Barcelona Tourist and Expat Guide – I'mMovingToBarcelona



Barcelona is ranked as one of the Europe’s hottest startup hubs. makes annual guides of startup trends in Europe and Barcelona appears among cities like London, Moscow, Berlin, Stockholm, Paris, Helsinki, Tel Aviv, Istanbul and Amsterdam.

OK, but what is actually a Startup?

Forbes has a somehow twisted answer to this question in its article with the same title, quoting people like Neil Blumenthal, cofounder and co-CEO of Warby Parker: “A startup is a company working to solve a problem where the solution is not obvious and success is not guaranteed”. Ah-hah…

Startup = Growth

The explanation of a startup company that I found most relevant is the one insisting on its ability to grow, as Paul Graham explains, “a startup is a company designed to scale very quickly. It is this focus on growth unconstrained by geography which differentiates startups from small businesses. (…)
For a company to grow really big, it must (a) make something lots of people want, and (b) reach and serve all those people.” Instagram is a great example of a startup: a photo and video sharing community is something many people want to use and since it’s online it’s accessible for users from all around the world.

Barceloneta Barcelona Beach

Barceloneta, Beach in Barcelona

Why Barcelona…

and not Madrid? The majority of the other European hottest digital cities are capitals. And Barcelona is not, at least not of Spain. But who can get it better than us, the expats who chose Barcelona as a place to live, right?

We asked the owners of JobsBCN* to answer this question:
– Why foreign startups choose to come to Barcelona?

– “Two main reasons depending on the startup” – was the answer. – “First, they want to open a Software Engineering office in Barcelona. Why? It’s easier to attract software engineers to come to work in a city like Barcelona than in other places in Europe (sun, beach, tapas, etc.). Software Developer salaries are ramping up fast here, but still they are not as high as in London or Berlin so still this is a good balance for companies. There’s also a flourishing startup ecosystem in the city which makes talent more accessible even from abroad. Many people are moving here, but you already know that 😉

Second, they want to open the Spanish market and search for clients here. These companies normally need sales and marketing but also software developers to adapt their product to the Spanish clients.”
King Startups in Barcelona

King | Startups in Barcelona | Facebook photo

Looking for an English speaking job in Barcelona?

Here’s something for us, the expats. Startups are a great source of English speaking jobs in Barcelona. Normally those are new tech companies, who seek for qualified developers, project managers, marketing staff, etc. Marc from JobsBCN has data to support our assumption:

– “20% of the Startups hiring now in Barcelona are foreign companies, but they represent 40% of the job offers. Currently there are 250 startup companies hiring and 800 job openings just in Barcelona. Half of the offers are for Software Developers and Technical people and the rest are for Sales, Marketing, Content Writers & UI/UX Designers.”

And it seems like the trend is here to stay:

– “In the last years we’ve seen a great increase in the number of startups. This is a cycle, now we are in the middle of the raising curve. But even if at some point the trend stops Barcelona will remain as a startup hub because the ecosystem is already here.”
Palo Alto Market

Palo Alto Market | photo Facebook)

@22 district a place for startups in Barcelona

If you are looking around yourself to spot a startup in Barcelona, go to Poblenou. It is an interesting district as two centuries ago it was known as the “Manchester of Barcelona”. It owed this name to the industrial revolution during which Poblenou was a booming Catalan and Iberian industry center.

Nowadays it undergoes a new revolution. A transformation of the industrial area into an innovative and modern space. The massive [email protected] plan sets to convert Poblenou into the city’s technological and innovation district, as well as to increase leisure and residential spaces in the area. It’s in Poblenou where the popular Palo Alto Market takes place once a month (btw, it’s this Saturday, Dec 5th!). It’s the galleries, shops and lofts that give the abandoned factories creativity air.

@22district startups in Barcelona

@22district startups in Barcelona

Who doesn’t love Barcelona? It has the sun, the beach, palm trees, famous tapas, it basically looks like a big outdoor museum with the beautiful modernist architecture and, on top of that, it offers creative and new tech jobs for foreigners. It seems so fantastic that in order to restore mental balance it’s time we read again about the cons of working in Spain.

*JobsBCN is a job-board from Barcelona aimed at job seekers who want to work in Startup companies instead of corporations. The main difference with other similar sites is that JobsBCN has a curated list of all startup job openings in Barcelona instead of just a selection. Job offers are properly classified by category (e.g. software developer, marketing, sales,…) and keywords to easily find the right match.

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