Guide to Madrid’s Tech Startup Ecosystem

Photo credit: Nasz Swiat

Updated: 27 April 2017

Hi! I’m an MBA Candidate at the IE Business School, an enterprise tech professional, and an angel investor diving head first into the B2B enterprise tech and artificial intelligence scene in Madrid. And I figured I’d share my bird’s eye view of Madrid’s startup ecosystem.

This post is a mashup of several resources listed at the end of the post. If I missed something, please leave a comment. I plan to update this document periodically.

Here’s what you’ll find in this guide:

  • The Current State of Madrid’s Tech Ecosystem
  • The Best Co-Working Spaces
  • Hottest startups
  • The Best Communities and Events
  • Incubators & Accelerators
  • Angel Investors
  • VCs
  • Crowd Investing Platforms
  • Grants
  • Other Investment Opportunities

The Current State of Madrid’s Tech Ecosystem

Madrid is home to Europe’s #1 entrepreneurship school, the IE Business School, and has a blossoming startup community. And there’s more.

>> The state of the European tech space: Madrid <<

IE and IESE are helping to bring in more business- minded talent into the tech space.
Source: Atomico & Slush, The State of European Tech 2016 Report
Madrid is in the top 5 tech communities in Europe.
Source: Atomico & Slush, The State of European Tech 2016 Report
Madrid is in the top 3 hubs for raw number of people with artificial intelligence skills in Europe.
Source: Atomico & Slush, The State of European Tech 2016 Report

>> The state of Spain’s tech space: Madrid <<

Madrid ranks 2nd in Spain for most tech startups — we’re closely behind Cataluña. Not bad. But I think we can get to #1.
Source: startupxplore
But, we’re #1 in investors.
Source: startupxplore
Madrid’s VC’s are working for us. Kudos to Cabiedes & Partners, Samaipata Ventures, Bonsai Venture Capital, Kibo Ventures, Cube Investments, Faraday Ventures, Axon Partners, and Seaya Ventures!
Source: Venture Watch Research

>> The state of Madrid’s tech space <<

On the ground, the majority of Madrid startups are focused on e-commerce, social, and enterprise businesses.
Source: startupxplore

>> Best Co-Working Spaces in Madrid <<

Here’s the list of co-working spaces. Refer to the list the next time you’re in a coffee shop and can’t hear yourself think:

Source: Campus Madrid
  • Campus Madrid — Google’s campus serves as a cafe, coworking space, auditorium, classroom and accelerator space.
  • Santo Domingo CN — in the heart of the city, one of the best places for your startup with training, coaching, legal assistance, 24h access etc. It’s located near Gran Via, SOL.
Source: Fangaloka
  • Fangaloka — a funny place where they can help you find everything you need for your startup.
  • El Complot — a creative space with very fair prices.
  • Utopic Us — is also a good alternative in Madrid. More than 150 coworkers work from its offices in downtown Madrid and every week they put together events related to the world of arts and entrepreneurship.
  • Colabora — a small and beautiful space near Gran Via, SOL.
Source: Madrid Impact Hub
  • Madrid Impact Hub — is a global network of coworking spaces, with 54 all over the world and more than 7,000 members. It is located near Atocha. Good events here!
  • GarAJE — this is a coworking space of the Young Entrepreneurs Association, with boxes for startups and networking events.

>> Hottest Startups <<

Based on deal size, here are the hottest startups.
State of Tech Investment in Spain: September 2016 (Q3) / Source: Venture Watch

Based on the number of followers on Angel List, here are the hottest Madrid startups.

Source: Angel List
And since I love Artificial Intelligence, here’s a Twitter list of Madrid AI Startups to follow.

>> Best Startup Communities and Events in Madrid <<

Source: South Summit
  • You can also visit Fangaloka. It’s a funny site if you want an all-in-one for your startup.
  • Check out StartupGrind Madrid by Google. The Madrid chapter hosts monthly events featuring successful local founders, innovators, educators and investors who share personal stories and lessons learned on the road to building great companies. The community in Madrid is run by the impressive Claus Rosenberg Gotthard!
Claus Rosenberg Gotthard / Source: Startup Grind
  • Every year there is Zink Shower for audiovisual and cultural startups and projects.
  • Impact HUB’s events are also among the top 5.
  • Wayra is doing meetups frequently.
Source: Wayra
  • The European Institute of Entrepreneurs organizes very interesting rounds and meetups.
  • Madrid Venture Cafe — here you can present your startup to investors and the general public.
  • Salon Mi Empresa — expect networking, talks, workshops, finance and networking, with public and private sector.
  • And finally, you can always check out Startupdigest, where you’ll find a digest of startup events happening in Madrid.

>> Incubators in Madrid <<

  • Wayra — incubates international projects and is promoted by Telefonica.
  • Yuzz — recruits young entrepreneurs and is promoted by Fundacion Banesto.
  • Sonar Ventures — aims to to accelerate 100 startups in 5 years and was founded by Alvaro Cuesta.

