When you hear the word Barcelona, many things might spring to mind: beautiful beaches, delicious seafood paella, Gaudi masterpieces on every street corner, and that searing memory of a bit too much vermouth. However, for anyone in the start-up scene, words like innovation, networking, fundraising and talent pool are sure to also come to mind. It’s for these qualities that Carts Guru CEO David Laloum decided to grow his startup from Barcelona (the sunshine and vermouth were just added bonuses).
4 Reasons Why Barcelona Is Becoming A Startup Growth Destination
When recruiting for a company in most metropolitan cities, a key challenge can be locating talent. When it comes to moving your business to a new city, the challenge lies in the need to persuade outstanding talent to relocate for the role. Luckily, in Barcelona, the city does the convincing for you. Talented individuals arrive and immediately fall in love with the city itself. They’ll then be looking for work that can accommodate their new desire to call themselves a Barcelona local.
It’s no surprise that the city comes 2nd on the list of top 30 European cities in terms of incoming professionals. The climate and numerous tourist attractions draw people in for a quick holiday; the high stone walls, sunny days and lively nights convince them they simply must stay for good.
Once the job hunt commences, international talent quickly discovers that the employment prospects in Barcelona are vast and exciting. The complexity of the international business environment, constant innovation in all things technology, and the burgeoning startup ecosystem offer professionals work opportunities that span beyond the classic job roles.
At Carts Guru, we knew that Barcelona was the right place to recruit talent from all over the world and grow our multicultural team. We weren’t wrong.
The city of Barcelona has seen its fair share of rough times in an economic sense. When faced with financial disaster in the early 2000s, it didn’t crumble. Instead, the city adapted towards a more business-oriented mindset which allowed the region to evolve into a nurturing hub for startups and big businesses alike.
This wouldn’t have been such a success if it wasn’t for investment push from countless accelerators, venture capital, angels, etc. A large part of this investment comes from the United States, with 28% of foreign tech investment in Catalonia being US-driven.
This rate of investment certainly hasn’t slowed in recent years – with Barcelona receiving €860 million worth of investment in 2018 (this number somewhat boosted by Carts Guru’s most recent round of funding) making it the 5th highest out of any European city.
As an international hub and all-round friendly city, Barcelona is an ideal city for networking and meeting like-minded people.
Barcelona offers endless opportunities to network and showcase your products on a larger scale, playing host to a myriad of global tech, business and e-commerce meetups occurring throughout the year. A great example of this is the Affiliate World Conferences, one of the world’s largest e-commerce conferences, at which Carts Guru showcased this year.
As the location for a number of global conferences, last year alone Barcelona attracted some 135,000 delegates to the city. These delegates don’t only attend the large-scale conferences but take part in networking on a daily basis, in funky old-town bars or high up on sunny terraces. It is this form of more relaxed networking that really appealed to David when setting-up Carts Guru in this city – the open-minded and always friendly attitudes of Barcelona’s multicultural citizens make it oh-so-easy to strike up a conversation.
To see what events are trending right now, check out Barcinno’s thorough calendar which includes details on all types of events, from global conferences to local meetups.
Innovation + Inspiration
It’s hard not to be inspired in a city where the climate, aesthetics and lifestyle are all so stimulating, with many factors combining to foster innovation. In fact, Barcelona has been ranked as the 13th most innovative city in the world and 5th most innovative in Europe.
Barcelona is a city in which ideas are born. Home to three leading business schools, namely ESADE, IESE and EADA, it’s not just a hub for companies to relocate to, but it’s also a key spot where the foundational ideas of companies can be formed in the first place. The opportunities to learn and explore are endless and many students that get a degree from one of these universities end up staying in Barcelona and either being poached by an existing start-up or creating something new and exciting of their own.
Barcelona is a city that truly offers it all. It not only provides the innovation, funding and networking opportunities that a start-up needs to thrive, but also the easy-going lifestyle and superb climate that attracts employees in and allows businesses to retain them long-term. In the year and a half since Carts Guru relocated to Barcelona, we’ve witnessed first hand the way that this city fosters company growth, whilst also giving employees a lifestyle they are able to truly enjoy.