Catalonia, the cradle of start-ups
The startup ecosystem in Catalonia, primarily located in the metropolitan area of Barcelona, continues to grow and consolidate the city as one of the leading technology hubs of innovation and digital entrepreneurship in Europe.
The development of the digital start-up ecosystem in Catalonia has turned Barcelona into a leading technology hub that attracts some of the top global companies. The synergy between public administration, universities, institutions and entrepreneurs has positioned the Catalan capital as the leading technology cluster in Southern Europe.
The latest report on the startup ecosystem in Catalonia by ACCIÓ identified a total of 1,902 startups in 2021 – a growth of 11.4% over the previous year – with a turnover of 1,710 million euros and employing 19,300 people. These figures confirm the upward trend seen in recent years of a digital ecosystem that thrives from its ability to attract talent and investors, and which the government hopes will reach 4,000 start-ups by 2030.
The maturity of the Catalan technology sector is evident in the study recently published by CaixaBank and IESE, confirming the leadership of Catalonia, which concentrates 18% of the startups in the whole of Spain, most of these in the counties of Barcelonès and Vallès Occidental.
An international and multicultural sector
Numerous studies confirm that cultural diversity has a positive impact on innovation, so it is not surprising that the success of many start-ups is closely linked to their ability to attract international talent, where entrepreneurs and employees from various backgrounds work in small teams driven by the same strategic objective.
In this sense, 26% of the employees and 17% of the founders of startups in Catalonia are foreigners. This trend is expected to increase, given that 73% of these start-ups have international clients, accounting for almost half of their turnover.
The support for digital entrepreneurship, the privileged location of Barcelona, the technological ecosystem of Catalonia, and the entrepreneurial spirit of the Catalan culture have made it easier for startups to gain more and more points every day to take over a large part of the country’s business fabric, making Barcelona the second preferred hub in the European Union to create a startup.
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