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The Importance of Startup Ecosystem Research

Awareness of startup ecosystems is crucial not just for startups, investors and entrepreneurial community but also governments and large corporations. Understanding startup ecosystems benefits decision makers and puts them in a position so that can grow their ecosystems. A thriving startup ecosystem boosts the economy, creates a talent pool and generates jobs locally.

Although this research is critical, there are very few such reports published each year that provide a big picture of the global startup ecosystem. StartupBlink, a global startup ecosystem map and research center, focuses on publishing such reports annually. Here is where you can download our latest report and find out where your city and country rank globally.

In this article, we will explore the importance of startup ecosystem research and how it can guide the creation of startup hubs across the world by identifying areas conducive to entrepreneurial culture.

Importance of Startup Ecosystem Research

Now that we have discussed how robust startup ecosystem influences economy, let’s discuss why startup ecosystem research and data is critical to making decisions about the growth of local startup ecosystems.

Each startup ecosystem is composed of many factors that influence the growth of startups in a city or country. However, for any city to be declared a startup hub, it should encourage the sprouting of startups by providing a useful environment for their growth. Here are some of the factors that show why this research is important and how it can impact the growth of a startup ecosystem:

The importance of ecosystem research for governments, municipalities and government programs

To be able to make any positive change in the startup ecosystem of a city, we must know the current status. Governments and municipalities need current research reports to make proper decisions in terms of changing policies that are more startup friendly. It is also important that government agencies provide the public with startup information accessible to all interested parties. The StartupBlink map is a free and open resource available to the public that can be used to showcase current startup status.

Most global cities that have been declared as startup hubs have taken positive steps to attract new business over the years. For policy-makers in these cities, such reports are critical to help them determine the strengths and weaknesses of their cities and identify positive changes to encourage entrepreneurial culture. Ecosystem research reports also provide a benchmark against more successful ecosystems, highlighting which measures should be taken to improve startup success.

It is also important to understand trends and momentum in regard to the startup ecosystem, not just its absolute position. The current status is important, but knowing whether the ecosystem is currently losing or gaining strength is a good indicator to know the direction the ecosystem is heading to and helps decision makers set medium and long term policies.

Estonia and Israel are two countries where governments have invested in extensive research to understand the status of the ecosystem and take an active role in the promotion of their ecosystems, resulting in long term benefits.

The importance of ecosystem research for entrepreneurs

As an entrepreneur, selecting the right location for your startup is one of the most important decisions that you will make. The success of startups in various industries highly correlates with the location that the entrepreneur chooses. For example, London is a major attraction for Fintech startups, and the local hub greatly assists everyone who works on a Fintech startup. Similarly Berlin is a hub for tech startups and it makes sense to set up the base of your next AI startup there.

If a startup hub already exists for a particular sector, there is a strong support for you already in that city. It is easier for entrepreneurs to receive investment, find relevant team members and co-founders, and get connected with potential clients. Ecosystem research enables you to know which startup hubs are most beneficial and where you should be setting up your base. Additionally, great startup ecosystems have founder and startup friendly policies like lower tax rates, ease of setting up a business, access to great talent, availability of work spaces, and a sizable investor pool.

Another reason why an entrepreneur should invest time in startup ecosystem research is that unicorns and big global startups have often emerged out of cities that rank high in startup ecosystem ratings. If your local startup ecosystem is weak, there are things you can do to make your situation better. The first option is to use resources and research reports to locate and pick a better place to relocate your startup.

Another option is to decide that you will grow your local startup ecosystem together with your business. This can be achieved by leading local initiatives, organizing meetups, or joining a local branch of a global organization in your city. StartupBlink has a City Partnership Program that you are welcome to check.

The importance of ecosystem research for accelerators and investors

Startup ecosystem studies have been very useful to investors and accelerators in finding which cities are booming with mentors and investors. Cities like San Francisco, Toronto, Berlin, London, Tel Aviv, and Bangalore are hotbeds of innovation and are leading in the number of successful startups. This gives great insight to investors and accelerators to concentrate their efforts and focus more on such cities.

The importance of ecosystem research for coworking spaces

Similar to the case for startups and investors, coworking spaces and other general service providers for startups find value in ecosystem reports since it provides them with an in-depth view of whether there is enough critical mass to sustain their businesses.

In general, establishing a coworking space is not an easy business. And, as someone who is considering starting a coworking space, especially in cities without any coworking spaces, it is important to make sure that there is significant startup activity in your target city. This provides a good signal that a coworking space can be financially sustainable. Giant coworking chains such as WeWork are also carefully building their expansion plan based on startup ecosystem activity in their target markets.

The importance of ecosystem research for large corporations

We might wonder how do large multinational corporations benefit from startup ecosystem research. However, these studies and reports are very useful since they highlight a direct correlation between great talent and ease of operations in cities declared as startup hubs. Such research provides clarity if a city is eligible to become headquarters of large companies and whether they can outsource their operations there. The decision to expand to a city as an additional market can also depend on the startup activity within that city.

Another important factor is that large corporations looking to acquire startups are able to identify such markets through these research reports. Open innovation has become the need of the hour for large corporations looking to innovate and stay relevant in today’s marketplace.


Startup ecosystem research enables smart decision-making, helping the growth of startup ecosystem hubs. Although startup ecosystem research is critical, there are very few avenues that offer an in-depth study of the same. Data-driven research reports help not just in forecasting a developing startup economy, but also in assisting decision making to help grow the current startup ecosystem. These research reports have the power to change the startup dynamics in a city.

To know the startup ecosystem rankings of your city, download our latest report that covers over 1,000 cities and 100 countries globally.