The Best 50 Cities for a Startup in the World
Introduction to the global startup revolution
A startup is more than a job engine. Each of them can change the world and the reality as we know it.
The ingredients of a healthy entrepreneurial ecosystem are:
- Global mindset and communication skills (English, etc.)
The digital technology-related sector is exploding on a global scale, surpassing most other business segments over the recent two decades and this development is steady and continuous.
The digital industry turns out to be the most important growth sector for startups.
More than half of them are associated with the following four categories:
- Web services & apps (18.6%)
- SAAS (Software as a service) (15.3%)
- E-commerce (10.1%)
- IT & Software (8.6%)
In order to understand what makes startup revolutions possible, people focus on numbers. They should instead focus on the quality of life and unique specifics that each city can bring to a startup. Below we get a peek behind the scenes. We’ll search in depth to understand what makes each startup ecosystem so special.
The rise of the Entrepreneurial Communities around the World
Startup ecosystems are complex and multi-dimensional. As business dynamics represent a constant flux, the ratings below are approximate instead of fixed.
Every city has the right to become a part of the global startup revolution and reap the benefits of job creation, innovation and economic growth.
Below we tried to capture what explains each city’s startup vibrancy and what can be done to sustain the uniqueness of the existing ecosystem.
50. Nice, France
Named the Entrepreneurial Riviera of France, Nice takes a deserved place on this list.
According to Frenchtechticket: “The IT cluster of the Côte d’Azur today comprises nearly 1,700 companies (23,000 employees) totaling 4 billion € in revenues, one of Europe’s high-tech locomotives thanks to its strong technological foundation concentrated in the Sophia Antipolis science park.”
The local startup ecosystem is based on the strong presence of local innovative SME’s, research labs, R&D centers. All of them belong to corporations from France and abroad.
Today over 100 foreign companies already present in the French Tech Côte d’Azur ecosystem, representing over 70 different nationalities from all over the world), as well as remarkable startups.”
However, Public transport is far from perfect. Life in Nice is expensive. Like many on our list, it’s also home to high taxes and bureaucracy.
On the bright side, Nice offers a great and diverse startup community, events and meetings for entrepreneurs, hackathons, tech and innovation.
This town is connected with related networks, co-working spaces, incubators and accelerators, grants and crowd investments platforms, angels, etc.
49. Los Angeles, USA
No, it is not Silicon Valley, it’s Silicon Beach!
Los Angeles is its own Startup Beast.
Los Angeles is the second most crowded city in the U.S. also, gloats the third biggest startup environment in the nation behind Silicon Valley and New York.
With more designing graduates than any different U.S. metro district, the biological community has a profound ability pool to draw from.
Los Angeles additionally offers world-driving vertical mastery in select regions and saw some noteworthy startup exits in 2017. The city is right now home to 13 unicorn organizations.
Besides big players like SpaceX and Hyperloop, becoming the first large “zero waste” city in the U.S., 2) attracted $2 billion in private Cleantech investments, and lowered greenhouse gas effect by 75%.
Today, Los Angeles Cleantech Incubator (LACI) is one of the biggest Cleantech business incubators in the world with a focus on commercialization of clean technologies and products. It partners with most important local educational and research organizations—UCLA, USC, Caltech and Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
Here relevant is the adoption of an entrepreneurial mindset. Attracting talent and building startup communities is a part of the business environment.
48. Bucharest, Romania
The local startup ecosystem is stable and growing.
There’s a lot riding on the opening of additional hubs and accelerators. With so many talented specialists available in one region, Bucharest is ready for a surge in startup funding.
Especially relevant is Bucharest’s history. For over a century, aeronautics and automotive industries flourished leaving skilled mechanical and industrial experts and factories behind (Dacia, cooperation with Ford and Daimler, etc.).
47. Shanghai, China
With a populace surpassing 24 million, Shanghai is one of the most crowded urban communities on the planet. A worldwide money related and transportation center, Shanghai demonstrates a global startup ecosystem.
New companies here have it all considered, 32% of their client base outside of China when contrasted with Beijing’s 7%. The city is home to 21 unicorn startups. In 2014, just 14% of worldwide unicorns were from China.
In 2017 and 2018 up until this point, this number has developed to 35%. Shanghai’s metropolitan government helps the startup community through different programs, such as a risk-compensation policy that covers as much as 60% of any actual losses of VC investors of seed and early-stage investments.
