The Rise of Spanish Business Incubators

The Rise of Spanish Business Incubators

The Rise of Spanish Business Incubators

Business incubators aim to provide the best environment and resources for entrepreneurs to find their market niche. Though they have been around since the late 1950s, incubators really took off in the 1980s, only to stall when the bubble burst in 2001.

But in the wake of the 2008 global economic crisis, they are once again thriving, driven by high unemployment and the need to replace jobs in dying industries.

Spain has seen a significant rise in business incubators or accelerators, as they are often called, and is carving out a reputation in this field. Its capital city Madrid is the headquarters of UEIA, the first European accelerator for technology-based projects. It was founded in 2012 by a group of professionals with backgrounds ranging from NGOs to investment banking, and offers coaching and professional advice for start-ups as well as financial backing.


Spanish start-ups are flourishing as entrepreneurs become increasingly aware that new technologies and innovation are the cornerstone of future economic growth. But raising cash to invest in a business is not easy amid the stranglehold on credit. The high cost of setting up an enterprise in Spain, coupled with the bureaucracy involved, is also a hindrance.

The Entrepreneurs Law will go some way to improving the situation, but there is still work to be done. This is where incubators come into their own, providing start-ups with cheap office space and professional advice as well as, in some cases, financial assistance in exchange for an equity stake.

A group of around 30 Spanish start-ups have joined forces in Madrid’s Chamberi neighbourhood. The Chamberi Valley alliance plans to create a hub for high technology innovation, pooling resources in many areas like financing and personnel. Some of Spain’s top companies have also created their own business incubators.

In May 2011, Telefonica set up Wayra in Latin America to act as an accelerator for the development of future Silicon Valleys in the countries where it operates. Last year, Wayra launched in London, and later this year Telefonica will set up a new incubator there to launch a programme that includes funding to support 10 technology-based start-ups.


One of the most important incubator projects currently under development is devoted to the aerospace industry in Spain and southern Europe. Based in Vigo in Galicia, Spain Business Aerospace Incubator has already got the financing under its belt for its launch in 2015.

The project has been hailed as cutting-edge, and has attracted much international interest.

For information on business incubators in Spain, contact corporate law firm Argali Abogados.

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