Barcelona has consolidated its position as the European Union’s second-ranked hub for start-up founders for the sixth consecutive year, according to Startup Heatmap Europe 2023. The study concludes that 17.1% of European entrepreneurs would choose Catalonia’s capital to launch their project, placing Barcelona behind only Berlin, and ahead of cities such as Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon.

According to the Secretary for Business and Competitiveness and CEO of ACCIÓ, Albert Castellanos Maduell, “Barcelona’s position in this ranking reinforces the great potential of Catalonia’s start-up ecosystem: the best technological talent still prefers Barcelona as one of the best cities in which to make business projects grow.” “Start-ups have a key role to play in attracting foreign investment, creating high-quality jobs and positioning ourselves as a country that is committed to innovation and technology,” he pointed out.

Barcelona and Catalonia – a leading start-up ecosystem

According to the study produced by ACCIÓ, entitled “Analysis of the start-up ecosystem in Catalonia 2022", Catalonia has more than 2,000 start-ups, which generated more than 19,100 jobs and attracted 1,653 million euros in investment in 2022, the highest figure on record. The study also states that the number of start-ups increased by 6.3% compared to 2021, and by 86% compared to 2016, from 1,086 to over 2,000. In overall terms, they have a combined turnover of 1.72 million euros.

By sector, Catalonia’s start-ups are mainly in the sectors of health (16%); business services and software (12%); ICT and mobile technology (6%); food (5%), and finance (5%). According to the same study, Catalan start-ups have increased in size in recent years: 76% of companies currently have fewer than 10 workers, compared to 87% in 2019, before the pandemic.