Shanghai startup ecosystem has a rapid growth during the last few years and became a hub for lifestyle tech startups.
Locals are a nation of early adopters utilizing technology and cultural change. The business landscape is hard working and highly competitive, especially for early-stage startups. Long work hours and a focus on results are a standard for this city.
The supportive local government has started long-term cash infusion projects aimed at supporting new business enterprises. The future is bright.
46. Frankfurt, Germany
Although Berlin is the unarguable center of the German startup ecosystem it shares the scene with Frankfurt.
Frankfurt is the European Union’s financial center with the European Central Bank headquarters and over 70,000 people employed in financial services institutions.
The approaching Brexit combined with Frankfurt’s central location in Europe, combined with it’s the still very moderate local real estate prices and reasonable living costs is increasing highly the city’s attractiveness.
It appears to be an excellent spot for entrepreneurs and Startups looking to expand.
Still, when it comes to the small number of local Venture Capitals, Angels & Investors, startups in Frankfurt are facing difficult times while trying to find funding.
In conclusion, here entrepreneurs can find excellent conditions.
45. Valletta, Malta
Besides its strategic Mediterranean position, Malta works constantly on sharpening its competitive edge.
Valletta is developing a strong foundation for startups with a focus on equality. The city works hand in hand with the local government to attract talent and partners, with multiple events taking place.
The city launched I-gaming regulations and was the first in Europe to do so. The industry makes up for 12% of the local economy, generating $826m. 8,000 people work in the sector, with Valletta being home to 320+ gaming companies such as Betsson and Betfair.
44. Milan, Italy
How can Italy improve its startup scene? Easy.
First of all, learn from Israel – create a more open and sharing community, focus on building success stories so entrepreneurs and investors recognize the economic potential.
Furthermore, analyze data on unicorns – understand the reasons behind their success, create hubs, incubators, co-working spaces and entrepreneurial media.
Open the doors to educated foreigners.
43. Tokyo, Japan
Unexpectedly, Tokyo has been declining as a startup ecosystem. What happened?
Japan is a victim of its own success, competing only with itself for decades– as a result, they’ve lost their competitive edge.
The frequent lack of good communication and minimal use of multiple languages has been an obstacle for local startups growth abroad.
42. Brussels, Belgium
Belgium is home to a dynamic and quickly developing startup scene.
41. Stuttgart, Germany
The state’s capital Stuttgart serves as a startup promoter for investors and startups in the region.
The city supports the establishment of startups as well as the further entrepreneurial development. It provides relevant assistance in the foundation processes as such. In addition to the founding, it offers advisory. Furthermore, the Economic Promotion Agency Stuttgart – offers various publications on start-ups as well as on creative and business incubation centers.
Excellent conditions for good living and business environment make the city attractive to talent.
Furthermore, add acknowledged universities, strong economy and growth potential, strategic networking programs and partnerships possibilities.
In addition, the city offers as well access to experimental labs and high-end technologies, startup incubators and many of the local companies are interested in new ideas.
Sounds like a great place to be.
40. Lisbon, Portugal
Supported by the local government, Lisbon is fast becoming a creative and tech startup hub, helped by accelerator funding, tech incubators and newly refurbished coworking spaces popping up all over the city.
In June 2016, it created a national network of tech hubs and st new companies in Lisbon through the StartUP Voucher initiative that gives more than 400 entrepreneurs a one-year fellowship to pursue their ventures.
A 35,000-square-meter former army food factory is going to be transformed into a huge startup campus, Hub Creativo Beato while the Portuguese government has also set up a €200m venture capital fund aimed at bolstering foreign investment in startups.
Today Lisbon scores high on access to talent, affordable housing, and adequate public transportation. Should we mention the gorgeous weather?
39. Auckland, New Zealand
The startup scene in Auckland has the highest share of offshore customers in the world.
Entrepreneurial efforts end up with a high volume of deals, angels and other investors.
During the last few years, the local startup ecosystem has seen a slow but consistent growth.
Here is a detailed map of the startup community in NZ.
For those who are interested in the speedy growth of the area here is a longer list.
38. Warsaw, Poland
Poland is becoming a hotbed for great tech startups. Warsaw can be proud of its large startup community, but it is not united. The local startup ecosystem offers a ton of Eastern European development talent.
Local people are open and helpful, and the diversity in this city will leave you breathless. From architecture to people there is something for everyone. Shops working 24/7. Good public transport. Cheap cost of living. Competition for talent.
