Gran Canaria: up and coming start-up ecosystem

Gran Canaria has placed 5th in the national ranking and at 64th in Western Europe in the latest annual report on technological and entrepreneurial ecosystems drawn up by StartupBlink. This means it has risen four places in the global ranking over last year’s figures, according to the ‘Global Start-up Ecosystem Index Report’, to reach number 225.

In addition, StartupBlink provides a comparative analysis of destinations by quantity and relevance of their start-ups, as well as by the resources available for their acceleration. Thanks to the 48 start-ups based on the island (in different stages of development), 22 co-working spaces and 3 accelerators, Gran Canaria has placed immediately after Spain’s major technological centres (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia and Bilbao). In particular, the report highlights various verticals with particular strength: Transport (destination #109 worldwide), Social and Leisure (#144) and E-commerce (#154).

In addition to the organic growth of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, the Canary Islands have turned into an ideal place to relocate companies with pilot projects or with global scale projects, particularly in digital environments. The explanation for this growing impetus for the entrepreneurial environment lies not just in the institutional support and the interest of investment funds, platforms and venture building programmes, both local and national; it is also due to a series of fundamentals: expertise and qualification of the local talent, lower operative and living expenses, tax advantages and funding instruments, and the capacity to attract and retain international talent.

The high impact of the ‘Economic and Fiscal Regime of the Canary Islands’ (REF, in its Spanish acronym) is well-accounted for in start-ups’ business plans: not only can it support the commercialization/service placement (4% tax rate for corporate tax), but also benefit from a deduction of up to 45% of expenses incurred in technological innovation projects (up to 75.6% in the case of R+D), alongside other exclusive funding.

StartupBlink is a global leader in the collection and representation of data concerning entrepreneurial ecosystems.

The SPEGC (Sociedad de Promoción Económica de Gran Canaria – Gran Canaria Society for Economic Promotion) provides support and information through its ‘Business Support Service’ (SAE), office space in the Gran Canaria Technology Park and its own investment instruments.