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The Startup Ecosystem Awards by StartupBlink recognizes the achievements of startup ecosystems in StartupBlink’s algorithm, acknowledging stakeholders such as government agencies, chambers of commerce, startup support organizations, and international organizations contributing to the development of successful startup ecosystems. Overall, we distributed 34 awards regionally distributed as:

  • North America: 7 Awards
  • Asia: 7 Awards
  • Latin America: 7 Awards
  • Europe: 5 Awards
  • CAREC: 3 Awards
  • Africa: 3 Awards
  • Australia & Oceania: 2 Awards

Despite being a business region, CAREC’s ecosystems have garnered sufficient awards to merit distinction from others. CAREC Program, comprising 11 countries and development partners, fosters cooperative efforts to drive economic growth and alleviate poverty.

How are the winners determined for the Startup Ecosystem Awards?

The determination of winners for the Startup Ecosystem Awards is a process rooted in the analysis of StartupBlink’s comprehensive ranking algorithm. This algorithm crafted and refined across a spectrum of over 40 parameters, forming the evaluation methodology.

To ensure a fair and comprehensive recognition, the awards are thoughtfully distributed across different tiers, taking into account variables such as population size, regional influence, and national dominance.

Watch the Full Startup Ecosystem Awards Ceremony

Morning Session

Afternoon Session

The Startup Ecosystem Awards Winners 2023

The first and latest edition of the Startup Ecosystem Awards took place on 9 January 2024, celebrating the achievements of ecosystems in 2024. While determining the categories of the awards, we did an analysis on global, regional and national level, as well as on industries and population tier. Here are some of the categories, we will distribute awards on:

Startup Ecosystem Awards
Afternoon Session Awardees
Startup Ecosystem Awards
Morning Session Awardees

Ecosystem Growth Awards

This category recognizes ecosystems on a global, regional and national scale that has demonstrated continuous growth across years.

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Global

Ecosystem: Singapore

Received by: Enterprise Singapore

Singapore‘s recent acknowledgment as the Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem globally is no small feat. This prestigious title, awarded in recognition of its outstanding contribution since 2021, reflects the city-state’s strategic focus on innovation and entrepreneurship. Enterprise Singapore has been instrumental in this journey, fostering a nurturing environment for startups and placing Singapore prominently on the global startup landscape.

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Canada

Ecosystem: Markham, Canada

Received by: The City of Markham

The City of Markham stands out in Canada for its remarkable growth in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023. This growth is not just a number; it’s a reflection of Markham’s commitment to nurturing its startup ecosystem. 

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem

Award Segment: Asia

Ecosystem: Fukuoka, Japan

Received by: The City of Fukuoka

Fukuoka City‘s award for the Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem in Asia speaks volumes about its strategic growth since 2021. Ascending 26 spots in the global ranking, Fukuoka has not only shown remarkable progress but has also established itself as a key hub in the Asian startup scene. This achievement highlights the Fukuoka City’s dedication to fostering a vibrant and supportive environment for startups.

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Latin America

Ecosystem: Medellin, Colombia

Received by: Ruta N Medellin

Medellin‘s ascent in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023 by 37 spots is a testament to the effectiveness of Ruta N’s efforts. This recognition as the Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem in Latin America underscores the city’s commitment to creating an ideal environment for startups. Ruta N’s strategic approach has not only propelled Medellin to new heights but also marked it as a top destination for startup innovation in Latin America.

Best Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Medium Sized Population Cities in Southeast Asia

Ecosystem: Georgetown, Malaysia

Received by: Digital Penang

Georgetown has emerged as the leading startup ecosystem among medium-sized population cities in Southeast Asia. This recognition is a tribute to Digital Penang’s strategic initiatives in cultivating the startup environment. The region’s focus on innovation and support for entrepreneurship has not only propelled Georgetown to the top of its category but also set a benchmark for similar cities aspiring to grow their startup ecosystems.

Best Global Momentum 

Award Segment: Top Ranked Australia & Oceania Cities

Ecosystem: Sunshine Coast, Australia

Received by: Sunshine Coast Council

Sunshine Coast’s achievement in being awarded the Best Global Momentum among top-ranked regions in Australia & Oceania is a significant milestone. Having jumped 13 spots in one year, this recognition is a testament to the Sunshine Coast Council’s commitment to nurturing the city’s startup ecosystem. Their various initiatives supporting entrepreneurship and innovation have been pivotal in driving this impressive growth.

Most Consistent Global Ranking Rise 

Award Segment: Top Cities in Colombia

Ecosystem: Cali, Colombia

Received by: Camara de Comercio de Cali

Cali’s recognition for the Most Consistent Rise in the Global Rank among Top Colombian Cities is a reflection of sustained effort and strategic planning. Climbing 48 spots in three years, Cali’s startup ecosystem has demonstrated remarkable resilience and growth. This achievement is largely attributable to the Cámara de Comercio de Cali’s dedication to fostering a dynamic and fast-growing startup environment.

