The Startup Ecosystem of Iceland

Iceland has 1 city in the top 1000 and is the leading startup hub in Western Europe.


Iceland’s startup scene saw an increase in 2023 and jumped 9 spots from the previous year, outranking Poland.



Regional Ranking

In Western Europe

Global Ranking



Startup Ecosystem Overview

aerial view of city buildings during daytime
The Icelandic startup ecosystem is impressive, especially considering the country’s small population. A harsh climate compels Iceland to build strong physical infrastructure, which has fostered an innovative spirit born from necessity. Icelandic entrepreneurs are also compelled to have a global focus from the beginning, given the country’s small consumer market. In addition, Iceland values education, and the nation is well known for high literacy rates and skilled tech workers.
Iceland developed the entrepreneurial spirit of its population and shifted from the traditional employment model towards the gig economy, even in the IT sector, which offers much more flexibility.
The government’s initiatives reflect Iceland’s culture of innovation. For instance, The Icelandic Centre for Research (RANNÍS) promotes public awareness of research and innovation, education, and culture in Iceland. As well, government organizations which specifically support startups, such as Startup Iceland and Startup Reykjavik, do an excellent job of connecting local startups with foreign investors. The efforts of these organizations are supported with favorable legislation and one of the lowest tax rates in Europe, as well as incentives for R&D and green energy. Likewise, Iceland’s public sector incentives offer foreign investors favorable legislation for investments, along with the Golden Investor Visa.
Iceland’s small population may be seen as a challenge, but the country’s position between North America and Europe means fast travel times to massive consumer markets. Iceland is on a mission to increase innovation and competitiveness, and we are convinced that this approach will prove beneficial for its startup scene.

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The Startup Ecosystem in Iceland

In 2023, Iceland register a rise in Health startups. Some of the most notable success stories in this industry are those of , Activity Stream.

Global Rank

Iceland is ranked within the top 40 startup ecosystems globally.

Top Industries

Iceland’s startup scene is best represented in Health, Energy & Environment, and in and Foodtech.

Top Cities for Startups in Iceland - Ranked by StartupBlink
StartupBlink ranks the startup ecosystems of 100 countries and 1,000 cities. Download our latest Global Startup Ecosystem Report.
2023 National Rank & Change ▲
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2023 National Rank & Change City
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Notable Startups in Iceland
Activity Stream startup icon
Activity Stream
Kerecis startup icon
GRID startup icon


Successful Health startups in Iceland
Kerecis startup icon
Oculis startup icon
Sidekick Health startup icon
Sidekick Health


Startups Ranking by Industry

Health icon
#9 worldwide

On our map, you can explore a total of 43 startups for Health.

Energy & Environment icon
Energy & Environment
#16 worldwide

In Western Europe, Iceland's Energy & Environment is in top 16. Iceland has a concentration of about 27 of the region's total Energy & Environment startups that are represented on our map.

Foodtech icon
#17 worldwide

Iceland's Foodtech is ranked 17th in the world. Our database contains 17 for this industry.

Featured Ecosystem Portals

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