The best places to start your startup

The success of your project heavily depends on the place you are. Robust startup ecosystems offer endless opportunities to startup founders around the world, starting off with access to great ideas, talent, capital, customers and the key players.

To discover such places, StartupBlink has built a powerful Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019 for you that ranks 1,000 cities and 100 countries. This Report is based on the results of the improved algorithm that now tracks both momentum and trends within the startup ecosystem.  

This extensive source of data has been widely used by decision-makers around the world to learn about startup ecosystems, improve theirs and, also, decide where to relocate for better opportunities. 

Locations that are ranked at the very top, will not necessarily be the best options for tight-budget startups due to exceedingly expensive cost of living. Hence, while relocating, you have to consider if it fits your lifestyle, goals, and budget.

In this article, we will go over some of the best places to start your startup.

Washington DC, United States 

By no coincidence, a city in the United States appears among the best places to start your business. Based on the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019, the United States ranks 1st in the country list globally with an impressive number of 441 cities in the 1,000 ranked cities list.

Washington, DC stands 45th globally and 16th in the United States. It is a strong startup hub boosting with such startups as Curiosity Media, ID.me and WalletHub. Among the most popular industries, there are Mobile, Social Media, and E-Commerce.

Other than that, the Washington startup ecosystem is led by one of our City Partners. Steven is the Techstars Startup Programs Regional Manager for US and Canada, Founder / Managing Director of SUEGO and Chief Culture Officer at BloomShift. He co-leads various ESHIP programs through his non-profit InnovateCoalition.  

Hong Kong, China

China, ranked 27 in the world, is rising as a global startup ecosystem hub with enormous market and potential which attracts entrepreneurs from around the world. 

Hong Kong is another location on our list, according to the Report, ranked 28th globally (after an increase by 7 spots) and 2nd in China (it used to rank 3rd locally in 2017, so we are noticing a positive improvement). Hong Kong, with its open approach to the Internet and entrepreneurship, are huge assets for the Chinese ecosystem.

Prague, Czech Republic

The Czech Republic comes in 22nd after passing 4 countries on our list and is expected to leverage the economic growth it has enjoyed over recent years. A favorable environment for the development of a business and its central geographical location makes this country increasingly attractive for entrepreneurs.

The capital city of Prague is ranked 65th and its dominance of the local startup ecosystem is well noted. Among our City Partners, we have Locus Workspace from Prague which is an English-language coworking space created to help freelancers, remote workers, digital nomads, and other location-independent professionals do their best work.

Frankfurt, Germany

Over the last few years, the startup ecosystem scene in Germany has accelerated substantially with an increase in exciting startups, more capital available from corporates, German and foreign VCs, and business angels. Even though, Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019 indicates a slight decrease in the country’s rankings taking it from the top 5 right at 9 globally (compared to 2017), Germany’s startup ecosystem seems to be in full swing. 

Berlin remains the main startup hub of the country ranked 7 globally. However, it might be too expensive for startup founders; hence, the Frankfurt startup ecosystem (a top 100 city, ranked at 94) could be a great alternative. This city has a history of innovation (it is home to the world’s first airline) combining skills with creativity and welcoming a great number of large corporates. 

Frankfurt startup ecosystem is powered by our City Partner – Ophigo. This is a PropTech startup that enables anyone to find, create, and manage their ideal workspace through phenomenal technology and service. 

Vilnius, Lithuania

Lithuanian startup ecosystem stands #18 based on the Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2019 after a jump by 4 locations. For such a small country, this is a big achievement, indicating its potential. The relatively low cost of living in Lithuanian cities combined with its talented entrepreneurs is a great asset to the local startup ecosystem attracting global businesses and foreign startup founders. 

The capital city, Vilnius, stands in the top 100 city list. This city has been in the startup players’ radar for a while now due to an increase in FinTech sector activities and gripping governmental and development agency’s initiatives. Go Vilnius paired up with Talent Garden and opened a Startup Museum, showcasing the success stories of 12 home-grown startups, including Vinted, the first Lithuanian unicorn. This Startup Museum exhibits an interactive StartupBlink map that allows local founders to add their startups on the Vilnius map in no time.

So, next time, when you are thinking about relocation, do not rush into the #3 ranked countries without considering developing startup ecosystems as well. Locations above are only a few examples to look at while the full list of 100 countries and 1,000 cities startup ecosystems, including the overview of each location, can be discovered here

We not only talk about startup ecosystems but work hand in hand with dozens of organizations around the world to boost their startup ecosystems. Currently, we are inviting both public and private organizations to join our programs: City Partner program to boost visibility of private organizations that want to lead their startup ecosystem; Ecosystem Partnership for governments and municipalities to promote and map their startup ecosystem, and StartupBlink Pro to receive unlimited access to advanced analysis tools on hundreds of startup ecosystems at both the country and city levels.