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Fastest growing startup ecosystems by city

Based on the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019, many cities have emerged as the fastest-growing startup ecosystems when compared to 2017. We have already celebrated the top-ranked startup ecosystems by countries and by cities, but have never had a chance to celebrate the locations with the massive jumps in the rankings. And we are not talking about dozens or a hundred locations. In this article, we will be looking at the cities around the world that skyrocketed by 400 or more places up.  

The Report has proved to be useful not only for entrepreneurs looking for their next business stop but the government and municipalities across the world striving for innovation as well. Hence, we hope that this mention of the fastest-growing can serve as a source of motivation to keep on building and strengthening the ecosystems.   

We will start off by presenting the biggest regional jumps in North America, Asia, Europe, and South America.

North America: 24 cities

North America remains strongly positioned at the top of the rankings. It does not only boast with the #1 startup ecosystem in the world, USA, and Canada standing at #3 but seems to have the highest number of cities with biggest jumps. Even though that sounds impressive, the results are not that shocking knowing that the USA only has more than 400 cities, or over 40% of the total number of ranked cities on the map, based on the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019. In comparison, no other country has more than 50 cities in the rankings. 

The startup ecosystem scene is massively dominated by North America and these are the 24 cities that increased by 400 and more spots: 

Country City Rank (2019) Change (from 2017)
USA Palm coast 743 406
USA Calabasas 739 411
USA Tyler 579 411
USA Monroe 572 427
USA Idaho Falls 737 430
USA Prescott 589 437
USA White Plains 518 444
Canada British Columbia  654 452
Canada Windsor 630 454
USA Daytona Beach  570 463
USA Broomfield 643 508
USA Rancho Cucamonga 430 508
USA Erie  611 544
USA Winchester  470 553
USA Elk Grove  551 554
USA Harrisonburg   619 556
USA Green Bay 490 589
USA Concord 405 595
USA Santa Clarita    526 607
USA Cheyenne   524 646
USA Hayward  443 653
USA Brookhaven 425 675
USA Marietta  363 715
USA Fairfield 387 741

Asia: 20 cities

Unlike for North America, rankings in Asia have shifted to a great extent. Some of Asia-Pacific top-ranked countries lost momentum. For instance, Singapore is no longer ranked 1st in Asia-Pacific, dropping 11 spots to 21st and falling out of the top 20 club. Luckily, there is one Asian country making a swift climb in the rankings: India has climbed 20 spots and is now ranked 17th. More good news arrives from several Asian countries, namely Thailand (33rd), the Philippines (54th), Pakistan (61th), and Bangladesh (87th), all increasing their rankings by 15 spots or more. New Zealand is also gathering momentum, increasing its ranking by 20 spots. 

Asia might not be as powerful as its neighbor continent across the ocean but looking at the bigger picture, it is obvious that the cities are waking up and making massive jumps! Here is a list of the most impressive rises across the continent: 

Country City Rank (2019) Change (from 2017)
India Faridabad 379 417
India Coimbatore 456 432
India Mansa   735 437
India Jodhpur  475 441
India Nagpur 339 453
Japan Kyoto 380 423
Indonesia Denpasar 502 440
Bangladesh Dhaka 300 500
India Thiruvananthapuram 388 504
Japan Yokohama 301 514
India Lucknow 273 520
India Vadodara 369 521
China Chengdu 527 525
India Bhubaneswar 382 535
India Bari 344 542
China Xiamen  511 581
India Ghaziabad  308 583
Beirut   Lebanon 205 589
India Surat 295 594
Philippines Manila Area 84 822

Europe: 12 cities

The positive notes continue with Europe that has witnessed some wild growths. To begin with, an impressive number of 19 countries in the top 30 countries club; the Netherlands’ jump to the 6th location, Finland’s notable rise of 7 spots to 12th, Serbia’s impressive 13 spots grow to 36th and Luxemburg’s climb of 12 spots to 53rd. Despite an intensive competition from other emerging economies, Europa seems to keep up the momentum. 

There are 12 European cities that made a leap in the rankings, including countries with the most powerful economies in the continent, as well as the ones that are still in the process of development. 

Country City Rank (2019) Change (from 2017)
Italy Genoa 554 406
Ukraine Kharkiv 435 442
The Netherlands Ede   707 450
France Annecy 581 451
France Strasbourg 338 464
Germany Bonn 571 464
Spain Santander 675 470
Spain Oviedo 690 486
Ukraine Dnepropetrovsk 561 503
Portugal Guimaraes 612 540
Belgium Hasselt 492 648
Luxembourg Luxembourg City 203 670

South America: 10 cities

Despite a massive gap between North American countries (USA and Canada 1st and 3rd) compared to Latin American countries where the closest competitor is Chile (ranked 30th), we have noticed some positive changes. It seems that Latin American countries, even though struggling to evolve due to political challenges in the region, are working hand in hand to build economies that support innovation. Chile is now the hot ecosystem in the region after switching places with Mexico (now ranked 32nd). Colombia, another rising star, is now ranked 34th globally and 3rd in Latin America.

The bar for South America is raised. The region is rich in both natural resources and talent pool. Hence, it is only a matter of time when it will become a startup hub to align with.

Country City Rank (2019) Change (from 2017)
Chile Valparaiso 457 412
Chile Puerto Montt 691 444
Brazil Ribeirao Preto 441 454
Bolivia Cochabamba 473 475
Paraguay Asuncion 411 483
Mexico Leon 673 487
Brazil Uberlandia 517 544
El Salvador San Salvador 493 581
Colombia Barranquilla 410 612
Mexico San Luis Potosi 310 641


Even though Africa did not have cities increasing by 400 or more spots in the rankings, we want to point out the good news coming out of Rwanda. The phoenix of Africa has soared up the rankings by 92 spots and is now resting at 64th. If this continues, we might see Rwanda as a new African leader in the top 50, what an inspiring story!

These were the biggest jumps from the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019. We are excited to witness the development of all these locations and look forward to tracking all the startup ecosystem activities in each of these cities for the upcoming Report.