Not every city is created equal. Some cities are industrial while others are artsy; some cities are growing while others are dying. And, most importantly to the eager entrepreneur, some cities are great for launching startups, and others offer little in the way of new small business benefits. Here are a few of the best cities around the world for entrepreneurship — and why.
Berlin is positioning itself to be the world’s next Silicon Valley, attracting tech titans from around the world. The city is particularly good for startups, with low office rents and reasonable long-term loans. Europe is rapidly shifting its center of commerce from London to Berlin to accommodate Brexit, so entrepreneurs looking at the European market should consider setting their HQ here.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is a fascinating amalgam of high-powered, advanced technology startups and laid-back Mediterranean culture. Many of the most gifted professionals in the Mediterranean flock to Tel Aviv, creating a talent pool worth taking advantage of. The business culture in Tel Aviv is fierce, but competitive entrepreneurs might find the city motivating.
Finland is a progressive country that invests heavily in its entrepreneurs. Startup owners here benefit from a network of experienced entrepreneurs, wealthy investors, powerful influencers and supportive hubs and accelerators. A number of major early tech players, like Nokia and Linux, got their start in Helsinki, and the city’s push for smart city development is once again attracting entrepreneurship.
Bengaluru is a hidden gem for entrepreneurs. Bursting with talent and backed by dozens of government initiatives to attract employers, the city offers a low-cost, high-reward space. As the third largest startup ecosystem in the world, Bengaluru might seem to present stiff competition — but in fact there is plenty of space for many startups to thrive.
The Valley of the Sun was perhaps the original Silicon Valley, becoming the headquarters for early tech giants like Intel and Motorola as early as the 1970s. Today, Phoenix is an ideal spot for almost any startup concept because the city boasts both experienced professionals and young, eager workers. Plus, there is ample availability of professional services in the Southwest, from a top Phoenix SEO agency to world-renowned IT providers, management consultancies and
Melbourne is investing heavily in its startup ecosystem, and it is paying off. In the last few years, the city has seen a six-fold increase in the number of accelerators, and a 900 percent increase in coworking spaces. Resources abound for the startup entrepreneur in Melbourne, which has easily outpaced its competitors to become the tech capital of Australia.
A progressive city in a conservative state, Austin is devoted to seeing its startups thrive. The city offers lower costs for startup entrepreneurs than many other spaces on this list, and entrepreneurs in Austin consistently rank high in ratings of work-life balance and quality of life, making it a prime space to relocate to.
Another beautiful city with a bountiful startup culture, Vancouver currently supports over 3,000 startups — and it is looking to add even more. Some of Van City’s most successful alumni include Slack and Hootsuite, and flourishing professionals provide a sympathetic and encouraging network for entrepreneurs to take advantage of.
Germany confirms its commitment to business with a second startup ecosystem, this one in Munich. In an attempt to beat Berlin, Munich offers major benefits to entrepreneurs, including large numbers of accelerators, training programs, builder labs, feedback groups, pitching and demonstration events and more. Munich is experiencing significant population growth, attracting some of the best talent from around Europe.
In truth, the best place to launch your business is most often the place you know best. You are best positioned to deliver solutions in an industry and to a market you understand; though another city might offer more benefits in terms of corporate taxes or entrepreneur resources, you are more likely to succeed in a space you feel comfortable navigating — which is likely your hometown.
Uprooting your life to launch a business in another place is a big decision and requires an abundance of research. If the conditions in any of these cities seem ideal, you should continue to investigate what launching a business in that city would fully entail.