Is Spain the next tech hub?

Could a Spain tech hub be a real possibility? The Spanish startup industry is in a state of prosperity, leading to many experts predicting that Spain could become the world’s next great tech hub. A report by ASCRI (Spanish Association for Capital, Growth and Investment) said that Spanish startup funding was up 83% in 2015, adding that 78% of that investment was being used for ICT and digital projects. Though Spain has suffered significantly due to the shaky economic climate, it is making remarkable progress in areas like Tech.

Amazon Spain’s Adam Sedó said: “Tech talent in Spain is abundant and of high quality, but most importantly it is available.” Google opened Google Campus in Madrid in 2015, whilst Amazon opened a new tech hub in the city in 2016. Catch opened offices in Madrid earlier this year in an attempt to utilise the city’s tech expertise.

A report in the Financial Times said that a new generation of Spanish entrepreneurs were developing ideas into financially-viable concerns, collaborating with a variety of educational organisations, technology firms and would-be customers. A number of start-ups are working with the public and private sector to cement Spain’s status as a growing tech hub. A company called Made of Genes based in Barcelona is developing affordable genome sequencing, whilst another organisation called DEA Drones says it has attracted interest from emergency services across Europe. A rising number of international investors are pouring money into Spanish startups who have already grown impressively in stature, whilst eBay purchased Ticketbis, an online ticket marketplace in August 2016. The online auction giant plans to combine the company with it’s long-established ticket exchange firm StubHub.

Experts say that last year was the best year ever for investment in start-ups. Many qualified professionals are struggling to find employment in areas relevant to their studies, so are therefore looking for roles with start-ups or leaving the country. Furthermore, Spanish tech developers who haven’t decided to migrate are accepting lower salaries than they may be able to command elsewhere. Nonetheless, specialists like Oscar Flores of Made of Genes say that more long-term, high risk-funding may be needed if new ideas are to be transformed into vast global concerns and a Spain tech hub is to become a more convincing prospect.

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