Blasting off from a LaunchPad in Barcelona

Barcelona is already known for its sunshine and seashore. Now, according to the Financial Times, it aims to become just as well known for its start-ups. Last week, Google LaunchPad took place in the Catalan capital. The one-week program is designed to accelerate the growth of local, early stage tech companies, and part of our Startup Launch program. It’s our third LaunchPad in Europe, following events in Tel Aviv, London, Sao Paulo, Berlin and Paris.

A strong case exists for Barcelona to become a start-up hub, the Financial Times says. “Barcelona is known as the ‘north of the south’ – combining a cosmopolitan business-friendly city with Mediterranean coast sunshine. Two international business schools, Iese and Esade, attract talent from across the world. The city hosts one of the world’s top supercomputing centres.”

At our LaunchPad, local incubators itnig, Incubio, Connector, Tetuan Valley and Caixa Capital Risc picked 14 startups to attend. During the week, some 30 mentors work individually with them on their projects, as they are experts in their fields and in most cases experienced entrepreneurs. Workshops cover product strategy, UX/UI, technology and marketing.

This initiative underlines our commitment, once again, to Spanish entrepreneurship. Despite suffering a drastic downturn in the financial crisis, the country is emerging as strong start-up nation. According to the Map of Entrepreneurship in Spain 2014, 95% of entrepreneurs decide to become so out of motivation rather than necessity AND 16% of the new projects are launched Catalonia. Barcelona always will be a beautiful city. It is in the process of becoming a modern Internet hub.