The European technology industry contributes around $ 400 million to the European economy. In terms of market overview, Madrid’s outlook in the tech sector is very positive.
According to Juan José Méndez, director of Ceprede, “Madrid is the most advanced region in the technological economy”, considered by experts to be Europe’s next great technological center. Madrid offers a vibrant culture and genuine lifestyle, and is developed, safe and cheap compared to other European cities. Additionally, it has a multicultural, prosperous and welcoming environment for new businesses to call home.
Spain’s digital ecosystem is only growing. Barcelona and Madrid remain at the forefront in terms of having the largest number of new companies. The 2018 Entrepreneurship Map report, prepared by the South Summit forum, confirms that the majority of emerging technology companies are concentrated in Madrid and Barcelona, where 60% of Spanish startups are born.
It is true that Madrid may have been slower to evolve as a Technological Hub compared to Barcelona, but today is home to more than 1,235 startups, surpassing Barcelona in number with 38 startups more in the last year. Even though the Catalan capital has a more mature and consolidated market.
According to Businessinsider.es, both cities are among the 10 most powerful digital innovation hubs in Europe.
Stack Overflow positions Spain in the top 10 European cities with the highest number of developers: 268,150. According to Mobile World Capital Barcelona, Madrid ranks 6th in numbers of developers among European cities in terms of density, with over 111,800. Spain is one of the fastest-growing countries for this profession, with an annual growth rate of 15.1%. In addition, nearby cities such as Valencia and Bilbao are also emerging as technology centers.
Startups & investments
Several factors have contributed to the development of the digital ecosystem in Madrid. The increase of Spanish capital to invest in the initial stage of startups (Venture Capital). Three Spanish companies received the ‘unicorn’ rating, granted to technology-based companies that reach a value of at least 1,000 million dollars, which has generated confidence in international investors.
In addition to the favorable financial landscape in 2019, other aspects have driven the growth of Madrid´s visibility in the digital ecosystem.he South Summit forum has become the benchmark of the world of innovation where the 100 most innovative startups in the world compete every year. Also, a Google Campus for Startups has chosen Madrid to open their campus, one of only six worldwide.
However, the technological revolution needs professionals to carry it forward-- an Achilles heel for the region. According to the data of the Manpower personnel firm, Madrid suffers like the rest of the country in terms of attracting and retaining talent. The Manpower survey reveals that "24% of Spanish managers say they have difficulty finding the right talent for their organizations."
When asked by Byzness.elperiodico.com How have we reached such a large deficit of specialized professionals in a sector? Anna Stepanoff Wild Code School´s CEO answered “No-one was particularly prepared for this or could anticipate such a development… So now we are starting to realise that we’ll need more and more tech talent in order to support the development of Spanish and European companies. And we all need to work hard to create more learning opportunities so that more people get a chance to learn STEM skills.
With regard to young people, Anna Stepanoff explains how we can attract and mobilize them to opt for studies in STEM: “We need to show the reality of STEM jobs to the young people. Not just STEM theory, but the interesting projects on which real engineers work today. Some young people just don’t get this information when they explore their job options for the future, if they don’t have a parent or a family friend working in the STEM sector”
In terms of learning opportunities currently there are more than 45 programing academies in Spain. According to Switchup rankings, 13 of the best programing schools are located in Madrid. In other words, Madrid is a growing technology center for students and professionals who want to develop digital skills and seek better paying jobs in the tech field.