Outstanding Startup Ecosystem Presence 

Award Segment: Canada

Ecosystem: Ontario

Received by: Municipality of Ontario

Ontario’s award for its Outstanding Presence in the Canadian Rankings underscores its role as a powerhouse in the startup world. This recognition highlights the region’s critical mass of top-ranked startup ecosystems, a result of the concerted efforts of Ontario’s Ministry of Economic Development, Job Creation, and Trade. Their commitment to creating globally successful startup ecosystems has significantly contributed to Canada’s overall presence in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023.

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Top 60 Globally

Ecosystem: İstanbul

Received by: İstanbul Development Agency

İstanbul’s recognition as the Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem among the top 60 globally is a significant achievement. This honor reflects the city’s dynamic and rapidly evolving startup landscape, a testament to the İstanbul Development Agency’s exceptional efforts in supporting and elevating the ecosystem to new heights.

Best Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Central Asia

Ecosystem: Astana, Kazakhstan

Received by: Astana Hub

Astana‘s award for the Best Startup Ecosystem in Central Asia marks a remarkable milestone in the region’s development. Astana Hub has played a pivotal role in this success, fostering an environment conducive to innovation and startup growth. This achievement highlights Kazakhstan’s growing influence and leadership in the Central Asian startup scene.

Best Startup Ecosystem 

Award Segment: Australia & Oceania

Ecosystem: Sydney, Australia

Received by: Investment NSW

Sydney stands at the forefront of the Australia and Oceania region, having been awarded the Best Startup Ecosystem. This achievement is a clear indication of Sydney’s thriving startup environment, supported by Investment NSW’s dedicated efforts to create a leading ecosystem in the region.

Overperforming Startup Ecosystem

Award Segment: Brazil

Ecosystem: Porto Alegre

Received by: Porto Alegre City Hall

Porto Alegre‘s recognition as an Overperforming Startup Ecosystem in Brazil is a testament to the city’s remarkable growth and strategic initiatives. This achievement underlines the commitment of Porto Alegre’s City Hall to fostering innovation and their significant role in propelling the city’s startup ecosystem forward.

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem

Award Segment: Mexico

Ecosystem: Leon, Mexico

Received by: IDEA GTO

The city of Leon in Mexico has emerged as the Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem in the country. This recognition is a result of IDEA GTO’s focused efforts in nurturing the startup environment, making Leon an attractive destination for innovation and entrepreneurship within Mexico.

Outstanding Ecosystem Momentum 

Award Segment: Brazil

Ecosystem: Caxias do Sul

Received by: Municipal Secretariat for Economic Development and Innovation, Caxias do Sul

Caxia Do Sul in Brazil has showcased one of the best momentums in Brazil, by just debuting the Index and ranking among the Top Brazilian Ecosystems. This recognition is a result of the Municipal Secretariat for Economic Development and Innovation, Caxias do Sul’s efforts in creating a supportive startup ecosystem to speed up growth.

Industry Specific Awards

This category acknowledges ecosystems with accomplishments in industry-specific rankings, such as Hardware & IoT, Energy & Environment, and Software & Data by considering various categories such as population range, country, and region.

Hardware & IoT Strategic Giant

Award Segment: Global

Ecosystem: Seoul, South Korea

Received by: Seoul Metropolitan Government

Seoul, South Korea, has been acknowledged as the Hardware & IoT Strategic Giant on a global scale. This recognition underscores Seoul Business Agency’s efforts in establishing the city as one of the world’s top places for the Hardware & IoT industry. 

The Best Ecosystem in Hardware & IoT 

Award Segment: Central America

Ecosystem: Chihuahua, Mexico

Received by: The City of Chihuahua

Chihuahua, Mexico, has been honored as the Best Ecosystem in Hardware & IoT in Central America. This award acknowledges the city’s unique position as the only one ranked in this vertical and its commitment to supporting and nurturing innovative ideas within the industry.

The Best Ecosystem in Energy & Environment 

Award Segment: North American Cities with 100K – 500K Population

Ecosystem: Kingston, Canada

Received by: Kingston Economic Development

Kingston, Canada, has achieved recognition as the Best Ecosystem in Energy & Environment among North American Cities with a population range of 100K to 500K. This award speaks to Kingston Economic Development’s exceptional work in supporting and nurturing innovative ideas in the city.

The Best Ecosystem in Energy & Environment 

Award Segment: North American Cities with 1M-2M Population

Ecosystem: Calgary, Canada

Received by: Platform Calgary

Calgary, Canada, has been awarded the title of the Best Ecosystem in Energy & Environment among North American cities with a population of 1 million to 2 million. This recognition highlights Platform Calgary’s efforts in integrating various elements of Calgary’s ecosystem to nurture innovative ideas, especially in the Energy & Environment industry.

