Coolture Magazine, he highlighted, among them, the following:

  • Geographically well located and well connected.
  • First level infrastructures such as an international airport and a pioneer port.
  • Business schools with the ability to generate talent.
  • Brand that works the image of an open, creative, welcoming and unique city.
  • Sensitivity from the Public Administration for the creation of this ecosystem.


Great events in Barcelona

Part of the attraction of Barcelona has to do with the quantity and quality of major events related to technology and the business world, that take place in the city during the year. Topping the list is the Mobile World Congress (MWC), whose 2018 edition brought together 2.400 exhibiting companies and attracted 107.000 attendees.


Within the framework of the MWC, the 4 Years from Now (4YFN), a platform organized by Mobile World Capital Barcelona and GSMA, is also held in Barcelona, allowing new companies, investors, corporations and public institutions to discover, create and launch new projects together. The 2018 edition has gathered 600 startups and more than 20.000 attendees.

Also about mobile technology but with the aim of encouraging the debate and the participation of citizens in relation to the daily future of today’s society, Barcelona hosts the Mobile Week Barcelona. It is an initiative promoted by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, ​​which this year has achieved more than 19.000 attendees and 120 activities throughout the city.

High-quality business centers

Barcelona also concentrates a wide range of services aimed for startups. In addition to the support for entrepreneurs from the public administration with services such as Barcelona Activa, the city concentrates a large number of business centers where emerging companies can establish themselves.


Thanks to the business centers, any entrepreneur can establish their headquarters in central locations of the city such as Paseo de Gracia or Diagonal Avenue without the need to rent expensive offices, nor waste time and money adapting them to their activity.

The business centers usually offer to startups services such as:

With this collaboration, entrepreneurs can profit from the services that the most consolidated companies enjoy, without having to invest time and resources hiring additional services such as secretarial aid, catering services, courier services, etc.


For an entrepreneur, settling in a business center means the possibility to start working immediately and, at the same time, save a significant initial investment, reducing fixed costs, accessing a wide range of additional services and, in general, reducing the risks and concerns of undertaking a new business project.


Esta entrada también está disponible en: Spanish Catalan