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The StartupBlink Pantheon members are a selected group of special startup related entities with a substantial footprint on the global startup ecosystem. Divided into three tiers (Gold, Silver, Bronze), these entities have a direct and substantial impact on city and country ecosystem rankings

The Startup Pantheon is a term coined by StartupBlink and includes organizations and companies from a variety of categories. Some of the pantheons are massive companies that used to be startups, like Microsoft and Apple, and others are cutting-edge initiatives that have produced positive changes for startups.

There are 264 Pantheon members in the 2023 Index, and they can be viewed on the StartupBlink Global Map.

How does StartupBlink select the Pantheon Club members?

While determining the members of the Pantheon Club, we look at two things:

  1. Success and impact: Did these members create substantial impact or pioneer a trend that is still influential? 
  2. Global influence: Are these members known globally outside of their country or region? 

Types of Pantheon members

Obviously, the first type of members in the Startup Pantheon Club are major corporations that began as startups. However, there are several milestones that signal the evolution of startups into something much bigger. The first is becoming a unicorn (exceeding $US 1B in valuation). Pantheon Club Corporate Members are entities that are beyond the unicorn phase; some have been in existence for dozens of years and are creating massive economic impact to this day. However, Pantheon Club Members are not necessarily startups or former unicorns. A Pantheon Club Member can also be:

  • A highly innovative corporation (e.g. Apple, Microsoft)
  • An abstract program (e.g. Estonian E-Residency, StartupChile)
  • A publication or a book (e.g Israel’s Startup Nation Book)
  • Coworking Space with offices in a wide variety of countries (e.g. WeWork)
  • Universities with reputable entrepreneur alumni (e.g. MIT, Harvard Business School)
  • Press that is dedicated to spreading the news about startups (e.g. TechCrunch)
  • An accelerator (e.g. TechStars, Y Combinator)

We have categorized the Pantheon Members into three tiers based on impact and quality:

    • Gold Tier Members, includes the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, SpaceX, and Alibaba.
    • Silver Tier Members, includes E-Residency, Glassdoor, and WeWork.
    • Bronze Tier Members, includes The Next Web Conference, SEMRush, and Rappi

StartupBlink ranks countries based on Quality, Quantity, and Business Scores. The presence of unicorns, Pantheon Members, and exits influence the Quality Score. Therefore, cities and countries that host a significant amount of Pantheon Members are likely to have a better Quality Score. 

When identifying Pantheon Members, we rely on desk research and the collective knowledge and experience of the StartupBlink team and its partners. The Pantheon Club is relatively stable. For instance, Nokia is still a member of the club because it is known globally, and it has shaped the narrative of Finnish innovation. Updating the Club includes tuning Pantheon member tiers, adding new members, and removing members involved in controversial activity.

🏆In 2023, 47 companies were categorized as Gold Tier Pantheon Club Members

In the Pantheon’s Club, 47 companies are categorized as Gold, while 70 are Silver and 121 are Bronze. The United States has 38 Gold tier Pantheon Members, hence it is the country with the highest number of Pantheon Members. China has the second most members, However the number of Pantheon Members in the US is 12 times that of China. The rest of the Gold tier list includes entities from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Sweden, The Netherlands, and Canada. 

🥈73 of the Pantheon Club Members are Silver Tier

The US dominance is visible across all tiers. The trend in Gold Tier Pantheon Members continues into the Silver Tier list, as China maintains its position as the country with the second most Pantheon Members. Again, the number of Pantheon Members in the US is 6 times that of China. One notable achievement to mention here is Israel. Despite its relatively small population, its Pantheon Members put it in the same league as countries with a population size of more than 100 million.

🥉 144 of the Pantheon Club Members are Bronze Tier

The United States has 144 Bronze Tier Pantheon Members, followed by China with 10 Bronze Tier Pantheon Members, with the number of US Pantheon Members at 4.9 that of China. The United Kingdom, Germany, Japan, India, and Israel all boast at least 5 Pantheon Members.

Countries like Finland, France, Sweden, Singapore, and Russia have at least 2 members on the list. In the Bronze Tier, we observe that developing countries like Kenya and Nigeria are also represented on the list.

🏙️San Francisco is the Main Hub for Pantheon Club Members

US dominance of the Pantheon list is mainly due to San Francisco’s success in hosting 83 Pantheon Members. The city with the second highest number of Pantheon Members is again a US city, New York, which boasts 20. Overall, there are 8 US cities that have more than 2 Pantheon Members, which is one of the reasons why the US has captured the narrative of startup success stories globally.

About Us:

StartupBlink is the world’s most comprehensive startup ecosystem map and research center, working with over 100 government entities worldwide. StartupBlink’s startup ecosystem map has tens of thousands of registered startups, coworking spaces, and accelerators, creating a robust sample of global innovation.

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