A total of 120.000 people attended the Barcelona Games World conference in 2016.

Barcelona Games World 2016 recently ended as a success with over 120.000 visitors over four days. It was the first year the congress was held, and entertained its attendants with over 1000 gaming stations, 30 mini conferences and 371 interviews with prominent game developers.

But this is only one of several elements that makes Barcelona one of the most vibrant hubs for gaming startups in Europe.

Big players

Most technology hubs around the world has big players both stealing & contributing to the environment. In some ways you can say that the big players validate the ecosystem with their presence.

As London houses major fintech startups such as Transferwise, Mondo & Atom, Barcelona has several big gaming startups like King (Activision), Social Point (local), Digital Legends and Tutotoons which have raised millions of euros the last years and engages 100 of millions of people through mobile and desktop games every day.

There’s also been a long time presence from veterans such as Ubisoft, Gameloft and other heavy hitters.

There are also a community of many AR and VR startups and companies that can be beneficial for game developers looking to create games in this space. Not to talk about betting games startups such as Playfulbet with over 6 million users worldwide, that have a huge community of Esports enthusiasts.

Pol Ruiz, CEO and founder of Playfulbet attended the Barcelona Games World, and told me how the conference was one of the greatest gatherings of gaming industry ever taking place in Barcelona.

The city is playing along

But big companies and innovative startups are not enough in the long run, to foster a true hub for gaming startups in Barcelona you also need supporters: gamers.

Luckily, Barcelona is also home to thousands of gamers. Not only shown through the Barcelona Games World conference, but through the annual Esports event ESL Expo, that attracted over 5000 people last year.

ESL Expo Barcelona attracted thousands of people.

Also local authorities are playing along, as Barcelona Activa, the local government arm supporting startups in the region has been backing an accelerator called Game BCN, aiming at accelerating gaming startups. There are also several gaming startups with funding and loans from the government operating from the city.

But it’s not only the local government who’s playing along, also the technical universities offer education focused on game design and development, both and bachelor and master degrees.

One of the biggest events in Barcelona every year is the Mobile World Congress, with over 100.000 attendants from all over the world. The speakers for the MWC 2017 was released last week, and the top headliner was John Hanke CEO of Niantic Labs that created Pokémon GO.

There are few statistics about the gaming industry in Barcelona, but in Spain there are about 450 development studios, with about 5.000 employees, where 40% of the workers are in Catalonia, according to Asociación Española de Videojuegos.

According to the AEV there are around 110 game studios located in Catalunya, and the number is growing every year.

What to expect from the future?

So with all these gaming related companies and institutions, can we call Catalunya or Barcelona one of Europe’s growing gaming hubs?

I think it’s safe to say that if the community continues to grow like it does now, we’ll see a lot of great companies coming out of the city.

For now, it makes it easier for the existing startups and entrepreneurs to find a friendly community and support for their ideas.

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Essential Podcasts for Entrepreneurs & Tech Lovers

Podcasts are a great way to discover new subjects and new people. Whether you are a tech lover or an entrepreneur, bellow you will discover podcasts for entrepreneurs you should – without a doubt – listen to. 

Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre
Itnig Podcast with César Migueláñez, Bernat Farrero and Carlos Pierre

« Masters of Scale » 

with Reid Hoffman

The host: Reid Hoffman decides to turn to the corporate world instead of pursuing a university carrier. He worked for Apple, Fujitsu for then starting his own business: SocialNet and left it in 2000 to join Confinity. Confinity gives life to Paypal after fusionning. Finally, in 2003, Hoffman co-founds LinkedIn. He is Master of Scale’s host. 

About: The podcast welcomes some of the greatest entrepreneurs. You will discover throughout the talk how they managed to take their companies from 0 to a lot of zeros. You can listen to Masters of Scale’s special guests like Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook), Selina Tobaccowalla (Evite), Brian Chesky (Airbnb) or Nancy Lublin (Crisis Text Line). Must-hear: one of the top tech podcasts for entrepreneurs.

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Spotify and Youtube

The Team: Reid Hoffman, June Cohen, Deron Triff and Jai Punjabi

« Rocket » 

with Christina Warren, Simone de Rochefort and Brianna Wu

The hosts: Christina Warren started as a Freelance Writer. Then, she worked at Mashable as a Senior Tech Analyst and Tech Correspondent and ended the journey at Microsoft as a Senior Cloud Developer Advocate. About Simone de Rochefort, she is  Senior Video Producer and co-host of The Polygon Show. Brianna Wu founded her first startup at the age of 19, Giant Spacekat. She was Head of Development at the time. She is now running for US Congress. 

