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The Global Startup Ecosystem Index sheds light on top 100 countries and 1,000 cities’ startup ecosystems. However, there are several cities that, although their countries are not featured in the top 100,  succeeded to rank among the top 1,000 cities. These cities are known as “seed startup ecosystems.” While they may not have yet produced groundbreaking startups, they harbor the embryonic stages of startup activity. 

With StartupBlink’s Ecosystem Development Services, you can gain deep insights into your startup ecosystem, comprehensively understanding its strengths and weaknesses. By analyzing and benchmarking your ecosystem against other cities or regions, we provide you with crucial insights to attract investment and talent.

In this article, we explore these seed startup ecosystems, highlighting their progress, promising trajectories, and the role of governments in nurturing these ecosystems. With a keen focus on the cities that have shown remarkable upward momentum, we delve into their impressive rise and the opportunities they present for seed startups.

What is a Seed Startup Ecosystem?

Seed Startup Ecosystems are characterized by a promising but nascent stage of development. Although they possess a basic innovation infrastructure with a few coworking spaces and limited accelerator activity, their progress is mainly propelled by support from the public sector. These ecosystems may witness the birth of startups, but due to various constraints, startups seeking rapid scaling often gravitate towards larger, more established startup hubs. Consequently, government involvement becomes crucial, as seed startup ecosystems are yet to generate substantial startup activity.

In the StartupBlink Global Startup Ecosystem Index, seed startup ecosystems typically find themselves ranked between 501st and 1,000th. While their global position may not be the most prominent, these cities hold the seeds of potential growth and innovation. It is within these ecosystems that the early stages of entrepreneurship and experimentation flourish.

Seed Startup Ecosystems in 2023

Victoria, Seychelles

Among the seed startup ecosystems, Victoria shines as the only city in the top 300 that hails from a country outside the global top 100. This accomplishment is a testament to the untapped potential of the Seychelles. As the capital city, Victoria holds the torch for the nation’s burgeoning startup scene, showcasing its dedication to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. Local authorities must now seize the opportunity to provide the necessary support and resources for the ecosystem’s growth.

Addis Ababa, Tehran, and Yangon

In a remarkable display of progress, Addis Ababa, Tehran, and Yangon have emerged as cities to watch closely. Although their countries may not have cracked the top 100, these cities have demonstrated substantial upward momentum. Their impressive performance hints at the potential for Ethiopia, Iran, and Myanmar to secure a spot in the global top 100 next year.

Consistency and Resilience: Cities Maintaining Top 1,000 Rankings

A select group of cities have proven their mettle by consistently maintaining a position in the top 1,000, showcasing stability and resilience. These ecosystems have weathered the competitive global landscape, demonstrating their potential for growth and sustainability. Notably, Kathmandu, Algiers, Caracas, and Tashkent have made significant strides, breaking into the top 700 this year.

Bolivia: Multiple Seed Startup Ecosystems

While Bolivia may not be featured among the top 100 countries, it has emerged as a promising nation with the potential to foster multiple seed startup ecosystems. It is the only non-top 100 country to have more than one city ranked in the top 1,000. This accomplishment speaks volumes about Bolivia’s ability to create a favorable ecosystem for startups to thrive. As the country continues to invest in its entrepreneurial infrastructure, it has the opportunity to nurture and grow to rank among the global top 100.

Cities like Victoria, Addis Ababa, Tehran, Yangon, and those consistently maintaining top 1,000 rankings have paved the way for their countries to break into the coveted top 100. It is crucial for local governments to understand the significance of startup ecosystem development and provide the necessary resources, infrastructure, and policies to foster their growth. By nurturing these seed startup ecosystems, countries can create a vibrant and innovative landscape that fuels economic growth and positions them as key players in the global entrepreneurial ecosystem.

How to develop a seed startup ecosystem?

Developing a seed startup ecosystem requires a strategic approach and careful consideration of various factors. Firstly, providing financial support to startups in their initial stages can be crucial for their growth. However, it is important to exercise caution and thoroughly evaluate the potential of each startup before committing financial resources. As the ecosystem matures, it is advisable to avoid direct competition with startups, especially in later stages. For instance, public sector coworking spaces should be mindful of providing an environment that supports startups without overshadowing their growth potential.

Another effective strategy is to outsource certain ecosystem development activities to the private sector. Engaging external ecosystem developers can bring in fresh perspectives, expertise, and a wider network to enhance the startup ecosystem. It is also important to recognize and celebrate the achievements of startups as ecosystem heroes. By acknowledging their contributions and successes, startups are motivated and inspired to continue their entrepreneurial journey. Lastly, maintaining an open dialogue with startups is crucial for understanding their evolving needs, challenges, and aspirations. Regular communication and feedback mechanisms ensure that ecosystem support is aligned with the startups’ requirements, fostering a collaborative and thriving environment.

In conclusion, if there is one crucial aspect to prioritize when it comes to nurturing a seed startup ecosystem, it is to ensure that it is not harmed. This means being mindful of the decisions and actions taken that may have unintended negative consequences for the ecosystem and its participants. 

If you are looking for support in developing your startup ecosystem, consider exploring StartupBlink’s ecosystem development services. With our expertise, we work closely with over 100 government organizations to help them uncover their strengths and weaknesses, allowing them to capitalize on their strengths and overcome their weaknesses.