As you may have read, Barcelona is an up and coming startup hub, offering a variety of favorable conditions like affordable living costs, an abundance of well-trained and qualified individuals, fresh from some of the best local colleges, and a variety of inspiring coworking spaces to run your business from. If you’ve just moved to Barcelona and are thinking of creating your own startup, you may encounter doubts and obstacles. Elon Musk said it best, “Being an entrepreneur is like eating glass and staring into the abyss of death”. The harsh reality is that few startups become successful. However, if you’re up for the adventure, there are plenty of support options available in Barcelona.
Good indicators of a startup hubs success are the incubators, accelerators, and other communities that are available. The diversity of support in Barcelona goes to show its great potential. Before we dive in, it’s good to know the difference between incubators and accelerators. An incubator tends to focus on the idea or seed stage of a startup, offering a central location to work from, financial support, and mentoring. They often provide long-term support. Accelerators tend to focus on taking the startup to the next level and offer a short financial boost and mentorship. Accelerators usually provide a half-year of support or less to move your startup forward.
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Barcelona Activa (HQ Barcelona Spain)
Founded in 1986 this is likely Barcelona’s first organization to support local businesses and startups. This is a bit more than an incubator as they also help develop the city and create jobs. Many of the startups here are from locals, so Spanish and Catalan would be useful to work here.
TheFamily (HQ Paris, France)
One of the newest arrivals to Barcelona’s startup scene. They truly have a wealth of knowledge about the startup scene in Europe and about Silicon Valley. With this knowledge, they help educate European entrepreneurs about how the startup world works and try to help entrepreneurs to avoid common mistakes. They are currently launching an online startup education platform. This is ideal for European-focused startups.
Incubio (HQ Barcelona, Spain)
Do you have a startup idea related to big data? If that is the case, Incubio is the right fit for you. It may also interest you to know that they use the lean startup method.
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The Founder Institute (HQ Silicon Valley)
Considered as the first startup launch program, The Founder Institute specializes in a step-by-step 4-month program to help entrepreneurs build a successful startup. They have a few noteworthy traits. First, they use their own ‘Entrepreneur DNA Test’, which is an objective test that predicts the likelihood of someone becoming a successful entrepreneur. Second, it only graduates entrepreneurs that develop a working startup. They have a group of 4,400 global mentors, many of which are from Silicon Valley. Their ambition is to create 1 million startup jobs worldwide!
itnig (HQ Barcelona Spain)
“The hacker accelerator” is itnig’s slogan, which gives you a good idea of who they support. This accelerator provides both mentoring and financial support of between 8K to 25K per project. Some of their successful startups are Camaloon, Quipo, and Adverway.
Startupbootcamp (HQ Copenhagen, Denmark)
This is another global accelerator, which has numerous locations in three continents. At Startupbootcamp Barcelona, the focus is on the Internet of Things & Smart Data Tech. Each startup receives 15K€ as well as access to a large selection of mentors. The program lasts for 3 months and selection starts in June.
It’s also important to note that a big advantage of being part of an incubator or accelerator is the label your startup gets. This label often helps convince investors the startup is worth it.
Chances are there are other support options in Barcelona. Consider your entrepreneurial needs and niche then choose what fits you best!
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