The Startup Scene in Barcelona

By Pere Duran, 4YFN Event Series Director

Barcelona is the top startup ecosystem in Spain for the third month running, according to analysis by OneRagtime, striking nearly three times more deals than Madrid.

Reflecting and feeding the buoyancy of the Barcelona startup scene, 4YFN has also experienced steady growth since its inception six years ago.

Starting off as a branch of Mobile World Congress (MWC), 4YFN has grown to become a rich upstart in its own right, becoming the event’s platform for innovation and a centre for entrepreneurship and investment far beyond Barcelona.

At its inception, 4YFN was an event to represent and drive the interests of Barcelona startups. While Barcelona is still very much the spiritual home of this swaggering younger brother, 4YFN has gone global in its expansion and has its sights on being the innovation platform of choice far beyond Europe.

Why Barcelona is Winning

Barcelona is one of the top cities in Europe for startups and its appeal continues to grow. Although prices have risen as the economy in the region has recovered, the cost of living in Barcelona is still relatively cheap in comparison to cities like London and Paris.

Barcelona was just ranked one of the top 5 destinations in the world and benefits from a vibrant startup culture furnished by inexpensive co-working options and a young population.

Education levels are high in Barcelona and wages relatively low. The city attracts huge numbers of international freelancers and entrepreneurs, owing to its rich culture, beautiful weather and being a well-connected city right on the beach.

Growing Hand in Hand

In a recent interview with Spanish newspaper El Periodista, I talked about the immense positive impact of hosting two global tech events in Barcelona on Spain’s startup ecosystem.

4YFN attracts investments, startups and international corporations that allow the local ecosystem to expand its network of contacts and it is also a source of inspiration for entrepreneurs to create companies and products with a much more global vision.

What was once the Barcelona innovation shop, 4YFN has now expanded its horizons to become an international innovation platform. Like many of the startups it supports, 4YFN was also recently acquired, changing ownership from Mobile World Capital Barcelona, which set it up, to become the latest subsidiary of GSMA, a major player in global telecoms. For more details on this topic, visit here.

Be sure to explore 4YFN while you are in Barcelona. Don’t miss out, tickets to 4YFN are now on sale here. Join the journey!

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