The Best Ecosystem in Edtech 

Award Segment: European Union

Ecosystem: Vienna, Austria

Received by: Vienna Business Agency

Vienna, Austria, has secured the title of the Best Startup Ecosystem in Edtech in the European Union by ranking first. This award is a testament to the Vienna Business Agency’s exceptional efforts in supporting stakeholders to build an outstanding Edtech industry in the city. Vienna is also hosting one of the best startup conferences in Europe, ViennaUp.

Top Performing Ecosystem in Foodtech 

Award Segment: Southeast Asia

Ecosystem: The Philippines

Received by: DICT

The Philippines has been awarded the Top Performing Ecosystem in Foodtech in Southeast Asia, ranking 15 spots higher than its global rank. This recognition reflects the efforts of the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in fostering an ecosystem conducive to the growth of innovative ideas in the Doodtech industry.

Medical Innovation Cluster of the Year

Award Segment: North America

Ecosystem: Minnesota, United States

Received by: Launch Minnesota

Minnesota, United States, has been honored as the Medical Innovation Cluster of the Year. This award recognizes Minnesota’s hosting of industry giants, achievement of an exceptional number of patents in the medical innovation sector, and maintaining a high concentration of Medical Innovation R&D companies. One of the major cities in Minnesota, Minneapolis does extremely well on the Healthtech industry by ranking among the Top 30 globally.  Launch Minnesota has played a pivotal role in supporting ecosystem stakeholders to grow their ideas.

Best Startup Ecosystem in Foodtech 

Award Segment: Central Asia

Ecosystem: Uzbekistan

Received by: IT Park Uzbekistan

Uzbekistan ranks first for the Foodtech industry in Central Asia. This recognition is a testament to the contributions of IT Park Uzbekistan in creating an environment where new Foodtech solutions can thrive.

Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem in Software & Data 

Award Segment: Countries under 1M Population

Ecosystem: Cape Verde

Received by: Cabo Verde Digital

Cape Verde has been awarded the Fastest Growing Startup Ecosystem in Software & Data among countries with a population of less than 1 million inhabitants. This award is a testament to the exceptional efforts of Cabo Verde Digital in supporting stakeholders to build an outstanding Edtech industry in the country.

Special Category Awards

This category recognizes cities and countries for their performance in specific areas, such as entrepreneurial resilience, cross-continental collaboration, as well as unique parameters of the StartupBlink algorithm such as the community score.

The Best Startup Business Environment

Award Segment: The Balkans

Ecosystem: Bulgaria

Received by: Bulgaria SME Promotion Agency

Bulgaria has been awarded the title of the Best Business Environment in the Balkans, ranking first in the Business Environment Score of StartupBlink. This award is a testament to the efforts of the Bulgaria SME Promotion Agency in creating a startup-friendly environment where innovative ideas can flourish.

The Best Startup Output 

Award Segment: Caucasus

Ecosystem: Azerbaijan

Received by: ASAN Service

Azerbaijan has received the Best Startup Output award for its outstanding number of startups in the Caucasus region. ASAN Service has played a pivotal role in fostering entrepreneurial excellence in the country.

The Best Startup Community 

Award Segment: Africa

Ecosystem: Namibia

Received by: Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board

Namibia has earned the title of having the best startup community in Africa due to its outstanding performance in the Community Score of the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023. This award underscores the commitment of the Namibia Investment Promotion and Development Board to contributing to the creation of a supportive startup community in the country.

Cross-Continental Collaboration of the Year

Award Segment: Global

Ecosystem: Yokohama, Japan

Received by: The City of Yokohama

Yokohama, Japan, has been awarded the Cross-Continental Collaboration of the Year for its outstanding collaboration with global offices across continents to facilitate international business activities. This recognition highlights the City of Yokohama’s commitment to fostering international collaboration and cross-border exchanges.

The Breakthrough Achievement Award: Entrepreneurial Excellence in Emerging Economies

Award Segment: Global

Ecosystem: Somalia

Received by: Response Innovation Labs

Somalia has received the Breakthrough Achievement Award for Entrepreneurial Excellence among Emerging Economies. This recognition is evidenced by its inclusion as one of the few emerging economies in the StartupBlink Index 2023, highlighting the outstanding efforts of Response Innovation Labs in growing the startup ecosystem with the right strategies.

Wrapping Up

The success stories highlighted in these awards remind us of the potential that lies in nurturing startup ecosystems. They underscore the importance of supportive policies, effective collaborations, and a vibrant community in fostering innovation and driving economic growth. As the startup world continues to evolve, these awards will remain a testament to the power of collective effort and vision in shaping a prosperous and innovative future.