Spanish tech start-up scene speaks of a blooming future

Amit Sen
A. Sen|01.18.17

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spanish tech startupGone are the days when Silicon Valley, London or Munich used to be the only names when it came to tech startups and bigwigs. The Spanish tech-startup scene shows a blowing state today and its major cities such as Barcelona and Madrid are soon to pose tough competition to their hot-shot USA & UK counterparts. You need proof? Well, in 2015 Spaniard digital tech firms earned €596 million in investments which was nearly double of €326 million earned in the previous year.

Yes, Spanish tech start-up sector is on a rise today. Many thanks go to the new-generation Spaniard founders who are leaving no stone unturned to churn fresh ideas to commercially-viable business ideas that in turn are attracting VCs & angel investors from all over. These enterprising spirited founders have tied up with leading technology institutes & esteemed figures from academia to bring in innovative and state of the art themes in their businesses that are shooting the Spanish tech startup scene to new edgy heights.

Barcelona stands the tallest

Of all the Spanish cities making a mark in the national tech sphere, Barcelona stands the tallest with 200+ digital startups in ecommerce, mobile, gaming etc. Rightly dubbed as "Mobile World Capital", the city houses a wealth of successful tech firms like Softonic, Edreams and Privalia. A hot favorite among contemporary venture capitalists and investors, reasons are galore when you are asking why to have your tech startup in Barcelona. These include-
  • Low-cost airlines that assure easy flight for foreign investors
  • Expanding entrepreneur community
  • Highly-skilled and cheap workforce
  • Low cost of living
  • Reliable, modern and extensive transport network
  • Huge international community
  • Great medical coverage for both locals & foreigners
  • Refreshing Mediterranean climate
Yes, on one hand, Spain has largely updated itself in regards to technological education, especially software engineering & design. It has percolated to highly talented engineers and techies from Spanish universities and most of them are working hard to boost up the national tech start-up scene. On another hand, heightened interests from foreign investors have rendered a further fillip to the growing development of the overall Spanish startup ecosystem and the tech sector is one of the most primal hubs here.

Madrid & others

Next to Barcelona, it's Madrid which shows a great promising future for Spanish tech start-up sector and Google's interest in the region stands as the live testimony of the statement. A couple of years back, Google chose this Spanish city to launch its sprawling 2,500 sq.mt. Google Campus. The other cities that also talk of an inspiring future for Spanish startups are Murcia, Malaga, Bilbao & Balearic Islands.

The 2 major barriers

It's no doubt an amazing thing that the booming Spanish tech start-up scene is pulling in foreign investors in great volumes. But then, language is a major problem here. English is not a widely spoken dialect across the country which might pose miss-communication issues for the foreign VCs who count on the English language in the country. The problem is even more if they plan to start their own tech firm in the Spanish land and hire local workforce and the natives are more comfortable in their mother tongue. Thus, for all the foreign investors eyeing the Spanish scene, Spanish language training is nothing less than compulsory. There is no dearth of native Spanish training institutes online which will enable them to take the courses right from the comfort of home.

Added to the language barrier, it's the bureaucratic red-tape issues that greatly hamper the process of investments in Spanish startup system. The mighty Spanish culture must and should look beyond the narrow alleys of red-tapism to give wings to its already blooming tech entrepreneurial ecosystem.

Winding up

Like many other countries out there, including the formidable US, Spain too was hit pretty hard by the 2008 economic recession. It left 50% of people simply unemployed in Barcelona itself which became a major force in inspiring the warrior Spaniards to rise up as more creative, innovative and certainly independent. As Phoenix rises gloriously from the ashes, the Spanish scene too experienced a spirited lift resulting in the launch of many startups & small businesses, led by fresh enterprising talents.
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