June 14th, 2024 | 6:20

Bilbao

The Bizkaia tower in Bilbao continues to grow

Jesus Carames

May 23, 2024 | 7:07 a.m.

The Basque Government and Bilbao City Council have begun work to expand the surface area for emerging business projects, adding 4.000 more square meters in view of the high demand. The former BBVA tower in Bilbao, now converted into BAT, B Accelerator Tower, is positioned as a symbol of entrepreneurship in the capital of Biscay.

A symbol of entrepreneurship in Bilbao

Since its inauguration in September 2022, the BAT Tower has been a nerve center for entrepreneurship in Bizkaia. The general deputy of Bizkaia, Elixabete Etxanobe, highlighted on her first anniversary that this space is crucial to "cement the economic future of Bizkaia." The Provincial Council of Bizkaia and the Bilbao City Council, as promoters of the center, work to attract entrepreneurial talent, offering a collaborative ecosystem with favorable taxation and advisory programs for new projects.

A strategic expansion

In order to respond to growing demand, BAT is preparing to expand its space after the summer. The ongoing works will allow the opening of five additional floors, from 9 to 13, to accommodate new startups "of a technological and disruptive nature."

From 40 to 73 startups in less than a year

The entrepreneurship hub has received a public investment of 26,5 million euros and follows a public-private collaboration model. The building is owned by Beraunberri and Onchena, who acquired it for 165 million euros. BAT is managed by PwC, Talent Garden and Impact Hub.

Since its opening, BAT has gone from hosting more than 40 startups and 30 corporations to 73 emerging business projects on the three floors dedicated to this purpose (from 6 to 8). In addition, they have the presence of 41 large corporations, including BBVA, Santander, BBK, CaixaBank, Sabadell, Mondragón, Ibermática, Tubacex, CAF, Viuda de Sanz, Eroski, Kaiku, Telefónica, Euskaltel, Iberdrola, Petronor, Elecnor and Enagas.

New expansion and future potential

The new expansion will add approximately 4.000 additional square meters to the available space. This decision has been made due to the "high demand" of startups interested in being part of the BAT ecosystem, as indicated by Xabier Ochandiano, Councilor for Economic Development, Commerce, Tourism and Employment of the Bilbao City Council.

Potential for more growth

The building still has the capacity to house more initiatives, with three additional floors (from 14 to 16) that could be enabled in a third phase, "depending on needs."

The expansion of the BAT Tower not only reflects the growth of the entrepreneurial sector in Bizkaia, but also the commitment of local and regional authorities to promote innovation and economic development in the region. With these new facilities, BAT will further consolidate itself as an epicenter of entrepreneurship and innovation, attracting talent and companies from all over the world.

In summary, the BAT Tower in Bilbao is on its way to becoming a fundamental pillar for the region's entrepreneurial ecosystem, offering invaluable space and resources for technological and disruptive startups. This expansion is a testament to the success and continued demand for this innovation center.

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