3595268615_f36a971501Spain: Country for start-ups? I have experienced the scene on several occasions: staunch defenders of this country defend at all costs that it is a place just as good as any other to undertake, and to innovate; they affirm that Spain is as good a place to undertake as any other and point to the (few) technological successes of Spain as proof of this. While, on the other side, a few of us tried to defend our position: In Spain it is more difficult to create technology companies.

Because? There are many reasons, although I would point out three that seem especially relevant to me:

1. Financing

The creation of technology-based companies is usually supported by the ability to access adequate financing instruments.In particular, instruments such as business angels or venture capital are crucial. Spain is far behind the advanced countries. For example, the investment volume of risk capital in Spain in 2010 amounted to 2,900 million euros. Meanwhile, in the US, 26.2 billion euros were invested that year dollars. The investment activity of business angels in Spain is still very incipient. This fact should come as no surpriseSpain went on a real estate boom binge and our financial sector has focused enormously on the instruments that real estate requires. Today there is neither capital for start-ups nor professionals who know about this type of financing.

2. University

To create technology-based companies, highly qualified and extraordinarily up-to-date people are needed in their field of knowledge; They must know the latest technological advances and business movements. From my professional experience, there are many universities that do not update their knowledge offer fast enough. In the field of Information Technology, in which tools, languages ​​and paradigms experience a revolution every year,  this fact is even more critical. Graduates enter the market knowledge of obsolete technologies in many cases, completely unaware of the sector’s innovation and market scene and, in many cases, even ignoring the existence of basic ICT tools. Of course, there are exceptions, but it is not easy to find them.

3. Market

In a previous post, I explained the importance that from my point of viewhasthe existence of an early demand that is sufficiently dynamic, close to the business environment from which it arises, and that allows a smooth diffusion of new innovative products that, in a first phase, can flow in contact with your nearest market. I still think that the early demand for innovative products in Spain is weak, although I confess that I am more optimistic about this element today. I believe I am witnessing a growing technological culture and this will favor the generation of innovations made in Spain.

While Silicon Valley has already emerged from the crisis In Spain we still have a while to go… Spain’s future economic growth must be based on this knowledge economy, on companies with a more advanced technological base, and for these to multiply their number we need more and better financing, more and better preparation of university graduates and a near market friendly to innovation. If we succeeded, perhaps there would be more technology companies in Spain and, of course, more and higher-quality jobs.