Polish law and local taxes could pose a problem for entrepreneurs along with the local currency.
37. Vienna, Austria
They have it all.
- Venture Capital Angels
- Public Financial support
- Public Nonfinancial support
- Shared Facilities and Coworking Centers
- Start-up services
- Media for startups
- Entrepreneurial Networking
- Startup related Events
AustrianStartups, for example, is an independent non-profit platform for innovative entrepreneurship. It is an open place for startups and changemakers, focusing on three realms of influence:
36. Reykjavik, Iceland
The region stands out as one of the least populated areas in the world.
Yet the locals have a fresh and eager entrepreneurial mindset and a community-oriented culture.
Looks like living in isolation pays off. During the long winter, the communities learn that cooperation and trust are vital.
These two factors have been a catalyst for these entrepreneurs. It must be in the Icelandic blood to innovate, co-create and share.
35. Washington, USA
D.C. has one of the nation’s most qualified and diverse population when it comes to tech. More than 185,000 people are employed in the tech sector, including a cybersecurity workforce of 27,000 in the metropolitan area, according to the Washington D.C. Economic Partnership.
Anthony Shop, co-founder of the digital agency Social Driver, says that is located in “one of the most diverse and inclusive communities in the entire country” gives tech companies a competitive edge.
D.C. is also a great place for female entrepreneurs since a third of area businesses are owned by women. Fast Company analyzed data from around the county and named D.C. the best city for women in tech.
“For women of color—black, white, and Latino—D.C. is the best place to be,” says DeShuna Moore Spencer, founder, and CEO of kweliTV, an interactive streaming platform for the black community.
“There are a lot of startups in D.C. trying to disrupt how the government operates and how the services of the government can improve with private sector innovation,” says Jonathan Ericksen, project manager and former community manager at WeWork K Street. “Washington might not have something sexy like Snapchat, but people are doing serious stuff.”
34. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague is an extraordinary place for entrepreneurs and investors. It is mainly due to modest living costs and low wages, making it less demanding to start a business.
The education system is great, providing a plethora of talented individuals. Its popularity among travelers has added to its vibrant and diverse expat community, bringing valuable ideas and global experience.
Prague also offers the best transportation system on the continent.
The city is beautiful, rich in culture and safe. Plus, most people speak English.
33. Barcelona, Spain
Accepting and facing challenges is a part of any startup ecosystem. In Barcelona, founders and investors are trying to play it safe and miss out on opportunities.
Still, the startup economy here is strong. It employs almost 12,000 people within industry sectors as IT, Mobile Software and Services, E-commerce, Big Data, and Tourism.
In conclusion, with investment in startups hitting over $700 million in 2017, Barcelona takes its fair place on this list.
32. Oslo, Norway
Oslo’s fast development is no coincidence and it didn’t happen overnight. It is the fastest growing Nordic country in terms of investment, and Oslo is leading the way.
The startup revolution was recognized by the local government about 10 years ago and is heavily supported, especially during the last 5 years, through collaboration and cooperation.
The government has created an entrepreneurial haven with early-stage financing, educational and technical support.
31. Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong has definitely expanded over the years, growing 11 times from 2012 to 2016, and crossed $1 billion out of 2016. Late financing rounds show that HK is ready to scaleups, i.e. SenseTime raising $637 million in rounds B and C and LalaMove raising $100 million in series C.
Hong Kong has a solid inheritance in relation to industry presence with over 70 out of world’s largest 100 banks working in the city. There are in excess of 200 Fintech companies in Hong Kong according to Hong Kong Cyberport. Several Fintech focused accelerators like SuperCharger – Asia’s leading Fintech accelerator, DBS Accelerator and Fintech Innovation Lab by Accenture.
In Hong Kong takes place Asia’s largest hardware trade fair Launchpad (SULP) with over 2000 participants yearly. It is a base for strong partnerships and network building among startups and other industry players.
Hong Kong also offers specialized accelerators like Brinc Global IoT Accelerator which focuses solely on IoT.
30. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Regardless of years of monetary vulnerabilities and the absence of an appropriate legitimate structure to enable promising new businesses to acquire capital, Argentine business people are building an energetic entrepreneurial biological system.
