Why Barcelona is the best city in Europe for your IoT or Data Startup

Why Barcelona is the best city in Europe for your IoT or Data Startup

13-Aug-2014 by AngelGarcia

Barcelona is undergoing a transformation. It’s always been an important seaport, the centre for Catalan commerce, a city of great thinkers, artists and architects. Now, in 2014, it is a leading Smart City, a tech hub, and probably one of the best place in the world to build your Internet of Things (IoT) or Data startup.

A vibrant and growing IoT ecosystem

Startupbootcamp Internet of Things & Data will be beginning in January 2015. It will be housed in the Media-TIC building in the centre of Barcelona’s high-tech hub, named 22@Barcelona. The area is home to thousands of start-ups and large tech companies and positions you right in the centre of the IoT and data ecosystem.

Yahoo Labs have their Competence Centre focused on Data in the city and Telefonica/O2 have their centre of excellence focused on IoT and personal data here too. Both are confirmed mentors of the SBC program in Barcelona. Caixabank, the second large Spanish bank, have recently announced they too will be opening a Big Data Centre of Excellence in Barcelona, in collaboration with US tech giants, Oracle. In the future Cisco will open a new Global Internet of Everything Innovation Center, also in the 22@Barcelona district. These large companies’ presence in the city cements its position as a European and global IoT leader. They provide support, inspiration, and open opportunities for growth and investment.

A place to make global connections and improve your game

Barcelona is known as the Mobile World Capital, now it’s internationally recognised as the emerging Internet of Things Capital. Since spring 2006 Barcelona has been welcoming each year 80,000 thought leaders, corporate giants and entrepreneurs from around the world for The Mobile World Congress. This year’s conference featured a greater number of events that connect mobiles to the emerging IoT landscape and the Big Data they produce. There were workshops on wearables, discussions and keynotes about the current state of the IoT, and a mini IoT Lab organised by Claro Partners, to name just a few events. All generated a great amount of interest, and showed that the IoT is now at the top of people’s minds in the industry. This international conference, as well as others throughout the year, are an opportunity to meet leading technologists, and find out in-person, how the IoT and Data is being absorbed into business strategy.

During next year’s Mobile World Congress event, the startups that join the SBC Barcelona program in Barcelona will hold a pre-demo day at the 4YFN, the event for startups and entrepreneurs powered by the Mobile World Congress.

Large global tech companies are drawn to Barcelona for conferences and for their permanent bases. They make a loud noise a few times a year with big events, but year round you will find there is a well established network that supports innovations and start-ups ready to join and grow.

A gateway to many markets

Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, and is closely tied to not just Europe, but also emerging markets in South and Central America. Technologists and business people from these Spanish speaking countries can help you build essential links beyond the English speaking world. In Europe we are ideally located with easy access to a growing market of IoT early adopters – whether they be business, government or consumers.

A city where you can raise funding

Barcelona is home to a supported, well connected community of IoT innovators, entrepreneurs and investors with international experience that can help you raise funding. We’ve had many successful Barcelona based startups achieve great results over the years. They’ve attracted Spanish and international investors to scale up and grow.

One example is Scytl, a software service for election monitoring. Barcelona based, Scytl were founded In 2001. They have attracted millions of dollars of investment over the years. This year, in April, Vulcan Capital, the investment fund of the co-founder of Microsoft, Paul Allen, invested $40million, and recently a further $44million was invested by three other funds. They know have clients in 35 countries and offices in fifteen cities and have revenue growth averaging 70% a year. There are many more experienced players in the community that are a few steps ahead of you. They will be there to mentor you along your journey as you navigate the options offered to you by investors.

If you’re selected for Startupbootcamp Internet of Things & Data in Barcelona you will be supported by a solid infrastructure, a friendly, welcoming community and a crowd that enables you to reach your potential. We have a dynamic ecosystem with a lot to offer. We hope you’ll want to join us to see for yourself why we love it here, and think we’re the best in Europe for the IoT.

Startupbootcamp will begin in January. Apply now!

Angel Garcia is a well-known serial entrepreneur and early stage investor. Alongside Aldo de Jong, of Claro Partners he is a founder of Startupbootcamp IoT & Data.