So you thought Barcelona was all about nothing but sunshine, palm trees and sandy beaches? Turns out, it’s far from just a nice place to spend your holidays, especially when it comes to innovation and technology. The city’s thriving tech scene is not just something to visit Barcelona for: it’s something to stay here for.
Barcelona is a buzzing startup hub and one of Europe’s leading tech hotspots.
If you’re looking to get a job in tech, and want to work for a company with a fresh and innovative approach, you’ve come to the right place. There are more than 1,000 startups in Barcelona, and the startup ecosystem gives jobs to more than 10,000 employees, according to data assessed by the government. As per the most renowned yearly international ranking, Barcelona is the fifth hottest startup hub in European after London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, and it is continuously growing, one success after the other. Startups are able to take root in Barcelona thanks to the city’s thriving entrepreneurship, access to international sources of investment, business angels and venture capital, as well as a developed system of incubators and accelerators that contribute to the growth of young companies. What is more, big international companies have started opening development centers and offices in Barcelona, creating even more jobs and even more intense competition for the best tech people.
There is an entire district in the city dedicated to innovation and technological development.
The old industrial area of Poblenou is being transformed into an urban center of innovation and technology called the 22@ Barcelona Innovation District. The massive development zone comprises the entire south-eastern quadrant of the city, and is meant to become a home to knowledge related to new technology and business. The district attracts startups who open their offices here, as well as co-working spaces and other services. It’s basically a city within a city, where the most innovative companies co-exist with research, training and tech transfer centers, as well as housing, facilities and green areas. Can you even conceive of a better place to build your tech career?
Barcelona is a smart city.
In fact, it has been ranked the smartest city in the world in 2015. OK, but what in the world is a smart city?, you may ask. Well, Barcelona earned the title thanks to its outstanding achievements in smart grids and smart traffic management, smart street lighting and the city’s overall technological capability and social cohesion. Barcelona was also praised for its environmentally sustainable initiatives.
Barcelona has some of the best schools for anyone who wants to work in tech or become an entrepreneur.
Barcelona is not only a great place to work, it’s also an excellent choice for where to study. Universities and top ranked business schools like IESE and ESADE (among the 10 best business schools in Europe) provide the city’s talent with the education and mentoring they need to kickstart their careers. The UPC, or Universitat Politecnica de Catalunya, offers courses and training programs for international students, and contributes to the city’s tech ecosystem with laboratories and scientific research centers.
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Barcelona hosts the annual Mobile World Congress, the mobile industry’s major international event.
With nearly four weeks to go until the craze that is the Mobile World Congress kicks off, it’s already impossible to find a hotel room in Barcelona for the days between 27 February and 2 March. Experts from every field of the mobile industry and tech aficionados flock to the city from all over the world to take part in the event that is the Super Bowl of mobile technology, for all the hype that surrounds it. Five days of events showcasing the newest concepts and innovations by leading mobile companies: it’s definitely not a gig to miss. However, it’s not just in the early spring that the tech community starts actively moving: in fact, Barcelona is one of Europe’s top twenty leading tech hubs with the most technology related meetups held all year round, more than 13,500 people having attended in 2015, according to a study. Check out the coolest tech meetups happening in Barcelona this month here!
Featured Image Credit: skyNext/Shutterstock, Inc.