>> Accelerators in Madrid for Enterprise Startups <<

  • aBest Emprendedores — they help accelerate B2B Start-Ups and provide opportunities generated by the Start-Up world.
  • Barlab Mahou San Miguel — Barlab Mahou San Miguel is a 6-month pioneering entrepreneurship residency program aimed at promoting technologies that improve the bar.
  • Finnovista — This is an impact organization accelerating the development of technology-led startups that provide financial services to the community.
  • Impact — they subsidize, accelerate & invest in the best mobile internet start-ups leading them to generate global impact.
  • Kairos Lab — they’re an independent Business Incubator and accelerator.
  • Zinc Shower — they’re an incubator and accelerator Company that services entrepreneurs from the creative industries providing funding, training, acceleration and networking.
✨ And for the Artificial Intelligence accelerators and incubators, you can follow this list on Twitter. ✨

>> Investors <<

Based on Angel List followers, here are Madrid’s favorite investors. Interesting to see investors from Istanbul, Dallas, and Milan — it’s kind of random. Alas, I spy one of our prominent Madrid investors, Iñaki Arrola!
Martin Varsavsky / Source: Wikimedia
  • Cabiedes & Partners is a Spanish venture capital firm that provides seed funding and early-stage and later-stage investment services. Read more on Crunchbase.
Jose Cabiedes / Source: Fomento de San Sebastián
Iñaki Arrola / Source: Hipertextual
  • Pinama Investment— Pinama Investment is a micro-venture fund focused on investment opportunities with high growth potential and return.
  • Enisa — ENISA provides info about financing opportunities from the administration.
  • Red de Inversores— another investors network from the Madrid government.
  • Business In Fact are looking for projects and training investors.
  • Rodolfo Carpintier is a business incubator of Internet and 2.0 based projects, supporting entrepreneurs to launch their business. Read more on Crunchbase.
  • And there’s also Keiretsu from Caixabank.

💰 You can find K Fund’s list of Business Angels, Seed Funds and Series A+ Funds here. 💰

>> VCs in Madrid <<

“In these two square kilometers of Madrid there are €400 million for startups.” — K Fund
jaimenovoa via K Fund
  • K Fund — they’re an early stage VC firm that, with an entrepreneur-centric philosophy, aims to fuel the evolution of the Spanish startup ecosystem by investing in the best and brightest entrepreneurs and tech companies in the region.
Iñaki Arrola, Carina Szpilka, and Ian Noel are partners of the K Fund / Source: Expansion
  • Vitamina K— they’re a venture capital fund that invests in technology and Internet companies at their early stages.
  • Kibo Ventures —they’re a VC firm that invests in early-stage internet and mobile startups, with a “Super Angel” approach.
Aquilino Peña, Javier Torremocha, José María Amusátegui, Founding Partners at Kibo / Source: Kibo Ventures
“We engage actively with our portfolio companies, leveraging our broad and deep relationships in many markets. We keep a constant and fluid relationship with the best entrepreneurs and investors, both at Spanish and global levels. We look for companies in their early stages but do not invest in seed stages. We aim to grow our investment as the companies grow and develop. We invest initially from €250k to €750k. With our staged investment approach we can reach up to €5m per company.” — Kibo Ventures
  • Seaya Venturesthey’re a venture fund investing in early and growth stage Internet and technology-enabled companies in Spain and Latin America. Seaya Ventures seeks to transform early and growth stage companies into category leaders, with a focus on innovative businesses that require growth or expansion capital and can build a lasting value.
Michael Kleindl and Beatriz González, Founding Partners at Seaya Ventures / Source: Expansion
  • Faraday Ventures— Private startup investment club. Usually invests €300.000 per project.
  • Samaipata Ventures — Samaipata Ventures is a venture capital fund investing in early stage marketplaces & disruptive e-commerce businesses across Europe, with a focus on Southern Europe.
  • Bonsai Venture Capital— Private fund focused on internet investments.
  • Cube Investments — Experienced investors with local and international network.
  • Axon Partners Group — Axon Partners Group is an international Investment, Corporate Development and Consulting firm, specialised in global emerging markets. Created by entrepreneurs with vast business development and financial experience, Axon has grown to become a team of over 50 experts, worldwide.
  • Adara VP— Venture capital firm, managing over US$ 130 million in capital, and dedicated to investments in early-stage companies in the information and communications technology space.
  • Bankinter— Helps entrepreneurs with innovative projects, based in emerging technologies, during their first development stages.
  • Big Sur Necotium — Early Stage venture capital investors in technology, Internet/SaaS.
  • Qualitas — Equity Partners QEP is an investor oriented fund management company focuses on the smaller end of the private equity market and renewable energy.
  • SeedRocket — SeedRocket offers a complete Seed Funding Venture Program for Entrepreneurs with technology-based startups. We provide the initial investment and we work together with the founders through the early development stages.
✨ You can follow these awesome investors in this Twitter list.✨

>> Crowd Investing Platforms <<

  • Crowdacy — is a guide for crowdfunding in all its cases (loan, donation, investment, reward).
  • Injoinet — very honest guys with an excellent platform — check it out!
  • Lanzano — probably the first Spanish platform.

>> Grants <<

  • Comunidad de Madrid is provided by the regional government of Madrid.
  • Madrid Smart Lab is the best thing made by the administration. A free 6 months mentoring program in the center of Madrid for foreign startups.

>> Other Investment Opportunities <<

  • Carlos Blanco: one of the pioneers in Internet Startups in Spain. He owns 8 startups and as a business angel is active in more than 12 companies.
  • Club del Emprendimiento: for supporting the Culture of Entrepreneurship, training, business angel net, is an EFE Agency partner.
  • Enisa: gives loans from public funds for earlier companies as startups.
  • Unlimiteck Company Builder: Unlimitech is a company builder creating and operating pioneering tech companies design and innovation for B2B companies and digital products.

>> Moving Madrid Forward <<

If you learned something new about Madrid’s startup ecosystem from this guide, please share it with your friends. Growing our community depends on US making it more accessible. 🙌🏼

Speaking of which, I’d love to meet you for coffee ☕️ if you’re ever near Salamanca or Chamberi. Reach out to me on Twitter 🐤 or email at ✉️ .

Can’t wait to see you around the city!

Please remember to ❤️ this post, share it with your network and follow me if you enjoyed it!

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