Coming to MWC13? Be sure to meet the Barcelona tech community while you’re here!
The problem with big industry trade shows can be the same the world over, from Vegas to Cannes, from New Orleans to Phoenix to Singapore: tens of thousands of delegates fly in from around the world, spend four-five days networking, doing deals and partying like mad and then, they’re outa there! Didn’t meet with the locals, didn’t get to know the city. Could’ve been anyplace, anywhere …
If you’re coming to Mobile World Congress 2013, however, you’ve got an opportunity to meet a thriving local tech community such as can be offered by few trade show-hosting cities (San Francisco and London come to mind as exceptions to the rule). After all, there is a reason besides sunshine and pleasant living that the GSMA chose Barcelona as its Mobile World Capital designee for the next few years, and that is Barcelona’s new positioning as an emerging tech hub for Europe, with advantages that not all European cities that aspire to the crown of top tech hotspot can boast.
Rather than go any further and risk sounding too much a cheerleader, we’d just like to prompt all the MWC visitors to take a moment and check out the following links to review the breadth and depth of the growing number of technology companies, research institutes, startups, incubators, accelerators and VCs located here in Barcelona. For a starter, you might visit the right-hand column on this page, for a list of just a few of the tech-related resources and organizations located here, then proceed to the Barcelona Tech Community map, where we’ve attempted to let the entire local tech eco-system join in and map itself … and more than 200 at last count have generously done so already.
If you are interested primarily in startups, however, there is plenty going on and you might want to drill deeper through the following resources that have been shared with us recently:
► One is Internet Made in BCN, created by @davidbaratech, @danielgimenez @sdepablo, @danielguillan and @acasademont. It does a pretty thorough job of listing local startups and linking directly to their sites, a real advantage if you want to find out more about them, albeit a bit of a disadvantage in that it takes you off their ‘Made in BCN’ site and doesn’t give you immediate access to contact details.
► There’s also the Startup Genome Project’s Barcelona page, curated locally by Claro Partners’ Michael Yu and startup mentor and angel investor Javier Megias, — plugging in much of the structure of the Claro Startup Ecosystem with the mapping capabilities of the Genome project for a far more sophisticaphed version of the Google BCN Tech Map we’ve launched here through our site.
► Also worth taking a look at is Claro Partners’ Startup Ecosystem, compiled by Claro’s Aldo de Jong and Michael Yu, with a very cool graphic interface that goes a long way toward visualizing all the links in the global startups value chain, letting you know who’s who among all the big players — and some in Barcelona — and to whom who they’re connected.
Again, while startups are mushrooming in Barcelona, there is far more to the local tech community than startups alone — there’s an argument to be made that startups and the other links in the startup value chain don’t constitute an ecosystem in and of themselves, but can only exist and be sustainable within a larger, robust tech ecosystem of the kind that Barcelona is hoping to create.
That said, there is clearly a LOT going on in the Barcelona tech community right now any way you look at it. For anyone visiting Mobile World Congress 2013 and thinking about potential partnering, dealmaking, investing … or even moving their operations to Barcelona, the links and resources listed here will hopefully come in handy.
Barcelona loves Mobile World Congress, but there’s far more to Barcelona than MWC week every February! So, make the effort, get in touch with our local tech community … and we look forward to seeing you all in a couple of weeks at MWC13!