The nation is home to a large number of Latin America’s greatest startup examples of overcoming adversity, and with the presentation of one new law, the pathway to progress is going to get a ton less demanding. A few months ago, the Senate voted collectively to favor enactment supporting entrepreneurial movement development in Argentina.
The bureaucratic weights business visionaries must bear are gone. Today founders are supported by the Association of Entrepreneurs in Argentina (ASEA) and Argentina Association of Private Equity, Venture and Seed Capital (ARCAP), the new enactment replaces the old application, endorsement and financing methodology that took up to one year for business visionaries to finish before they could lawfully dispatch their organizations.
The new Entrepreneurs’ Law (Ley de Emprendedores) comes at a vital time for Argentina. It is lined up with President Mauricio Macri’s push to open up Argentina’s economy and place the nation by and by in the worldwide market. Be that as it may, to completely comprehend the centrality of the Entrepreneurs’ Law, it’s essential to comprehend Argentina’s troublesome, yet versatile, entrepreneurial past.
29. Cologne, Germany
Cologne has an advantage in the startup scene in comparison to Berlin. It is not as stressful and overpopulated as Berlin.
In terms of trying to attract global investments, the city can follow Berlin’s example and make an effort in enabling networks among entrepreneurs, as well as connections among investors and founders.
28. Dubai, UAE
Beyond the 3 million companies finding home in Dubai, the city appears to be the startup centre for the Middle East and North African region.
Furthermore, though the costs may vary, starting a company here is not cheap, starting at $7000+ in registration and commercial fees. In addition, foreign equity must be lower than 51%.
If you set a startup in the free commercial zone then you can have 100% ownership and you may get an exemption from all import duty fees.
There are 45 free zones in the country. However, starting a company within a free zone may cost you $32000+. 68% of the founders are from the region (20% from Lebanon,18% from Jordan). 79% of the startups here have only one up to two founders.
In conclusion, locals are not exactly team players with regard to sharing their business which can be a hurdle.
27. Cape Town, South Africa
Cape Town aims to be Africa’s technology hub with Silicon Cape continuing to promote and grow Cape Town’s tech startup community and to represent the idea of startups in South Africa and the community.
Silicon Cape was founded in 2009 to represent the city’s growing tech startup scene. The city’s tech scene “absolutely exploded”.
The biggest obstacle to the startup ecosystem today is mostly regulatory, such as Exchange Control regulations that affect investment and venture capital.
“The Cape has become Africa’s largest start-up scene.” said Wesgro CEO Tim Harris.
Cape Town offers a number of co-working spaces such as the Bandwidth Barn‚ Spin Street House‚ Workshop 17‚ and a Wi-Fi lounge on top of Table Mountain where entrepreneurs can meet and work each Tuesday for free. Bandwidth Barn is Africa’s leading incubator and accelerator for tech entrepreneurs‚ and has 53 businesses registered as tenants.
Silicon Cape will host the final leg of the African tour by Geeks On A Plane‚ and the non-profit company hoped “they will leave SA impressed by the caliber of tech businesses in our ecosystem‚” said director Alexander Fraser.
The company will invite 10 local startups to spend time with the investors, entrepreneurs and technology whizzes on the tour‚ which Fraser said had the “potential to raise early-stage funding‚ [source] mentorships as well as potentially being included in one of the 500 Startups acceleration programs”.
Cape Town’s unparalleled diversity, infrastructure‚ world-class universities and a vibrant environment have given the region a competitive edge to reach beyond other startup ecosystems on the continent.
26. Boston, USA
It has been an intense decade for entrepreneurs in the area. It is odd considering that Boston is home to MIT, Harvard, and other prominent colleges, and have a long history of software engineering and innovation development.
Most of the startups in Boston are, in some way or another, tied to those institutions. This can be a blessing or a curse for many founders and investors in the area.
Consequently, the Boston startup ecosystem is trying to make a comeback but they have to overcome their key weakness – the absence of shared driving power.
They are different from Silicon Valley in regards to socializing and building networks along with focusing on communication and building trust. These differences change the macro dynamics within numerous organizations.
Here is a list of 50 new promising startups.
25. New York, USA
New York is the second highest performing ecosystem on the planet. It gives a home to more than 7,000 new businesses, and it is the American ecosystem with the most unicorn companies after Silicon Valley, with more than $71 billion in Ecosystem Value.
The New York startup ecosystem has grown a great deal in the previous 5 years, going from about $2.3 billion contributed in tech new companies in 2012 to roughly $13 billion contributed in 2017. The city presently has in excess of 326,000 innovation employments.