About: In this podcast, you will discover three passionate women and their “geek conversation” as they like to call it.  No guest speakers, but you will be able to listen to a panel of tech subjects from Apple to Comics, you will not be disappointed. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« This week in Startups »

with Jason Calacanis

The host: Jason Calacanis starts as an internet industry journalist in New-York. In 2003, he co-founded Weblogs, Inc and then a few years later he joined Sequoia Capital, launched the web directory Mahalo. He also founded ThisWeekIn.com. Furthermore, he created This Week in Startups podcast and a startup named Inside.com. Finally, he was part of the creation of the Sydney Launch Festival. 

About: Either you are looking to start your own company, or you are a successful entrepreneur, or you just love technology, this podcast will give you a peek to the entrepreneurship world. You will hear stories of all kinds! On his website, you will also find his events and some research on transportation, healthcare and more. This is one is part of the tech podcasts for entrepreneurs not to be missed.

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Youtube, SoundCloud and RSS Feed

You can also subscribe to their newsletter in order to receive episodes directly. 

The Team: Jason Calacanis, Jacqui Deegan, and Tony Agapiou

« Recode / Decode » 

with Kara Swisher

The host: Kara Swisher is an American journalist specialized in the technology industry. She first started to work for an alternative newspaper in Washington for then working for the Washington Post. She wrote articles for the Wall Street Journal and New York Times and wrote her own books. Finally, in 2014, she created Recode, a website dedicated to the latest technology news. In 2015, she initiates Recode Decode. 

About: The weekly podcast welcomes tech experts and great entrepreneurs. They review how they got there, what’s on their mind about the current industry and what they would improve or create. Her recent guests were Elon Musk (Tesla CEO), former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Mark Zuckerberg. 

Listen to the podcast: Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, and TuneIn

« K Fund PodKast »

with Jaime Novoa

The host: Jaime Novoa’s background is quite diverse. He is a writer and an investor, but he also worked in data analysis and social media analysis. In 2014, he founded Novobrief, a newsletter for startups. Then, in 2016, he becomes an investor at K Fund and he founds, in 2019, Dealflow, a weekly tech newsletter. 

About: The podcast discusses startups, entrepreneurs and Venture Capital. You will discover enterprises and their story. From data science, unicorns or digital platforms, you sure will find more than one interesting podcast. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website and Soundcloud

« Clockwise »

with Dan Moren and Mikah Sargent

The hosts: Dan Moren is an active author and writer as well as podcaster. He was a Senior Editor at Macworld. Today, he hosts two podcast shows: Clockwise and The Rebound. As for Mikah Sargent, he started as a Website Designer and Developer for then switching as a Senior Editor at Newsy. He now hosts few podcasts such as Clockwise on Replay FM or on TWiT.tv. 

About: The weekly podcast discusses technology and welcomes each time 2 special guests. For 30 minutes, they address 4 topics where all four speakers get to elaborate on the matter, highlight the issues and expose their thoughts. 

Listen to the podcast: On their website, Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Pocket Casts, Spotify and Castro

« Itnig Podcast»

with Bernat Farrero

The host: Bernat Farrero starts his career as a Developer. In 2009, he founded Itnig, a startup ecosystem that organizes entrepreneurship events. They also have a coworking for startups, a podcast and a fund for early-stage projects. Furthermore, he is a Founder of Factorial, Quipu and Camaloon. He is also a Board Member of Playfullbet, GymForLess and Parkimeter. Finally, he hosts Itnig’s weekly Podcast. 

About: The podcast welcomes every week a new guest. If you wish to learn from successful entrepreneurs, you are on the right platform. The discussions turn around Technology and its industry. You will come across guests like Carlos Pierre (Badi), Vincent Rosso (BlaBlaCar) or Oscar Pierre (Glovo).

Listen to the podcast: Youtube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Ivoox, and Google Podcasts

You can subscribe to their newsletter if you want to receive the podcast’s link every Monday. 

Whether you are at an early stage of your project, an investor or you are just curious, these podcasts for entrepreneurs give you the opportunity to be updated on tech and business news. Also, you get to learn from successful international entrepreneurs, which can definitely be very useful for your business.