First analysis of support initiatives for startups in Spain in 2019

  • The conclusion is that there are more accelerators in Spain (62) than incubators (26).
  • Madrid (50) and Catalonia (33) being the regions with the greatest number of initiatives.

The magazine El Referente has produced the first Analysis on Initiatives to Support Startups, which brings together all the agents (accelerators, incubators, acceleration programs, Open Innovation, etc.) that help entrepreneurs in their early stages of life. And thanks to this report, we have drawn a series of very relevant conclusions, which are summarized below.

The number of startups and the growth of the ecosystem in Spain steadily continues to grow. According to Startupxplore figures, it already has more than 3,600 technological startups and 19,390 companies with some type of technological innovation, according to data from the National Statistics Institute (INE). In addition, 2018 ended with €797.09 million invested in a total of 199 public operations according to data from El Referente.

In addition in Spain there are more than 188 initiatives to support startups where the accelerators (63) and acceleration programs (49) are the most used formulas, and Madrid (50) and Catalonia (33) being the regions with the greatest number of initiatives, followed closely by Valencia (30), Andalusia (28) and Basque Country (22), which have a considerable difference compared to the rest of Autonomous Regions of Spain. Madrid has the largest number of accelerators and incubators, thanks to corporations, which are playing an important role in the sector. Madrid alone has given rise to more than 25 Open Innovation and acceleration initiatives led by large companies (in Spain there are already more than 50 corporations with at least one active innovation initiative). The sectors with the greatest demand for startups are the health and energy sector, along with fintech, insurtech and traveltech.


After analyzing all the initiatives of the total of initiatives included in the report (188), the conclusion is that there are more accelerators in Spain (62) than incubators (26). Apart from these 88 initiatives, there are 18 other initiatives confirming that they offer both incubation and acceleration services simultaneously. In addition, there are 47 acceleration programs and 14 Open Innovation programs, always linked to the different corporations that have launched startup initiatives directly or through a consultancy firm. Finally, there are currently 10 active venture builders.


Regarding the foundation of these initiatives, it should be noted that Seedrocket (2008), Tetuan Valley (2009), Wayra (2011) and Lanzadera (2013) were the first private initiatives to implement the accelerator concept in Spain. In addition, in the last ten years 158 initiatives have been created to support startups that are still active, of which 91 were created in the last 4 years (2016-2019); 2018 being the period with the greatest number of initiatives created with a total of 30.  Much of the creation of accelerators and Open Innovation initiatives have been caused by the irruption of corporations in the panorama of startups in Spain, creating more than 40 initiatives in the last four years.


By Autonomous Region, the capital of Spain, Madrid, has a greater number of initiatives to support startups (50) followed by Barcelona (33) Region of Valencia (30), Andalusia (28) and Basque Country (22). Valencia is the region that comes in third in all the most consolidated ecosystem rankings in terms of startups, behind Barcelona (1st) and Madrid (2nd) and ahead of cities such as Malaga or Bilbao.

The Region of Madrid stands out for being the region with the greatest number of initiatives to support startups, fifty in total, thanks in part to the impulse that corporations give to the Spanish capital. There are already more than 30 Open Innovation initiatives promoted by corporations in Madrid, in addition to more than 1,000 active startups.


Here we have a significant figure about the work of each initiative to support startups and where you can get some more relevant data. It is the capital raised by the startups that have gone through the different support programs for startups. What is interesting here is not so much the total amount in millions of Euro obtained by each initiative or the number of accelerated startups at the accelerator level, but the average capital raised by each startup.

And it is Antai Venture Builder that tops the ranking by far compared to Seedrocket and Andalusia Open Future. The venture builder founded by Miguel Vicente and Gerard Olivé (Barcelona) has created and accelerated only 13 companies but has managed to raise an accumulated 500 million Euro, which makes an average of 38.46 million. Glovo, Wallapop, Cornerjob, Deliberry or BePretty are some of its startups.

Behind it is Seedrocket with 700 million Euro raised by its 100 startups, which makes an average of 7 million obtained per company; Andalusia Open Future with 2.08 million achieved per startup or Connector with an average of 1.67 million Euro obtained by each accelerated company. Download de inform here.