New York is the city with the most 3D printing activity in the world, with 2.7% market share, has over 100 Cybersecurity startups and more than $1 billion in VC ventures in the security sub-segment for 2017.
Remarkable startups as Mark43, the law implementation programming organization that has raised $77.8 million, and Forter, the retail fraud prevention company, which raised $50 million are carrying the flag.
Here is a list of a few promising local startups: Brooklinen, Elysium Health, Citizen, Zola, Quartet Health, Dandelionenergy, Function of beauty, Anchor, Players Tribune, Eligible, Drone Racing, Transfix, Pilot, Pymetrics
24. Madrid, Spain
During the last few years, the Spanish startup ecosystem demonstrated that it can hold its own on an international stage.
But is “fine,” good enough? Although the bonding between founder and investor is starting to pay off, the process is slower than it should be.
A few unique elements hurt the local business ecosystem. Local young talents shrink in the face of fear and have no confidence in the powerful force controlling their professional destiny.
Individual success in Madrid is confronted with mistrust and suspicion, instead of being supported, respected and celebrated.
As a result, when local entrepreneurs engage in startups they focus on risk minimization instead of innovation. This mindset prevents them from executing ideas on a larger scale and scope.
23. Beijing, China
Beijing is the focal point of the monstrous Chinese market, which is—at 1.3 billion individuals—30% bigger than the U.S. and Europe consolidated. The startup community is best portrayed in superlatives, as well.
VC interest in China achieved a record high of over $40 billion in 2017—a 15% expansion from 2016—with the biggest offer caught by Beijing startups. To date, the city brags in excess of 40 unicorn organizations. This is a higher number than some other biological system in the world, second just to Silicon Valley.
The new Silicon Valley in the next 10 years?
Here new businesses can accomplish gigantic scale rapidly, in light of the fact that the residential market is 1.3 billion individuals, which is four times the U.S. or then again European population.
Yet, an expansive market alone does not imply that a place will turn into a startup hub. It is the mix of market size, combined with extreme consumer-adoption speed of all new services plus entrepreneurial mindset and hunger for startups to scale.
Here, founders use talent from the two best Chinese colleges — Tsinghua and Peking. Chinese new companies are quicker than any other and often not morally adequate techniques are used to win.
Here new businesses are fully developed in three to five years versus five to eight in the U.S.
People meet here 24/7. In China, there is a work culture at new businesses called 9/9/6. It implies that work hours for most are from 9 am to 9 pm, six days seven days. If you thought that the Silicon Valley has serious work hours, think twice.
For founders and CEOs, it’s frequently 9/11/6.5. That is presumably not extremely valuable (who’s great as a pioneer when they’re generally worn out and barely know their children?) yet absolutely normal.
Teams are locked in hotels for quite a long time before a product is developed. There they just work, rest and work again, to drive 100 percent focus without diversions and influences they deliver on time.
22. Dublin, Ireland
Dublin has long played second place to London when it comes to startups, instead happily snapping up tech giants’ European headquarters (Google, Facebook and Twitter) thanks to its low corporate tax rate and central location.
When the UK leaves the EU, the city will be in the perfect position to capitalize.
With a strong and growing startup sector, Dublin can offer hubs, accelerators and incubators along with generous funding and seed capital.
Dublin-based Coroflo has developed and patented a revolutionary nipple shield and app that aids mothers in the breastfeeding process.
21. Vancouver, Canada
Vancouver is the third largest city in Canada and is called the Canadian Seattle.
Almost 3000 startups per year flourish here, thanks to unlimited access to world-class talent pools.
They have a solid entrepreneurial culture, a reasonable rental market and a global network of clients.
The startup ecosystem in Vancouver benefits from its sixteen leading universities in the area, generous grants from the government and a startup-friendly tax system.
For those who want to find out more about the local buzzing entrepreneurial ecosystem, here is a link to 766 new companies and positions.
20. London, UK
London is the best performing European startup environment. Londoners are progressively attentive that Brexit would restrict access to talent and funds movement to nations that remain in the EU. For the occasion, at any rate, VC venture isn’t slowing down.
London’s tech area keeps on powering the development of the UK’s computerized economy, with the capital’s tech firms raising a record $6.6 billion in 2017. The city has built up a foundation in which new companies can move toward becoming scaleups, and in eleven cases, even unicorns.
