Looking to find freelance work or create a startup in Barcelona?
Cities are ecosystems. And inside each ecosystem, birds of a feather tend to flock together. Meaning that, surprisingly, Barcelona has a far stronger tech presence than lots of people might realise. I can name several contacts who’ve launched themselves into the world of startups in Barcelona, either as employees or founding members. And – this may come as some of a surprise – the city is also a thriving hub for the tech industry.
Where the startups in Barcelona are hiding
Most of these businesses are concentrated into two areas. To the south of the city and near the beach, the “Zone 22@” contains Barcelona Activa, Almogàvers Business Factory and a host of startups and tech businesses. And to the north, near the Ferrocarril stop “Sant Joan” is a large industrial park which hosts a variety of established businesses, like HP, as well as new startups.
These areas have suffered in recent crisis years, with offices closing and companies hard-pushed to fund current staff. But, perhaps because the country’s hit hard times, I’ve also seen a ton of new startups aiming to attract overseas business in the last couple of months. According to El Pais, “los startups” are actually Spain’s way to a brighter future. These tend to focus on exporting overseas, and are often small companies looking for people who want to take on piecemeal projects rather than full-time staff (in fact, Spain has one of the highest rates of part-time work in Europe). This makes them a great bet for freelancers with experience of a particular culture looking to contract their services.
Start-ups in Barcelona
Here’s a couple of my favourite startups in the area:
- Grupo Intercom – Not a startup exactly, this incubator nurtures over fifty internet businesses, the vast majority of which are based around the same model. Heard of Infojobs, Bodas.net, Softonic, EMagister, EnAlquiler or Careesma? These have all done their time here.
- Nubelo – Mentioned elsewhere as a good place to find work, Nubelo has won awards and is an excellently-designed website.
- LetsBonus/Groupalia/Atrapalo – Offer/discount websites. I’m a bit addicted to these 🙂
- EasyPromos – Facebook app best known for it’s free version, which contains all you need to set up Facebook competitions.
- Trovit – Be it a new house, job or car, you can find it all here.
If it’s a full-time job you’re looking for, large international techcompanies like HP and VistaPrint also flock to Barcelona for the cheap wages and multilingual staff.
I hope I’ve managed to convince you that Barcelona is the Silicon Valley of Spain; if you had any doubts you can also find a great “Spain startup map” here!
Text and photos by Penelope