The Palau de Mar in La Barceloneta – the new home for Barcelona Tech City
Barcelona, 9 February 2016. The agreement to host Barcelona Tech City at the emblematic Palau de Mar in Barceloneta has been recently confirmed. Barcelona Tech City is an association that brings together entrepreneurs and start-ups from the Barcelona digital and technological sectors. The building plan – which has enjoyed the institutional support of Barcelona City Council, the Catalonian Government and the Port of Barcelona – offers 10,000 m2 of space where the Association’s headquarters will now be based. This space is also being made available for use by associate businesses and the top names of the national and international technology sector, making it the key technological hub of Southern Europe.
Barcelona Tech City already has more than 230 members and represents more than 300 businesses from the technological sector in Barcelona. “We wanted to find a building that would be the physical image of the association, which serves entrepreneurs and start-ups, and position it as a must-visit for any investor arriving in Barcelona”, explained Miguel Vicente, president of Barcelona Tech Cityand cofounder of Wallapop, Antai Venture Builder and LetsBonus. “Our intention is to put Barcelona on the map of the international technological scene. We want to be part of the global league of great technological hubs linked to cities like Berlin and London”, he added. The project for the building will accommodate more than 50 companies, including new start-ups as well as established businesses such as mVentures of MWC Barcelona, 101 Startups, Antai Venture Builder, Conector, Berepublic, Glovo, Geenapp, Napptilus and Ikomobi, amongst others. They will all have their offices in this iconic building in the Catalonian capital, joining the companies already based out of the building, Holaluz, LetGo and Tiendeo.
“The Palau de Mar will be the technological icon of the city, and an incredible tool for promoting Barcelona throughout the world as a leader in the digital sector”, Miguel Vicente declared. “The appeal of its location and the characteristics of such a unique site will increase our capacity to attract talent and encourage the transmission of knowledge and connectivity, with areas dedicated to co-working, areas open to all the start-ups, and separate areas for more established companies”.
Barcelona, a digital and technological ecosystem
Situated in idyllic surroundings, facing Port Vell, the Gothic Quarter and La Barceloneta, the Palau de Mar in La Barceloneta symbolises the spirit of Barcelona “Barcelona is design, it is dynamism and enterprise”, points out Miquel Martí, CEO of BCN Tech. “This emblematic 19th century building summarises perfectly the characteristics of Barcelona as a city in which to realise personal and professional ambitions”. The facilities will be used to hold conferences, meetings, exhibitions and all kinds of events for the digital ecosystem as a whole.
The Catalonian technological and digital sector has doubled the number of hired professionals in only 2 years from 5,000 to 10,000, and more and more international corporations are now choosing Barcelona as the headquarters for their Spanish delegations. A growing number of. foreign investors are participating in «start-ups» based in Catalonia as well.
“We intend to present the building to collaborators, associates and the media during the coming months, to coincide with the commencement of activity in the building ”, stated Miguel Vicente. “We are convinced that it will be a very important milestone that will contribute to Barcelona becoming established as the technological leader in Southern Europe.”
The Palau de Mar, emblem of business and finance since the 19th Century
Palau de Mar is a building typical of 19th century portside architecture, with exposed brickwork and arches. It was built between 1880 and 1890 and is located in plaza Pau Vila to house the former General Commercial Warehouses. The engineer Mauricio Garrán, first director of the Port of Barcelona Works Committee, wanted to use the warehouses for commercial storage and and they were eventually used as a storage area for cargo arriving at the port. It is the only remaining building from the industrial Port Vell (Old Port) of Barcelona.
It was transformed and renovated for the Barcelona Olympics in ’92 by the architects Josep Benedito and Agustí Mateos, who altered the building by creating a space in the centre to provide more light and ventilation for all of its floors. Currently it is also home to the Catalonian Museum of History, the Catalonian Centre for Contemporary History and several restaurants, and has 10,000 m² set aside for offices.
Now the building will also be the home of Barcelona Tech City and will be available for the most important national and international companies from the technological scene, thus becoming one of the biggest tech hubs tech hubs in Europe.
About Barcelona Tech City
Barcelona Tech City is a private non-profit association the main aim of which is to consolidate and empower a digital and technological sector based in Barcelona so that, with over 10,000 jobs, it can position Barcelona as a global leader and European capital for this sector.
The Association has the support of Barcelona City Council, the Catalonian Regional Government and big names such as Mobile World Capital Barcelona, CaixaBank, ESADE, Deloitte and McCann-Ericsson amongst others, and it represents nearly 300 businesses from the digital sector in the city. Some of these companies are important success stories emerging from Barcelona, such as Edreams, Privalia, Scytl, Social Point, Trovit, Letsbonus, Softonic, Wallapop, Grup Inspirit, Grupo ITNet, Active Venture, Nauta Capital and Caixa Capital Risc, among many others.