Accelerators (Seed & Beyond): SeedCamp, Entrepreneur First, Techstars, Microsoft Ventures, Oxygen, Accelerator Academy, Bethnal Green Venues, Wayra, Comfort Click, Cylon, Founders Factory, The bakery, and more.
University-affiliated startup hubs: Accelerator London, Imperial Innovations, UCL Advances, Barclays Accelerator, Startupbootcamp Fintech, Level39, In-Residence by JP Morgan, PiLabs, True Start, JLab and many more.
Brexit is knocking on the front door and as a result, the economic growth is expected to slow down a bit till the dust settles down. Consequently, many talented young Brits are looking for positions abroad.
19. Sydney, Australia
Australia is a vibrant country with an exciting energy, and the local startup scene is booming. Australia’s economy is strong. It’s the world’s 13th-largest economy with the ninth-highest income. The job market is solid, salaries are high, and the minimum wage is $14.48 USD. Amazingly, the country hasn’t had an economic recession in more than 27 years.
Sydney is the largest of the Australian startup hubs with 35% of the nation’s startups, followed by Melbourne.
The area is filled with incubators and accelerators with one spreading 11 floors and 16,722 square meters. Best of all, it’s right in the heart of the city.
Here is a list of 50 promising local startups: list
18. Edinburgh, Scotland
Edinburg endorses innovation and faces constant positive change. It’s the perfect place for you and your ideas. It hosts fantastic support efforts for new businesses and boasts a global network and business ecosystem.
It’s home to some of the best universities in the world and keeps the charm of a smaller city providing a less stressed environment, safety and semi-affordable life. Startups have access to lots of talent, expertise and research facilities.
Key growth sectors are life science, financial services, and tech.
Here is a list of the best local startups.
The culture here is “what are you working on and how can I help”.
And they level it up to appreciating most people who aren’t eager to contribute only to their startups but to the whole ecosystem.
Seattle is a city rich with talent but it lucks stable financial support network vital for sustaining a leading startup ecosystem.
There simply aren’t many regional investment opportunities.
16. Paris, France
Startups and innovation have gradually become an important segment of France’s business culture.
With excellent venture capital networks, financing options on the rise, plenty of incubators, co-working spaces and improving regulations, they have a lot to offer.
Drawbacks? They try to play it safe and focus on revenue and possible exits by avoiding disruptive business models.
Secondly, local startups don’t want to expand globally, staying local. French startups have to develop a global mindset in order to become unicorns.
15. Shenzhen, China
Named the “Silicon Valley of Hardware, Shenzhen is the manufacturing center of China. It used to be fishing village 25 years ago and today it has been transformed by the government into a zone with an extraordinary economic potential, pulling millions of migrants yearly.
Today it became a metropolis with 15m inhabitants, encompassed by Hong-Kong to the south, and Guangzhou to the north. Shenzhen became an immense 50m monetary center for the export of what is presently the world’s first financial power.
It’s geek’s heaven. And no more waiting. Each bit of equipment and hardware you could envision is available here.
Shenzhen is constantly evolving. What was yesterday the place to assemble and dispatch cheap, low-quality items is transforming into a brilliant, quick prototyping center for creators and the equipment renaissance?
The city is presently known for its hardware expertise, because of the enormous number of production lines and affiliates, yet additionally more computerized ventures, for example, Hax, a standout amongst the most famous hardware startup accelerators, and Seeed Studio, a center for helping creators to manage through the labyrinth of Shenzhen.
14. Munich, Germany
Entrepreneurs have access to resources for every developmental stage and a community supported network system. The city offers accelerators, training, builder labs, feedback and inspirational events. Munich hosts startups related media channels, workspaces, pitching and demonstration events.
The launch of the online platform munich-startup.de, brought all actors and activities in the Munich start-up community together in a single virtual space.
Munich is experiencing constant growth. With its current population of 1.5 million, the city is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2030. Increasing urbanization is changing people’s lives and confronting cities with a series of major challenges as networking, mobility, renewable energy, the power supply in general and the design of public spaces.
As a result, investor networks, business angels, venture capitalists, and infrastructure are blooming.
13. Amsterdam, Netherlands
If we compare the local startup scene to other leading startup cities, Amsterdam has the highest average net salary, the fastest mobile internet speeds and the highest standard of living, the study found.
