What comes to your mind when you think about a place where the most advanced technologies have been born? It’s an area which people from San Francisco consider as a village – but people from this “village” earn twice more than an average USA citizen.
Yes, we are talking about Silicon Valley – a place in northern California where the biggest tech companies, like Google or Apple, have their headquarters. The word “silicon” originally referred to a large number of silicon chip innovators and manufacturers in the region, but the area is now the home to many of the world’s largest high-tech corporations, including the headquarters of 39 businesses in the Fortune 1000 list and thousands of startup companies.
According to Steve Jobs, Apple founder, people working in Silicon Valley are truly extraordinary.
“The people who built Silicon Valley were engineers. They learned the business, they learned a lot of different things, but they had a real belief that humans, if they worked hard with other creative, smart people, could solve most of humankind’s problems. I believe that very much.” – Steve Jobs
Where to Establish a Startup
Silicon Valley is not the only place in the world with a great number of startups. When it comes strictly to the countries with the highest number of tech startups, take a look at the table below, prepared by StartupRanking:
That the United States is at the top and is leaving others far behind, is not surprising at all, the same about India. But were you expecting to see Indonesia that high? I don’t think so. Still yes, with almost 1,500 startups founded there, it’s taking a well-deserved 3rd place.
Also, European countries, which make up half of the top 10, are good places for establishing your startup. You will find a lot of mobile app startup hubs and incubators there as well as enthusiastic people with excellent tech university background. Consider this when deciding where to set up your company.
Which City Is the Best for Founding a Tech Startup?
Picking the right country is not the end of the road when it comes to choosing the best place to set up your startup. You also need to decide on a city that will give your company the best opportunity to thrive!
Startup Genome is a global collaborative organization, which aims to provide a starting point for founders, employers, local leaders, and policymakers in 50+ cities around the world to make informed and timely decisions that drive innovation and economic growth. In their recent work titled Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017 they’ve tried to find an answer for one question:
In which ecosystems does an early-stage startup have the best chance of building a global success?
They’ve measured cities due to 5 most important factors: performance, funding, market reach, talent, and startup experience. The outcome of their research is in the chart below.
In comparison to previous years, we have a few unexpected changes. Yes, Silicon Valley stays at the top of the list BUT it is no longer the number one in every aspect.
When it comes to talented people, Singapore is the first in this category. Also surprisingly Beijing, Shanghai, and Stockholm appeared on that list for the first time and taking a very high position. As we hear all the time that Asian countries are on their way to becoming technological superiors, Stockholm as a great startup city is something new and definitely worth noticing! London advancing by 3 positions is also a great achievement, showing that Europe definitely has something to say when it comes to tech startups. And don’t forget about Sydney – the city with the highest Growth Index right now.
Unfortunately, Tel Aviv is constantly losing ground, probably due to a decline of talented people. Which is sad, because Israel has more tech startups and venture-capital funding per capita than anywhere — even the United States.
Seoul wasn’t listed on this chart, but the city authorities encourage startups, especially mobile startups, to thrive in their city.
“Seoul is the best place for mobile B2C startups to grow thanks to its population numbering more than ten million, all equipped with advanced smartphones with access to high-speed internet. The most popular sectors for these startups are O2O (online to offline), e-commerce, and fintech. Gangnam, located at the southern part of Seoul, emerged as a strong startup hub in recent years not only due to its business-centric districts and cozy co-working spaces but also access to many venture capital firms and the large pool of SW engineers in the area.” – Jungwook Lim, Managing Director at Startup Alliance by Never
Poland Among the Best Places to Set Up a Startup
As the startup scene changes so rapidly, countries from the CEE region are also making their way to the top. This is especially true of Poland. With many tech startups, located mainly in Krakow and Warsaw, Poland has been called “a country on track to becoming a major European tech startup hub” by Forbes.
Krakow, a former capital of Poland, is home to many globally known companies like Brainly (a social learning network, that reports more than 40 million unique users every month across more than 35 countries), Estimote (a startup using beacon technology, which recently secured funding of $10.7 million in a round led by Javelin Venture Partners) and Codewise (company making web advertisement tools, that recently placed 3rd among the fastest growing companies in whole EMEA region).
According to recent studies by StartUp Poland, among the startups that were growing at more than 50% annually, most were doing so through the sale of mobile and big data services to large corporations. Over half (54%) of Polish startups are exporting abroad, mainly to the US and UK.
Also Ready4s, as a Krakow-based mobile company, owes most of its success to the excellent location we are operating in. Thanks to the proximity of the best technical universities in Poland (University of Science and Technology AGH) we can hire some of the best developers in the world and cooperate with very talented startups that have also appreciated the advantages of this beautiful city.
What Are the Main Factors That You Should Consider While Deciding Where to Establish Your Startup?
- Talent – if you are considering founding a startup, make sure that you have THE BEST specialist right under your nose. Choose the city with the best technical university in your country and start searching for the brightest minds that will join your team.
- Funding – don’t kid yourself, money is something that even the best startups can’t succeed without. Find countries and cities that encourage mobile startups and provide them with help at the beginning of their journey. This is a very smart move from their side as they know that it will definitely pay off!
- Startup Hub – when it comes to startups it’s not good to be by yourself at the beginning. Proximity to other successful and experienced companies will be a great opportunity to learn from them and join meet-ups or courses organized by them. Don’t be a shark, leave that to large corporations – startup hubs are much more friendly and cooperative than others, make use of it!