StartupBlink Blog

2020 has been an eventful year, to say the least. Yet despite social and economic difficulties, there are a few cities in that world that stand high above the rest when it comes to the congregation of entrepreneurs and the innovation that it creates. In this article, we will take a look at the 10 Best Startup Cities in 2020. Visit the Global Ecosystem Report 2020 by StartupBlink for further analysis of the Startup Ecosystem of 1000 Cities worldwide.

  1. San Francisco Bay, United States
  2. New York, United States
  3. London, United Kingdom
  4. Boston Area, United States
  5. Los Angeles Area, Unites States
  6. Beijing, China
  7. Tel Aviv Area, Israel
  8. Berlin, Germany
  9. Moscow, Russia
  10. Shanghai, China


The Best Startup Cities in the World

If you are an ecosystem developer working in an Economic Development Organisation and looking to build, promote, and grow your ecosystem, take a look at our Ecosystem Partnership.

Best Startup Cities
A Global Map of Startup Ecosystems – StartupBlink

1. San Francisco Bay, United States

In first by a considerable margin, San Francisco Bay is a shining example of what a Startup Ecosystem looks like. The city has produced more unicorns than any other city in the world and has become a mecca for entrepreneurs looking for investment, talent and truly rocketing growth. The region is a truly unique phenomenon – Of the tech that has become a household name in the last 20 years, chances are it was started in Silicon Valley.

2. New York, United States

2nd only to San Francisco Bay, New York has remained a consistent second in our global startup rankings over the last couple of years. The City has been severely affected by COVID-19 in 2020, and New York startups have responded by quickly pivoting and adapting their innovations in order to serve the fight against the pandemic. Such as Room – who have now turned their soundproof office booths into testing booths to help protect frontline workers.

3. London, United Kingdom

The UK is the 2nd ranking nation in the global ecosystem report. Much of its success could be attributed to the strength of its capital – London. The city is the only city in the top 5 that is not a US city. Demonstrating how much of a unique global hub the capital city is.

In the face of Brexit, there have been some worries as to whether London’s Ecosystem will be affected. Many companies have already decided to opt for new offices in other major European hubs of innovation. Despite this, London is likely to continue as an economic powerhouse as it looks to countries outside of the UK for closer business ties.

4. Boston, United States

In 2020, Boston has overtaken Los Angeles as the 4th strongest ecosystem in the world. A high proportion of Boston’s innovations are related to the development of high-quality medical devices (Particularly sought after since the pandemic) and deep tech. This is likely because of its young population and the influence of its major, world-renowned universities.

5. Los Angeles Area, United States

Although it has fallen by one spot, Los Angeles remains in the top 5 ecosystems in the world. In comparison to Boston (4th) LA is more primarily focused on B2C, with major growing sectors in the city including film & media, sports, beauty and aerospace defense. Los Angeles’s tax relief efforts may be one the reasons there has been a rapid period of growth in the quantity of its startups since 2013. LA represents a significant gap between the top 5 and other startup ecosystems. To surpass LA and gain a spot in the top 5 is a difficult feat.

6. Beijing, China

Beijing has moved up by 11 places into the top 10 this year, representing not only its, but China’s rapid growth on a world stage. While part of this can be attributed to an improved algorithm on our part, the increase is justified by the clear growth in quantity and quality of its startups, contributing towards the country’s inevitable rise.

Measuring China’s startup ecosystem is more challenging due to its unique nature, yet the goverment has put a priority on developing technology as a strategicn goal and that can be seen through the success of some of its major startups. Baidu and Tiktok to name a few

7. Tel Aviv, Israel

When considering the size of its population, the strength of the Israeli Ecosystem is clear. Its main city, and a beacon for entrepreneurship – Tel Aviv remains a top ten ecosystem despite falling by one place in the overall rankings. Israel is a great example to other countries because of its ability to become a global hub in spite of its relatively small size and its complicated geopolitical situation. As a city, Tel Aviv has produced success stories such as Wix, Fiverr, eToro and Viber.

8. Berlin

With the UK leaving the European Union, Berlin is now the highest ranking EU city. The city is famed for attracting a young, creative population – as Berlin has a relatively low living cost for a capital city and its nightlife and cultural scene is envied around the world. While Germany has a tradition of producing high quality corporations such as Siemens, Bosch and SAP amongst others, its young succesful startups such as N26, Babbel and Lovoo are set to lead the German economy in the next decade.

9. Moscow

Although Russia as a nation ranks at 17 in the global report, its capital Moscow holds a top ten cities spot. Relatively unknown in the west, Russia’s ecosystems a growing, boosted by a massive pool of highly qualified, talented founders.

Russia has a large market, so its founders can build substantial revenue through domestic sales only. However, if founders want to expand they may feel restricted by the geopolitical situation in which the country finds itself – leaving its major cities open to brain drain. To remain a strong ecosystem, Russia will need to decide between global integration with other markets, or a domestic closed garden model similar to China. Hopefully, it will choose the former.

10. Shanghai, China

In the top ten for the first time, Shanghai – Moving up by 21 spots in this year’s ranking, is a clear product of transition that China has made from a low-tech developing country to a cutting-edge technological power. Many chinese entrepreneurs consider the city an alternative to Beijing, with success stories including Jianshu and Italki.

The geopolitical situation in China is changing, and tensions seem to be building up, but we hope that the Chinese startup ecosystem will be more integrated globally


This list was compiled based on the results of Global Startup Ecosystem Rankings Report 2020 that ranked 1,000 cities and 100 countries worldwide.

Compiling the list for the best startup cities in the word was made simple with the help of the PRO account, and Ecosystem Partners

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