Other factors like the cost of rent, a beer, a cup of coffee or a bottle of beer, Amsterdam appears around the middle among other startup EU cities, with London and Dublin coming out as most expensive.
According to I Amsterdam, the Dutch capital is home to around 800 startups and scale-ups, and 170 IT companies have headquarters in the city. New businesses in Amsterdam can also find support in initiatives like International Talent Event Amsterdam, Ready to Scale, and The Amsterdam School of Data Science, information on all of which can be found on the IAmsterdam site.
They have it all: high-tech, scientific R&D and an innovative mindset which naturally led to a vivid startup ecosystem.
Over 600 top information, communications and technology-related companies chose Amsterdam as their humble abode.
Add to that the Netherlands remarkable ability to front run early adoption of tech and you have the perfect environment.
12. Austin, USA
Texas capital recently was named the #1 place in America to start a business by CNBC, the top city for “small-business vitality” American City Business Journals, and the top city for launching a technology startup by Sungard Availability Services.
“Most people in the Austin business community will make time to help fellow entrepreneurs, even when there’s no apparent or immediate benefit for themselves,” says Allen Stone, co-founder of PetCru, a two-year-old start-up in the city that provides in-home pet care services. “From the day we launched PetCru, we’ve had Austin-based pet-related businesses seek us out to support us, participate in events with us, and share industry learnings.”
The city wins by applying continuous effort in building self-supporting networks:
- over 10 startup incubators, accelerators, and hubs
- 10+ constantly active ‘’ Meet other startups” or ‘’find a partner” initiatives
- special service providers for newly started companies
- specialized media focused on information for startups
Furthermore, Austin scores higher than Silicon Valley in their lower cost of doing business, a better microenvironment for startups’ success, excellent quality of life and safety, as well as a diverse and skilled labour force.
In addition, people here are extremely hospitable.
You will fit in no time.
Here is a list of 50 promising startups in the area.
11. Melbourne, Australia
Recently Melbourne was named the technological capital of Australia. It has more shared office spaces than Sydney. Knowledge-based jobs are on the rise by 25%, and 60% of the key contributors are the local startups.
According to Medium “Just in the last several years, there has been a sixfold increase in accelerators and 900% growth in coworking spaces: there are now around 170 just in Victoria. As a result, there is one accelerator for every 41 tech startups in the region, and 15 coworking spaces for every 100 tech startups.”
Not all startups are tech related and still, the growth is in all sectors. People here share an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset.
Melbourne has an official long-term plan to attract and retain talent. Simply put here intellectual property can be easily commercialized.
10. Seoul, South Korea
When you take a look at the Korean startup scene today, it looks solid and developing. More than half a billion dollars a year has gone to subsidizing startups for a couple of years now.
Especially relevant if the fact that an increasing number of youthful Koreans are interested in getting into startups.
In addition, there are some issues. South Korean companies have a rich history in retaining foreigners.
The work culture works against attracting talent with too long working hours. Officially they are supposed to be from 9 to 18. In reality, no one leaves until they finish what they do before leaving which means it could be after midnight.
9. Toronto, Canada
Toronto is building on its strengths. First of all, it offers a healthy and diverse society for multiple collaborative initiatives, and programs that support startups’ ability to commercialize, as well as a fantastic network.
Furthermore, smaller and medium-sized enterprises have been recognized as the building blocks of the Canadian economy.
In addition, Toronto’s Economic Growth Division supports entrepreneurial efforts with multiple innovation infrastructure programmes.
It has Business Incubators, Hubs, Accelerators and Shared Working Spaces.
8. Copenhagen, Denmark
You can find many innovative entrepreneurs and unique business models in Copenhagen. They have it all: a unicorn mindset and talent.
But if Copenhagen wants to be higher on this list it has to face a few issues first.
There’s limited access to early-stage funding, and it’s difficult for foreign talents to thrive professionally in Denmark. Many talented individuals are forced to leave because of deportation and housing issues.
Furthermore, when talent is hard to find, employers are forced to skyrocket the wages which are making existing talent unaffordable.
In conclusion, all of the above has a damaging effect on the local ecosystem.
7. Zurich, Switzerland
Zurich’s entrepreneurial ecosystem is humble but definitely on the rise.
The stable environment, strong financial and education sectors make it an attractive destination.
6. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is always sunny, with outdoor cafés and bars open 24/7 near stunning sandy beaches. It has been called “’the city that never sleeps”.
