The Top 5 Global Startup Ecosystems and Alternative Ones


Do you wonder which cities around the world have the strongest startup ecosystems?

To talk about startup ecosystems, let’s start with a short definition of its core: startup. I guess, everybody approximately knows what a startup is, but is it enough? The term startup was coined in the 1970s to describe small companies with huge potential to grow. However, a startup is not only a company with a rousing growth capacity but also the source of a unique idea, or a new way of doing something well-known or common. The development of a startup requires a community, a network, and other startups to support each other and create a nurturing environment, in other words, an effective startup ecosystem. No matter how unique their ideas or how successful they are, the startups are interdependent to have the optimum habitat.

The Top 5 Global Startup Ecosystems

According to Startup Genome, the top five global startup ecosystems are Silicon Valley, New York, London, Beijing, and Boston, respectively. Silicon Valley has been the most famous and profitable option to invest in for a long time. However, the rise of real estate prices started causing newcomers and potential entrepreneurs to think that Silicon Valley is overrated.

About New York City’s startup ecosystem, the executive director of Tech:NYC stated that even under the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, it maintained its optimistic culture thanks to the ambition and confidence of its entrepreneurs.

London is the only one in these 5 top startup ecosystems providing a startup visa, and Beijing’s highlights are the support it receives from the government and being called home by big companies like Lenovo, Baidu, and Sina Corp.

Boston has been home to various startups from different areas such as robotics, life science, cleantech, etc.

What About the Rest of the List?

The list of top-notch startup ecosystems goes on, but some of them are the true prominent ones:

  • Stockholm is ranked #10 on Startup Genome’s list. It has been the ultimate place to find successful brands without trying so hard. Wherever you look, a famous Swedish brand catches your eye. Now, it is providing a supportive environment to startups such as Amuse, Einride, Kry, and Noomi. They are looking forward to getting as big as Spotify, soon.
  • Paris is ranked 13th on the list, and it has got the world’s largest digital business incubator with 1000 startups according to Paris School of Business. In 2019, the director of the popular startup campus, Station F, told that the Parisian startup ecosystem isn’t as international as its rivals but they are working on it. The number of English-speaking companies has been rising every other day. Besides, some other worldwide-known companies like Deezer and BlaBlaCar are the residents of the Parisian startup ecosystem.
  • Berlin always finds a way to show its uniqueness. This city carries the rank #16 with pride because it is nearly impossible to not see a startup in that city. Berlin is literally alive and full of opportunities for startup enthusiasts. This city was ranked by Nestpick as the best city in the world for Millenials with its business ecosystem, openness, and recreation. N26, Sound Cloud, and Get Your Guide are some of the foremost startups of Berlin.

Read my previous post about Venture Capitals if you have not done so already:…-venture-capital/


About Author

Demet Torul

Hi everyone, I am Demet. I have been working in the start-up scene for 4 years. I am writing about startup world and explaining start-up related concepts in my blog posts. Enjoy while reading and don't forget to drop a comment below!


  1. bucur maria-bianca
    bucur maria-bianca on

    So the best place to have a Startup is in America haha! Easy to read article. Short and on point. Loved it! Didn’t even think I needed to know this but now I feel like I learned something useful 🙂

    • Demet Torul
      Demet Torul on

      Yes!😊 However, there are many other ecosystems growing all around the world and for me those are the most interesting ones!

  2. Begüm Zor
    Begüm Zor on

    Hey Demet,
    Thanks a lot for this great article. I learned very valuable information on startup ecosystems that I did not know before! I am looking forward to your future articles.

  3. Francesca Bosancic on

    This was truly an interesting article to read! Informative, concise and relevant!
    Thank you, Demet!

  4. Sofia Demidenko
    demidenko sofia on

    Very interesting overview! I was hoping to see my favourite Stockholm as it is quite an innovative city and here it is, in the Top 10! Looking forward to the next one, it is noticeable that you are very into this topic and enjoy sharing the knowledge with us 🙂

  5. Azim Marciano on

    Wow, really wondered where Berlin would end up as Germany’s number one hotspot. Great to have a comparison here!

    • Demet Torul
      Demet Torul on

      Me too! Berlin is one of my favourite ecosystems and it is absolutely the place to be for start-up enthusiasts in Europe as many people suggest. I believe it will increase its rank in the following years!

      • Gizem Konukseven on

        Interesting read 🙂 I like that you provided examples also from Europe. I wonder whether European cities will climb up in the list in the upcoming decades.

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