The evolution over the past five years of Spain’s entrepreneurial ecosystem has been impressive. Spain’s attractive structural features such as its high-quality, low-cost of living and its abundance of cheap and qualified labour have begun to attract founders and investors, with international investment in Venture Capital growing 7x since 2012. With interest in Spain’s ecosystems growing, we reflect that there is historical precedent for Spain to be at the forefront of innovation and entrepreneurship. This report ends with a series of practical suggestions for Spain to position itself as a leader once again.
Spanish nao Victoria, commanded by Juan Sebastián Elcano, sailed around the globe from 1519 to 1522, becoming the first ship in History to achieve this feat. This historic milestone, made possible through public-private initiative: the Crown (Charles I of Spain) and private German financiers, celebrates its 500th anniversary on August 10th, 2019.
Although many years have passed, the drivers behind successful ecosystems of entrepreneurship remain unchanged: knowledge, innovation and funding, a mix presently embodied by Silicon Valley. Entrepreneurship has an enormous impact on a country’s productivity and growth. In this report, we analyse several successful ecosystems of innovation to draw parallels with the situation in Spain, highlighting both positives and negatives of the domestic scene.
Among the positives, we highlight a significant improvement in the past few years in several key determinants of successful entrepreneurship ecosystems, namely, financing, (especially the volume of foreign investment), the number of scientific publications and the quality of human capital, on top of Spain’s other attractive structural features such as the generally low-cost, high-quality of living which helps the nation attract both capital and talent. As for the areas for improvement, Spain has a considerable upside potential, and we have identified a series of specific, implementable measures that would accelerate the development of its ecosystems of innovation and entrepreneurship in the short and medium term.
The report we publish today, “Spain… A Start-Up Nation?” (Link: cutt.ly/nekBD8g) analyses all of the abovementioned issues. It is another public document like the ones Arcano has been publishing every Fall since October 2012 when it released “The Case for Spain”(Link: cutt.ly/1ekBFKH)
We hope that you find this information useful.