Cultural differences? Taking risks is a part of the Israeli culture – it’s highly appreciated and encouraged. Founding startups is the national sport.
The locals are opinionated and direct. If they say “I do not like this” – it’s considered feedback rather than offensive.
Tel Aviv is a unique mixture of highly advanced startup ecosystems with the Mediterranean culture on the side.
Everybody speaks perfect English and Wi-Fi is available everywhere. Many world-famous venture capitalists are located here. The cost of living is high but the food tastes great. Welcome to the table.
5. Stockholm, Sweden
Stockholm is often called a unicorn factory. Even with its tiny population of 1.5 million citizens, Stockholm has been recognized on a global level to be among the strongest startup ecosystems today. It is also known for producing whopping success stories (Spotify, Skype, King, Mojang /Minecraft, Klarna).
In 2017, investment giant Atomico declared that Sweden has the second largest concentration of billion-dollar companies per capita, behind Silicon Valley. How so? It’s a result of Ericsson‘s slow decline where many highly skilled engineers were let go. They all had excellent severance packages and no hope for a new steady job. So, they started companies.
Therefore the exponential growth and development of the Swedish startup ecosystem came as a domino effect.
Local entrepreneurs knew what they are capable of and nothing could stop them from unleashing their potential.
In conclusion, it appears that a tiny domestic markets shape global mindsets, building unique business models and engaging with entrepreneurs across the globe.
4. Berlin, Germany
Is Berlin the Europes new Silicon Valley? Berlin’s startup scene offers a few unique competitive advantages – diversity and inclusiveness.
Living costs are affordable with average office rent. The atmosphere is ideal for people with an entrepreneurial spirit. If you start a business in Berlin you’re likely to get support from investors, apply for government funds or meet the many inspiring people.
Long-term loans are at a reasonable fixed interest rate and there are repayment suspensions for the first 1-2 years.
You don’t need a local passport or a fancy diploma – Berlin welcomes talent from everywhere. Imagine.
3. San Francisco, USA
Over 1/4 of the world’s unicorn startups originate from Silicon Valley. It’s the largest startup ecosystem globally and valued above $279 billion.
Last year alone, startups collected $26 billion in venture capital. Why are they not on the top then?
Although the research suggests that Silicon Valley sits on top in terms of salary and the entrepreneurial spirit, it scores low when it comes to living costs, safety, its ever-increasing housing market and a lower quality of life.
2. Helsinki, Finland
Helsinki’s startup ecosystem has it all: talented entrepreneurs, investors, hubs, accelerators and key influencers. There are lots of startups receiving early-stage funding. With companies like Nokia, Rovio, Supercell, Clash of Clans, Linux – Helsinki has a rich entrepreneurial legacy.
As a result of Finnish smart city development, multiple new city exits were built and this tactic appeared to be highly beneficial for the business environment.
Yet, the greatest feature is its global connectedness and its significant and meaningful relationships between entrepreneurs in different ecosystems.
1. Singapore, Singapore
Singapore has a lot to offer, from modern infrastructure and an educated workforce to a strategic proximity to many emerging and developed markets. Outranking Silicon Valley as the indisputable top and startup capital, which may come as a surprise.
Let’s look back into its history.
Remember the recent competition between Singapore and Hong Kong? Singapore won by earning recognition among investors as the best place for expanding or starting a new business in Asia.
- The two are former British colonies, with well-structured governments, free-port trade to foreign investors.
- Both depend on economic growth.
- The two have a city megapolis and reach between 5-8 million citizens.
- Both expanded after World War II, surpassing even Japan’s GDP per capita.
Today Singapore has one of the best education systems in the world and has become a startup hub for entrepreneurs, tech companies and investors.
Startups are innovation and job machines. The pioneers of this movement are numerous business visionaries. They don’t consider a 9 to 5 in a conventional organization as a feasible option.
They tend to produce generous incomes for those who have invested time, talent and trust in them.
In a digital world, geographic limits can’t compel entrepreneurs any longer. Today, new businesses in Australia can look for associates from Europe, America, Asia or Africa.
Today, the financial opportunities presented to startups are limitless. Growing worldwide is no longer an issue.
Companies like Valuer are bridging the gaps and help both founders and investors find their perfect match, by creating customized development roadmaps for each company and allowing them to capitalize on their core strengths.
One lesson for investors or entrepreneurs to learn, people are stronger together.
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