As the popularity of startups and entrepreneurship continues to explode around the world, efforts are being made to gather the relevant data in order to paint a clearer picture of which cities feature the most attractive startup communities. The organizations that produce these rankings include open-source platforms like StartupGenome, wiki-models like CrunchBase, and tapping into the data from active entrepreneurial platforms such as AngelList and Foundum, which is based right here in Barcelona.
One such project is called SeedTable and from their analysis, the city of Barcelona ranks 30th worldwide as the most active startup city and 4th overall in Europe (behind London #3, Berlin #13, and Paris #16). SeedTable gathers their data exclusively from CrunchBase, the database of tech companies, people, and investors where anyone can contribute freely. While this may be limited in the sample of the research collected, it provides an interesting starting point to measure startup activity on a global scale. Thus far, SeedTable has collected data on over 42,500 startups in 150 global cities and is working with other platforms to increase their sample size even further.
Not surprisingly, San Francisco and New York rank #1 and #2 respectively, but the report differs dramatically from previously research from StartupGenome that offers a more comprehensive report of entrepreneurial activity. In the Startup Genome report, Barcelona also recognized within the top 40 startup cities worldwide but did not crack the top 20 required for deeper analysis.
The SeedTable report is based on the number of new startups founded, amount investment raised, whether from angel investors or venture capital and the amount of exits per city. In Barcelona, the CrunchBase data represents only a fraction of the startup activity that is actually taking place, but perhaps it can still become a relevant report and worthy of deeper examination. CrunchBase is currently working on multiple channels to increase their data collection methods by encouraging VCs to report their investments and collaborating with other platforms like AngelList.
With Spain’s economic crisis continuing into its 6th year, the Barcelona startup ecosystem will continue to grow at a rapid pace. If Barcelona’s entrepreneurs and investors work together we can foster a more collaborative startup ecosystem and further promote Barcelona as an attractive city to start a company. In order to break into the top-20 startup ecosystems worldwide, Barcelona must continue to create a culture where successful entrepreneurs reinvest their time and resources by mentoring and investing in the next generation of local startups. Of course, if the next Spotify or Soundcloud starts up in Barcelona, that would surely help our world ranking.