LGBTQ+ leaders in tech
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When it comes to growth in investment, Barcelona is topping the European charts. An emerging centre for entrepreneurship and innovation, Barca’s technology industry has been turning heads and attracting talent from all over the world.
And it is Barcelona’s exciting start-up scene that is gaining real traction, the fifth-biggest European startup hub on EU-Startups ranking for four years. Many are being pulled in by the expanding job market, growing investment, combined with the perks of a Mediterranean lifestyle.
Positions for developers, data specialists, software engineers, and more are plentiful. Barcelona is ranked second among all European cities when it comes to the number of professional developers and has attracted nearly 110 international tech companies to date. And that number is only set to expand.
Are you considering the move? We also created this comprehensive expat guide on Rolocating to Barcelona for Tech.
We had a look behind the buzz to see what people working in tech can expect from the home of sangria and paella.
Barcelona is a truly international city. The city’s population is 30% foreigners and in the start-up community around 1 in 4 people are internationals. 15% of startup founders are international, whilst big brands are also jumping on the hype and expanding to Barcelona. This makes the city foreigner-friendly, with business activities often conducted in English. Tech talent makes up a large percentage of international employees, with 27% offering their skills in this area.
2021 was a record year for Spanish tech investment. Barcelona is the 4th EU hub in terms of the number of investment rounds for startups. The total number from 2021 added up to 154 rounds, only behind Paris, Berlin, and Amsterdam. Some of the most active venture capital investors include; Abac capital, So capital, Sitak Capital Flint capital, Galdana ventures, and Nero venture which is actively investing locally.
Barcelona is blessed with a wealth of co-working offices, big and small. With more than 287 to choose from, entrepreneurs and tech talent have an amazing opportunity to network, share ideas and feel inspired. Coworking also attracts digital freelancers and digital nomads from around the world to Barcelona, itching to offer their skills.
Because really, who doesn’t love the idea of a midday siesta? With access to good quality healthcare, education, travel connections and many other perks, Barcelona is also a place to enjoy a healthy work life balance without spending a fortune.
Major tech hubs like London and Berlin give employees high salaries, but there is a cost of living to match. Of course it depends upon how frugally you live, or how much cash you splash. But in general, Barcelona is more expensive than the rest of Spain, but more affordable than some of western Europe’s bigger cities (it’s a lot cheaper than large cities in both the UK and Scandinavia, for example).
For those looking to develop their skills, or even start from scratch, the city offers countless opportunities for training. Covering subjects such as coding, web development, data analytics, and UX/UI design, top-rated examples of training programs include Codeworks, Le Wagon, and Ironhack.
22@ is the most important district for tech in Barcelona. The project was launched by the city council in 2000 to transform more than 400 acres of an industrial zone into a technological and innovation hub. Known locally as the Districte de Innovació in Barcelona, it stretches from La Sagrera metro station on the east side of the city down to Vila Olímpica and Forum stations on the coast.
Another area in the city where concentrations of start-ups and tech jobs can be found is around Passeig de Gràcia, a major, centrally located avenue with great transport links.
Fortunately for internationals, the Spanish tax system creates great opportunities to save some money. One example being The Beckham Law. The Beckham law enables foreigners who move to Spain to pay a flat fee of 24% only on the incomes they obtain in Spain instead of a progressive tax on their worldwide incomes (19-45%). It was created to attract talent and qualified workers, and is (you guessed it) named after the famous football player David Beckham, the first to take advantage of it.
Promoting innovation and giving young businesses the push they need to grow, Incubators and Accelerators are an essential part of the startup ecosystem. Offering mentorship and support during the early stages, as well as business advisory services, some of the notable Accelerators in the city’s tech scene include Startupbootcamp, Seedrocket and Conector.
Barcelona was one of the first European cities to adopt smart city technologies. These range from efficient energy systems and smart transit solutions, to the city’s overall technological capability and social cohesion. In fact, Barcelona’s smart city credentials are so impressive that they are host to the Smart City Expo World Congress, the leading worldwide meeting on today’s urban issues and technological revolution.
Interested in making the move?