Barcelona is about to take a major step towards becoming one of Europe’s main startup-cities, with the new tech-cluster space initiated by Barcelona Tech City (BTC).
Barcelona Tech City is about to get their first major milestone, as LaVanguardia reported earlier this week. After negotiating for a long time, they now reveal that their new headquarters most likely will be at the Palau de Mar, a landmark building, built in 1881 as a port warehouse.
“It is important for us to get this building because it represent the spirit of Barcelona. On one side you have the beach, the sun and way of life, and on the other you have the port, and catalonians has always been traders”, sources close to project tells Barcinno.
The deal is not done yet, but it is likely to be closed in the coming weeks. The BTC has also looked at other potential spots around the city.
Built on the CIC-model
The new HQ that most likely will be named “Barcelona Tech Factory”, is built on the model of the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC) in Boston, the same sources explains. A group from the BTC actually have visited the CIC to see how they are doing things.
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In European terms the BTC likes to compare this new center with places like the Factory in Berlin and the Google campus in London and Madrid.
Startups with traction
Unlike any other place in Barcelona, the new HQ will house startups that already have gotten some traction, and not totally new startups.
“To explain it in an easy way, it will be companies that have enough traction to pay the rent”, says sources close to project.
It is uncertain what kind or which startups that are going into the new HQ, but sources explain that it will be companies that already are affiliated with Barcelona Tech City.
Around 50 startups will have their new home at the Harbour, and it will house a startup-campus, a co-working space, an activity center and a meeting point for national and international entrepreneurs in town.
In total, the Palau de Mar offers 10.000m2, Barcelona Tech City will use 7.500m2 of that space. LaVanguardia reports that sources close to the cluster say that the project for a new headquarters began a year and a half ago. The same sources actually tell the paper that their have been talk about bringing some of the big accelerators into the new headquarters, a fact the BTC can verify without naming any in specific.
Director of the BTC, Miquel Marti tells Barcinno that he thinks Barcelona needs more hotspots for startups.
“This could be a huge win for startups in Barcelona and help us reach the place we want to be in the global tech-ecosystem”, Marti explains.