It’s no secret that Barcelona is home to an exploding tech and startup ecosystem. With its amazing climate, natural beauty, top-tier business and engineering schools and low cost of living, Barcelona has all the necessary ingredients to establish itself as a premier European tech hub. However, ingredients alone won’t bake the cake. What really makes Barcelona’s tech scene special is the combined effort of the major players in the growing startup community.
You see, building a successful startup ecosystem is not just up to the entrepreneurs and investors. It takes a city to raise a company. Barcelona draws on the support from many stakeholders in its growing tech sector including local universities, coworking spaces, the government, professional service providers and larger corporations. All of the elements of this delicate puzzle must come together to support early stage startups and the talented entrepreneurs running them.
One of the most effective ways to catalyze and connect all of the stakeholders in Barcelona’s tech ecosystem is through events. The Catalan capital is chalk full of enigmatic and and motivated event organizers, venues and associations that regularly unite the community together and build a big, bright future that’s greater than the sum of it’s parts.
Here are 10 amazing Barcelona event organizers and the venues that act as the glue that binds us all together.
For the last 2 years, Àlex has been dedicated to introducing Barcelona’s most successful entrepreneurs to the rest of the community so their stories and talents rub off on the rest of the community. Every month, Startup Grind BCN hosts their event featuring a fireside chat with a proven entrepreneur, an open mic where anyone can ask for support from the community, and a networking mixer for making new friends over a few casual beers. If that wasn’t enough, Àlex’s super successful development consultancy MarsBased has been on a rocketship to…well Mars, I suppose.
Arriving on the scene just over year ago, the TAG BCN coworking community has firmly positioned themselves as active members of the Barcelona startup community with weekly events and networking opportunities. Located in Barcelona’s busy business district, Talent Garden has struck gold with their newest monthly event FuckUp Nights, where entrepreneurs are invited to share stories and the lessons they learned from their biggest business mistakes.
3. Scott Mackin and Barcinno
Since 2012, Scott has been sharing the news, stories, jobs and events of the Barcelona startup scene on the tech platform Barcinno. As Barcelona’s #1 global tech resource, Barcinno is the de facto landing zone for international professionals to stay up-to-date on BCN’s tech news, see who’s who on Barcinno Channels and connect with trusted service providers through their Fast Track program. In 2014, Barcinno launched Fest-UP, the annual Barcelona Startup Festival highlighting hundreds of young tech companies and connecting them with the talent and resources they need to grow.
4. Cecilia Tham and MOB
Since its creation 4 years ago, MOB has been home to Barcelona’s “Maker Movement”, providing an innovative space for freelancers, entrepreneurs, fab-enthusiasts and digital creators of all types to work their magic. MOB actually stands for the Makers of Barcelona, and they certainly walk the walk by hosting multiple weekly events in their 2 spaces – MOB&Pau launched last month in Sant Antoni. On top of their brimming event calendar, MOB is home to one of Europe’s only two FabCafe, organize Young Fish which mentors Barcelona’s next generation of young innovators, and they run the annual WE/MAKE festival for the global maker movement.
To say that Marc is a recognized leader in Barcelona’s tech community would be a giant understatement. Since returning from Germany a few years ago, Marc has firmly planted roots in his native Catalunya as the go-to-guy for all things IoT – “Internet of Things” for the uninitiated. Marc is the founder of the global startup TheThings.io which will connect your devices to the internet, he organizes the bi-monthly IoT BCN meetup which regularly attracts 150+ local IoT pros and every year around the Mobile World Congress Marc hosts IoT Stars which attracts international innovators from every corner of the world.
6. Mariona Triay and La Salle Technova
You’d be hard pressed to find an organization that’s made a bigger impact on Barcelona’s technology output than LaSalle Technova. The longstanding BCN university near Tibidabo is famous for producing forward-thinking graduates and have been incubating startups before it was cool. Within the walls of Technova, you’ll find Mariona Triay who’s responsible for corporate events and is changing the way the digital world augment real-world experiences. That’s why Technova’s events are so amazing and why Meetmaps never misses their call.
7. Toni Mascaró and BLE
Barcelona Loves Entrepreneurs has been a pillar of the BCN ecosystem for years and their AfterBLE event series is already cemented in Barcelona startup lore. Whether it’s fashion, space, high-tech or mobile innovation, count on BLE to unite the local experts and push innovation forward. BLE founder Toni Mascaró is also the man behind eMascaró, one of the most trusted digital service providers in Barcelona for nearly 2 decades.
8. Clémence Campillo and Seed&Click
Since 2013, Seed&Click has encompassed the essence of the value and power of a healthy startup ecosystem. A deeper look at this original group reveals their identity as 1-part investor network, 1-part event organizer, and 1-part university. Inside the walls of Seed&Click, Communication and Events Manager Clémence Campillo organizes and executes international events forums, startup pitch contests and innovative conferences for the fashion, music, sports and performance arts categories including globally recognized Barcelona mainstays Primavera Pro and 080 Fashion.
Relative newcomer to the Barcelona tech scene infinitEvent certainly knows how to make a splash. Led by the enigmatic Gladys Cali, Infinit takes a new approach to business development in the event organization industry: they literally show people how to throw great events. By hosting their own tech event series, they showcase their ability to execute innovative events. Gladys cut her teeth working with innovative event groups like TED, Web Congress and Apple Business so when the time came to strike off on her own, it was no surprise she excelled right from the start.
10. Erika Batista and The Family
The latest group to test the Barcelona startup scene waters is the Paris-based startup collective called The Family. Piquing Europe’s collective interest for years with their original approach to fostering an environment conducive to startup growth, Erika and her band of startup gypsies are now poised to take Barcelona by storm. In the few short months since their arrival in BCN, The Family has packed venues across town and are fast-developing a reputation for hosting value-driven events with a casual no-bullshit atmosphere. We can’t wait to see what’s in store for 2016!
Every week, Barcelona is home to dozens of unique tech-related events hosted by innovative local and international experts. Meetmaps has been very lucky to work with many of the inspiring event organizers, venues and associations in Barcelona and we’re anxious to meet even more!