One would be hard pressed to find a more enjoyable place to work from than Barcelona. The city’s enviable weather and climate, along with its affordable cost of living makes it a magnet for expats from all over the world. When combined with the presence of talented engineers and excellent universities, Barcelona becomes a very logical choice for those seeking a healthy work-life balance. The ecosystem has made significant headway in smart city technology as well as mobile-related startups. As any local would state, seed stage capital in Barcelona is not very difficult to obtain. Nevertheless, startups typically find difficulty in acquiring post-seed financing and generally leave Barcelona once they begin to scale. Through Barcelona Activa, the local government has been very active in supporting startups; however, there is still a significant amount of red tape that entrepreneurs must overcome in order to be successful. Despite these challenges, the startup scene is becoming increasingly more active, and once more successful entrepreneurs begin recycling capital into the ecosystem, fewer scaling startups will leave.
These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.
Up and coming startup
Up and coming startup
Acquired for $87m by
Up and coming startup
As one of Barcelona's most famous serial entrepreneurs, Carlos founded Grupo ITnet in 1996 which became a huge success. In 2011, he founded Akamon, a company that focuses on social casino games for Latin and Southern European markets. Conector, also co-founded by Carlos, is a startup accelerator that focuses on telecoms, media, and ICT. Concurrently, he is also a mentor at SeedRocket, Wayra, Plug & Play, and the Founder Institute.
Luis splits his time between Madrid and Barcelona. As the most active angel investor in Spain, he started investing in 1998, and since then has invested in over 40 internet and tech startups. In 2009, he founded Cabiedes & Partners and, along with his brother Jose Martin Cabiedes, launched the first angel fund in Spain in 2011.
Originally from the United States, Scott has been pivotal in his role as the founder and CEO of Barcinno. As a community driven site that shares stories, knowledge, and events of Barcelona's startup and tech communities, it is an excellent resource. He is also a mentor at Startupbootcamp and an associate professor at Toulouse Business School.
Angel is the Founding Partner at Startupbootcamp's Barcelona branch, which focuses on internet of things and data. He is also the Founding Partner at Lanta Digital Ventures, an early stage VC that invests in high growth startups.
Carlos is the Managing Director of La Caixa's VC branch, where he leads investments in early stage companies from pre-seed to growth. He is also the President of the Spanish Venture Capital Association (ASCRI).
Active Venture Partners serves one of the most prolific investors in the Spanish ecosystem. Founded by Chris Pommerening in 2004 after his successful exit, it has invested in 21 companies in two funds totalling €74m.
In 2008, Jesus co-founded SeedRocket, one of Europe's preeminent startup accelerators. Concurrently, he is also the CEO of startup Offerum.com, an eCommerce startup.
Miguel founded LetsBonus, a Spanish version of Groupon, in 2009 and it grew into a very successful company. Afterwards, he founded Wallapop, a second-hand marketplace with operations in all of Western Europe. Miguel is also a mentor at Conector.
Before co-founding renowned fintech startup Kantox, Marek had co-founded and was CTO at Atrapalo, the largest independent online travel agency in Spain. He is an active business angel investor and mentor for many technology startups.
When Andrés first founded the incubator Incubio, it was located in Silicon Valley, but it has since moved to Barcelona. Incubio takes pride in the fact that it capitalizes on Barcelona's already strong SaaS and big data community and it seeks to focus more possible businesses to emerge out of these veriticals.
The municipality approves the 22@Barcelona, one of Europe's largest urban regeneration projects, that is transforming a previously unused industrial area into a successful innovation district.2000
Carlos Blanco founds Grupo Itnet and becomes a leader in the Barcelona startup community. He later founds Conector, an accelerator that focuses on mobile.2001
After the successful exit of AutoScout24 in 2001, Chris Pommerening went on to found Active Venture Partners, which raised its first fund in 2004.February, 2004
As one of Europe's most prominent accelerators, SeedRocket provides startups with a 3 month seed funding venture program with around €150,000.March, 2008
The GSM Association held its first annual Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. The event has since grown to over 90,000 people and 2,100 companies from across all spectrums of the mobile industry.February, 2009
Founders Antonio Rami and Philippe Gelis create the disruptive finance platform Kantox at a Startup Weekend. Kantox allows users to exchange currency very easily.June, 2011
Dubbed as Spain's "Netflix", Wuaki.tv is acquired by Japanese eCommerce giant Rakuten for an undisclosed sum.June, 2012
Conector is an accelerator founded by Carlos Blanco that provides startups with at 6 month program and plenty of mentorship. The accelerator has a particular focus in telecommunications, media and entertainment, and internet technology.2013
Softonic recieves a growth equity investment of €82.5M that put the value of the company at €275M. The capital injection will finance Softonic's global expansion.March, 2013
The world-renowned accelerator Startupbootcamp brings its expertise to Barcelona. The Barcelona branch focuses on internet of things and data science.August, 2014