According to the report prepared by the international consulting firm StartupBlink, The Canary Islands are ranked as one of the best ecosystems for tech startups in Spain. In fact, the Canary Islands is the only Spanish region to have two cities among the top ecosystems, as the two island capitals are among the six best hubs of the country, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and Santa Cruz de Tenerife in fifth and sixth position respectively, over more populated locations such as Malaga or Seville.
In addition to both capitals, the ‘Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report‘ includes for the first time a non-capital island, Fuerteventura, as Puerto del Rosario is placed at number 846 in the world list. In this ranking, Las Palmas de Gran Canaria moves up 124 places to position 229, compared to 2019, and Santa Cruz moves up 147 places to position 237.
This startups report, in which PROEXCA collaborates with local firms from other parts of the world, analyzes the ecosystems of startups in 100 countries and 1,000 cities around the world using a custom algorithm that considers variables like the quantity and quality of startups, co-working areas, accelerators, and other supporting organizations, as well as the climate for doing business.
The importance of diversification
As the Regional Minister for the Economy, Knowledge, and Employment, Elena Máñez, explains, the digital transformation of the productive framework in the Canary Islands is “a critical factor in achieving the diversification of the Canary Islands’ economy”. Something that the Plan for the Social and Economic Reactivation of the Canary Islands has focused on and which the Government has adopted as one of the main axes for facing the COVID-19 crisis.
“The Canary Islands’ position among the six best hubs in Spain is clear evidence of the international acknowledgment of the bootstrap given by the tech startups on the Islands, and the support offered by the wide network of public entrepreneurship organizations and programs from economic promotion agencies, town councils, and technology parks”, said Elena Máñez.
Thus, she highlighted initiatives as the reactivation of the Fondo Canarias Financia 1 (financing instruments), whose first instrument includes credits, of over 2.5 million euros, for the creation and development of technology-based SMEs; or the subsidies to Canarian high-tech and knowledge-intensive companies, with a total of 4.3 million euros for the period 2020-2021.
“It is critical for the Canary Islands to promote the diversification of the productive framework, especially in the current economic crisis”, said the Regional Minister, who considered that improving the position of the Canary Islands in this report “shows us the path we must follow to achieve the transformation of our productive model”.
Benefits of the Canary Islands
The StartupBlink report also includes a study case of the Canary Islands’ ecosystem. In this case, aspects like the education and qualification of local talents (mainly developers and engineers); the operational and living costs (48% cheaper to live in the Islands than in London, for example), and the ability to attract and retain talent (the Canary Islands present the lowest workers’ turnover rate in Spain) are highlighted.
Another important feature is the institutional support to access public funding or subsidies. The Canary Islands receive high involvement from different administrations in their respective territories, from the European Union, the state, and regional governments, as well as local corporations.