Startup hubs: the main focal points of entrepreneurship in Europe and the world

3 min reading
Startup hubs: the main focal points of entrepreneurship in Europe and the world


Presenting your startup's project in the business innovation meccas and networking with other similar companies in the industry is the smartest way forward. Silicon Valley continues to lead the ranking of technology hubs followed by New York and London. It is certainly true that each of these technology cores has a number of differences, but don’t forget other focal points that have been emerging in recent years such as Berlin, Toronto, Barcelona and Santiago de Chile.

The hubs are close to research centers that rely on private companies, universities and technology institutes. As a result of a good R&D policy, coherent investment and a certain boost promoted by state institutions (as is the case of Europe), hubs are an example of innovation and socio-economic progress on a global scale.

Startup ecosystems have become a strategic weapon in terms of innovation: these are access points that provide support through which opportunities and new markets emerge. It is therefore extremely important to know where innovation flows and capitalization facilities are concentrated, i.e. where there is the opportunity to carry out a project successfully.

Technology Hubs: boost and stimulus of Startups

In 2012 Bjoern Herrmann and Max Marmer conducted the study Startup Genome along with Telefonica Digital in order to analyze these sources of technological creation and identify the most characteristic traits of the startups in each area. The study pinpoints one of the largest databases of business activity worldwide, with over 16,500 new companies studied. The aim of Startup Genome was to shed some light on the growing number of emerging business ecosystems.

The comparison between Silicon ValleyNew York and London is really revealing:

– Silicon Valley: Greater performance. Heavy funding in startups. More mentors and higher risk.

– New York: Different skills. Niche focus. Social Networking and Marketplace… High risk.

– London: Highly skilled. Geat commitment to proven companies. Project management / E-Commerce. Low Risk.

The ranking established in 2012 does not differ much from the current one; the busiest centers are the same. However, new cities have been incoporated that threaten the hegemonic influence of Silicon Valley.

Startup Ecosystem Report 2012, the study conducted by Telefonica Digital, suggests that the predominance of technology hubs demonstrates that countries are moving from a service-based economy to an economy that is increasingly controlled by technology and software organizations that are rapidly advancing. If we follow the same approach, the hub ecosystems at the top of the ranking will be the areas and companies with more power and will have a greater global impact at a social and economic level.

Their list of startup ecosystems is as follows:

  1. Silicon Valley (San Francisco, Palo Alto, San Jose, Oakland)

  2. New York City (NYC, Brooklyn)

  3. London

  4. Toronto

  5. Tel Aviv

  6. Los Angeles

  7. Singapore

  8. Sao Paulo

  9. Bangalore

  10. Moscow

  11. Paris

  12. Santiago

  13. Seattle

  14. Madrid

  15. Chicago

  16. Vancouver

  17. Berlin

  18. Boston

  19. Austin

  20. Mumbai

  21. Sydney

  22. Melbourne

  23. Warsaw

  24. Washington D.C.

  25. Montreal

Some revelations of the Startup Ecosystem:

Many factors are important when comparing global startup ecosystems; therefore, in this article we will highlight the ones we have found most interesting:

– New York and London have 70% less risk capital available to implement startups.

– Silicon Valley's success is down to the motivation of its entrepreneurs. They work longer hours than entrepreneurs in London and New York.

 Almost a fifth of entrepreneurs in New York are women and the number of women with managerial responsibilities in this city is double that of Silicon Valley.

– Silicon Valley has been the birthplace of many startups that have migrated to other ecosystems such as Singapore (33% of founders came from Silicon Valley) and  Waterloo (35%).

Where are the hubs?

It's important to identify where the technological ecosystems are located, so we will review the most fertile geographical areas:

West Coast of North America

This concentrates four of the areas in the study's top ten: Silicon Valley, Los Angeles and Seattle in addition to Vancouver in Canada.


The technology potential of Israel is reflected in the fact that Tel Aviv is ranked second. Not to forget that a large number of software companies and research centers are concentrated in the Middle Eastern country. According to a report by Telefonica, almost 40% of employees of Israeli high-tech companies work in the R&D department of the subsidiaries of the multinationals Intel, Microsoft, Cisco or Google.

East Coast of USA

This is represented by New York and Boston, where the famous MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) is located


Apart from Vancouver, Toronto and Waterloo complete its representation. The latter city has two universities and an Institute for Theoretical Physics and another for Quantum Computation. Moreover, Waterloo is the home of RIM, which is the company that developed the Blackberry. In addition, the city is part of the Canadian Technology Triangle.


LondonBerlinParis and Moscow appear in the report's ranking; however, we must not lose sight of Barcelona, which together with Madrid completes the Spanish representation in the European and world ranking.


Singapore and Bangalore are the most representative cities in Asia. We are greatly surprised not to find any Japanese, Chinese or Korean cities in the report. There are a large number of corporations engaged in innovation, e-commerce and the video game market.


Cities like Sidney or Melbourne are currently a hotbed of startups.

Latin America

Sao Paulo and Santiago de Chile are also part of the 20 Hub cities.

Europe bids to decentralize the traditional Hub approach

London remains the financial epicenter of Europe and the university cities of Oxford and Cambridge are the source of many startups.

Nevertheless, Berlin continues to attract more creative startups and eBay and PayPal have been established in the German capital for some years now. Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Barcelona closely follow Berlin and London

European Commission: Promoter of young entrepreneurs

The European Union has reinforced a series of guidelines that aim to promote European entrepreneurship. This series of economic aid and injections are much more needed in European cities than in other cities where the private business sector is more likely to invest in new businesses and promote new projects. The established guidelines are aimed at simplifying bureaucratic factors, tax incentives and facilitating access to high-speed networks. The Entrepreneurship Action Plan 2020 is great news for European entrepreneurs.

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