2016, another year of triumph in tech for the city of Barcelona
After the success of 2015, Barcelona has again topped the biggest tech hub in Spain, and have been ranked the 5th in Europe by numbers of startups.
As the Digital sector is playing an ever-important role in the Spanish economy, it accounted for 5,2% of Spain´s total GDP in 2016 with 42,3 billion euros, which increased 2% compared to its performance in 2015. With the fastest growing sectors as eCommerce, Social and Enterprise software, Spain is now the second country in the EU to attract international talent to start their digital business. It is worth mentioning that the gross investment surpassed 500 million euros and the average investment ticket grew significantly despite the decreasing tendency throughout Europe, reflecting the more mature stage of the ecosystem.
In such positive environment, Barcelona has once again stand out thank to its entrepreneurial ecosystem in which tech companies and startups coexist, supported by public institutions, such as the Catalan Government, private funds, local and international investors. In 2016, the city was home to 28,4% of all Spanish startups, obtaining a total revenue of 1,3 billion euros. It is also notorious that, according to PitchBook Data, 56% of the investment in Spain actually went to Barcelona-based startups and the closed deals represented 48,2% of the capital from Spanish Exits, which have increased in contrast to the global declining trend.
What´s more, along with the rapid developing tech ecosystem, Barcelona is becoming a major international hub for Big Data and Data Science Analytics. Companies like Pepsi Co., Zurich Insurance and BBVA bank have set their data centre in the capital of Catalonia; Accenture has launched its Analytics Innovation Centre; Nestlé with its Digital Services for a better communication with customers. Recently group Volkswagen has also announced that it will open this year the Metropolis: Lab, a research centre managed by car manufacturer SEAT dealing with intelligent mobility.
Barcelona is the destination not only for big companies mentioned above, but also for entrepreneurs to begin their startup adventures. On one hand, platforms like 4YFN allow tech startups to meet investors directly and talk about their ideas during which some of them would be able to successfully capture investment; On the other hand, local government is also fomenting the startup culture as 24 startups related to Barcelona Activa, platform promoted by the City Council of Barcelona, presented themselves at the 4YFN Event during this year´s Mobile World Congress, the world´s biggest mobile event.
Apart from the outstanding performance in the tech ecosystem for startups and digital talents, in 2016 Barcelona was ranked the second smart city in the world after Singapore (Juniper Research,2016). Being the Mobile World Capital, the city has a powerful ICT sector that connects, facilitates and empowers all the multiple smart solutions, ranging from public transportation to commerce and tourism. Together with Stockholm and Cologne, Barcelona is one of the three lighthouse cities of the GrowSmarter project in the first Smart City and Communities call for submissions, with Horizon 2020 funding.
There is no doubt that 2016 has been a year of triumph for the city of Barcelona regarding to its digital sectors and tech ecosystem. Located in centre of innovation of the smart city, Barcelona Technology School is dedicated to preparing the next generation of digital talents that will lead digital transformation in all sectors through different types of Master Programs: Master in Digital Solutions Development, Master in Big Data Solutions, Master in Fintech Solutions, and Master in Digital Transformation Leadership. As the city keeps attracting increasing number of both national and international investors, together with its constant improving and innovating tech infrastructure, there is surely more to expect in 2017.