The entrepreneurship ecosystem, specifically for innovation and disruptive business models, is experiencing its best moment to date in Spain. The growing number of startups, the robust group of scaleups, and a dynamic investment environment that enters into ever-bigger financing rounds, highlight the appeal of Spain as the hub from where to launch and grown new businesses. The public support for digitalization and the upcoming new framework of tax and labour incentives for emerging technology-based companies will further boost our ecosystem.

Venture capital investment trends

During 2021 the robust investment activity in early-stage rounds has continued growing, but last year stands out for the record amounts of investment, the number of deals, and the growing number and size of later-stage rounds. This vibrant ecosystem empowers the sizeable and growing cohort of scaleups that are becoming leaders in our country and internationally.

Source: Observatorio de startups

Advantages to investing in Spain’s

entrepreneurial ecosystem

Access to a domestic market of 46 million people and to the European market with 450 million people.  

Point of entry to the Latin American market for European startups, and to the European market for Latin American startups.

Highly-specialized talent from internationally renowned universities and business schools.

Spanish companies and Spanish society have one of the highest ICT usage and incorporation rates in the world.

A set of leading global multinationals with ambitious open innovation models.

A highly specialized industrial sector throughout Spain, with its own special programmes for startups.

More than 80 science and technology parks.

Events and meetings for  leading global entrepreneurs.

What we can do
for your startup

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the Starting up in Spain Guide

All you need to know about the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Spain.

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Programme

Rising UP in Spain

Rising UP in Spain is a program to help foreign startups set up in Spain, hand in hand with a local partner.

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Booming ecosystem

With approximately 7,150 active startups in 2020 -according to conservative estimates-, this number has virtually doubled in just one year. Together with the extraordinary investment numbers, the technological entrepreneurship ecosystem continues to accelerate its growth and strengthen its place among the most important in Europe. The ecosystem isn´t limited to Barcelona and Madrid, two hubs that rank among Europe´s top 6; cities such as Valencia, Bilbao or Malaga boast flourishing ecosystems too. The industries with the largest startup investment activity last year were mobility/logistics, health and wellbeing, fintech/insurtech, productivity-business, tourism, e-commerce, software and cybersecurity. For the last four years, over 50-60% of startups financing originates in investors outside Spain, which underscores the attractiveness of our country´s entrepreneurial ecosystem for foreign capital.

Barcelona and Madrid are among the “Top 6” startup ecosystem capitals in Europe.

Barcelona ranks fifth among the best startup cities in Europe, followed by Madrid. London, Paris, Berlin and Dublin hold the top positions.

Source: TBS Business School and El Referente.

Top 20 rounds (M€) – 2020

2020 stands out for the unprecedented number of deals closed in the earliest stages: pre-seed, seed and series A. Out of the total 313 deals, a remarkable 243 were closed in rounds of up to 1 M€.

Source: Observatorio de startups

More than 180 startup accelerators and incubators

Support in forming and establishing startups from both the public and private sectors is apparent from the start in business accelerators and incubators. There are over 180 infrastructures of this type throughout Spain that offer advice and support for entrepreneurs.





Source: StartupXplore

Spain is a fertile territory

for co-working

Spain ranks second in Europe in number of co-working spaces, only behind the United Kingdom.

 

According to a 2019 report by Mobile World Capital Barcelona, the ongoing growth in the number of co-working spaces suggests that the Spanish entrepreneurial system is booming and is recognized as a welcoming environment that fosters entrepreneurship and innovation.

Talent

and human capital

Three of the main Spanish business schools are among the top 20 in the Financial Times MBA ranking: IESE, Esade and IE. One more comes in at 21st, Eada.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

At the same time, Spain is among the countries with the fastest increase in professional developers, a profession with a year-on-year growth rate of 15.1%.

 

Global MBA ranking 2021

| European Business School

Global MBA ranking 2021
Ranking European Business School Country
1 Insead France / Singapore
2 London Business School UK
3 IESE Business School Spain
4 HEC Paris France
5 SDA Bocconi Italy
6 University of Cambridge: Judge UK
7 University of Oxford: Saïd UK
8 IMD Switzerland
9 Esade Business School Spain
10 Alliance Manchester Business School UK
11 Warwick Business School UK
12 IE Business School Spain
... ... ...
21 Eada Business School Spain
Source: Financial Times

Top 10 fastest-growing countries

for professional developers (2019)

Source: Atomico.

Wage costs

As far as wage costs are concerned, Spain is still very competitive compared to other European countries and the rest of the world.

Spain also attracts foreign talent. It is the third destination for European tech talent and the fifth for international tech talent.

Strengths of the Spanish

entrepreneurship ecosystem

Systems engineer salary (€ per year)
Source: Startup Ecosystem Overview 2019. Mobile World Capital Barcelona
Source: Digital Startup Ecosystem 2017" Mobile World Capital 2018. Atomico, Startup Genome.

Climate
and quality of life

Spain's excellent climate and quality of life are other aspects that entrepreneurs take into account when choosing our country to set up their new businesses.  

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Rising UP in Spain

Testimonials
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WorknMates

Gonzalo Aguero & Angelina Vigliocco Founders

Rising UP in Spain programme first helped us with understanding the market, and then with understanding the legislation and the culture. It has also connected us with great partners who can make our entry much cheaper, simpler and more certain".

Invisible Collector

Pedro Mendes & Miguel Rangel Founders

ICEX-Invest in Spain and the Rising UP in Spain programme have been a major part of our international adventure. They have given us the opportunity to work close to the market, to understand companies and their needs, to be in Iberia's most significant sector clusters".

Events

FOCUS

ICEX-Invest in Spain is taking part in Focus London 2022, the international location market for the audiovisual industry, which is being held at the Business Design Centre in London on 6 and 7 December. The Spanish pavilion will be located at stand D2. 

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More information
Setting up a company

The different ways in which a company can operate in Spain.

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Aids and incentives

System of funding and incentives for your project.

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Talent

Get to know the Spanish talent pool for your project.

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Visas

Visas and residence permits to live and work in Spain.