Rising Startup Spain


The program to attract foreign talent aims at: 

  1. Promoting Spain and the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem on an international scale
  2. Helping attract talent and international innovative and entrepreneurial projects to Spain. 
  3. Facilitating the return of Spanish talent and entrepreneurs engaged in projects in third countries and provide mechanisms for collaboration between Spanish and foreign entrepreneurs.
  4. Attracting international funding for innovative entrepreneurial projects and increase investment opportunities in activities with high added value in Spain. 

ICEX-Invest offers six-month acceleration program to attract international entrepreneurs and talent to Spain promoted. Its mission is to contribute to reinforcing and internationalizing the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain. 

Over the last few years, Spain's start up ecosystem has been growing fast and it is emerging as a destination of choice for an increasing number of entrepreneurs ready to innovate and collaborate in a most conducive environment.

First-class universities, top notch business schools, highly skilled human capital and substantial capital funding, public and private, create the right conditions for start ups to grow in Spain. To help take innovative projects to the marketplace, Rising Start Up Spain offers softlanding via:

  • Free workspace in Madrid and Barcelona, two hotspots for start ups
  • Prize money of €10.000 to cover initial Start up expenses
  • Easier access to Visa and Residence permits
  • Instrumental mentoring to help you connect with potential investors

ICEX-Invest is an executive division of ICEX Trade and Investment, a publicly owned business-oriented entity of the Ministry of Industry, Trade and Tourism’s Secretary of State for Commerce. 

The mission of this public corporation involves promoting the internationalization of Spanish companies to support their competitiveness and add value to the economy as a whole, as well as attracting foreign investment to Spain. For more information on ICEX, please click here.


The program is targeted to foreign startups, foreign entrepreneurs and non-resident Spanish entrepreneurs that have an innovative project with an already positive feedback from the market.

Selected projects will have to constitute a company in Spain at the start of the program; if the company is already constituted, it cannot be older than one (1) year.

For new foreign companies established in Spain, it at least 10% of the startup capital must belong to a foreign natural or legal person, or a non-resident Spaniard provided he/she is a natural person.

Selection criteria:

A panel of experts from the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem will evaluate the projects entered into the competition. The evaluation is conducted in accordance with four selection criteria: 

  • The technology the project incorporates and the extent to which it is disruptive (25%)
  • The business plan and its economic-financial feasibility (25%)
  • The product validation and growth potential (25%)
  • The management team (25%)