For entrepreneurs looking to start a technology company from scratch, Spain offers an attractive and cost-efficient environment.
One key advantage of the Spanish startup village is access to technical talent at an affordable rate compared to other Western European markets. According to Glassdoor data from August 2019, the average annual base pay for a Software Engineer in Spain is €36,000/yr compared to €58,000/yr in Germany, €46,000/yr in the UK (£42,000), and €44,000/yr in France. This discrepancy was highlighted by most of the local ecosystem members I spoke with.
At the same time, paying less for talent does not mean founders need to compromise the quality of expected work output, or ease of communication. As a Western market (albeit one in which all professionals involved need to be at least proficient in Spanish), Spain is culturally much more similar to other European markets or even markets in the Americas than Eastern countries like India, and Spanish workers’ management and communication styles reflect this closeness.
Other cost advantages for Spanish entrepreneurs and technologists include cheap office space and low cost of living–Madrid and Barcelona ranked 111th and 121st respectively in Mercer’s 2017 ranking of global cities with the highest cost of living.
Finally, outside of work, Spain offers a wonderful lifestyle. Valencia, as an example, has 300 days of sun per year, a landscape similar to California with close proximity to mountains and beaches, and enough infrastructure in place to live a comfortable life, such as easy access to quality healthcare and a nearby international airport.
In summary, Spain is a fantastic option for entrepreneurs looking to stay focused, but enjoy a healthy lifestyle. That said, while it is a great option to start a business, given the relatively small size of the domestic market, companies starting up in Spain must think regional from the onset and view Europe as their market as opposed to Spain.