atalonia currently has about 1,300 startups, generating almost 14,000 jobs, as detailed by the Barcelona & Catalonia Startup Hub platform created by ACCIÓ – Agency for Business Competitiveness, the Catalan Government’s Bureau for Trade & Investment . This is the reference directory of Catalan startups, both by volume and quality.
Along with the publication of these figures, the Minister for Enterprise and Knowledge Àngels Chacón highlights “the importance of the entrepreneurial ecosystem for the competitiveness of different territories.” On this, she stated that “over the last few years there has been a surge in the number of startups in Catalonia and Barcelona: 5 years ago, Catalonia did not appear in any ranking, but today Catalonia has consolidated as one of the top five entrepreneurial, technology and knowledge hubs in Europe.”
For the Minister, “startups are outstanding players uniting technology generation and transfer.” “We want Catalonia to be perceived as a first-rate technology hub where to invest and do business”, she stressed.
38% OF CATALAN STARTUP FOUNDERS HAS PREVIOUSLY CREATED OTHER BUSINESSES
Of the data collected by the ACCIÓ platform, what stands out is the fact that 26% of the employees are foreign, mainly from other Western European countries (46%), South America (26%), Eastern Europe (9%), the Asia-Pacific region (7%), Africa-Middle East (6%) and North America (6%), and mainly focus on the functional areas of technology (27%), sales (22%), management and strategy (20%) and operations (17%). In the case of the founders, 15% of these come from abroad. Overall, 38% of founders of Catalan startups have previously created other companies.
By sectors, Catalan startups are related to technologies in industry 4.0, with 17% of the total, followed by life sciences (13%) and mobile & software (11%). The main business model for these companies is e-commerce/marketplace (45% of the total), ahead of development and manufacturing (23%), Software as a Service—SaaS (22%), and subscription (20%).
DISTRIBUTION OF CATALAN STARTUPS BY SECTORS
In terms of financing, 3 out of every 4 Catalan startups have obtained private funding. Of these, specifically 21% have closed investment rounds exceeding one million euros.
AN INTERNATIONAL ECOSYSTEM
Barcelona is the top-ranking startup hub in southern Europe by number of businesses, and fifth in Europe overall after London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, according to the ranking in Europe’s biggest startup hubs in 2017 published by EU-Startups.
In fact, Barcelona is considered the third-favourite startup hub by 20% of European startup founders, who would choose the city to establish their emerging company, after London and Berlin, as ranked by the Startup Heatmap Europe 2018.
With regards to financing, Barcelona is the fourth European city by volume of investment received by startups, according to Atomico.
THE BARCELONA & CATALONIA STARTUP HUB
The 1,300 Catalan startups are businesses identified in the Barcelona & Catalonia Startup Hub directory, a digital platform that acts as a meeting point for Catalan startups, with the aim of positioning the Catalan ecosystem globally and promoting the capture of investments. This directory collects companies with a maximum 10 years of life, whose business models are scalable, repeatable and applicable in global environments, and which are focussed on rapid growth.
Startups that want to be part of the Barcelona & Catalonia Startup Hub must meet the following requirements :
- A recently established company with a product ready to sell (except Biotech) and with less than 10 years
- A scalable company with high growth potential
- Founded by ambitious entrepreneurs, highly committed to growth
- Highly innovative or technological
- Globally market focused
- Have a company VAT registration number (proposals from the self-employed are not accepted)