Top 5 Startup Cities

Top 5 Startup Cities

Wondering what the best place for your startup might be? We have the answers!

The global startup ecosystem has been expanding since 2009, and as of 2021, the global startup economy is worth US$3.8 trillion in ecosystem value. With the startup ecosystem performing so well, who wouldn’t want to make the most of the explosive growth? Whether you are a budding entrepreneur or a seasoned veteran in the startup world, you would want to set up your next venture in a city which would get you the right returns. 

To help you know which is the best city in the world to start a business, we have curated a list of the top five global startup cities. 

San Francisco Bay

It comes as no surprise that the home of Silicon Valley is leading the way on this list. San Francisco Bay has around 40,000 startups and is worth US$1.029 trillion. An entrepreneur moving to the area would enjoy startup-friendly laws and policies as well as easy access to funding.

This startup mecca comes with fierce competition, which should be something you need to consider if you plan on making Silicon Valley the base of your operations. CEO and co-Founder of InnovaLab, Reinaldo Normand, says, “…competing in Silicon Valley may be extenuating and frustrating because it looks like everyone is smarter or more accomplished than you.” 

New York

Another U.S. entry on this list is New York. It is a hub of finance, fashion, media and arts. It has a startup ecosystem value of US$189 billion and is best known for its AI/data analytics, cybersecurity and life sciences-based ventures. Entrepreneurs heading to New York would enjoy the ease of setting up a business with access to talented human resources and without too many red-tapes (or ‌pressure to conform to strict bureaucratic procedures). 


The third rank on this list goes to Beijing. Its startup ecosystem is valued at US$445 billion. Beijing fared well through the pandemic and emerged as the startup community with the highest number (i.e. 93) of unicorns in 2020. The city’s core strengths are AI, big data and analytics as well as FinTech. It is home to China’s commercial bank headquarters, simplifying the process of finding funding for your business. The city also houses a lot of China’s entrepreneurial services, including accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces.

Los Angeles

While Los Angeles (LA) is globally known for Hollywood, it has a lot to offer to the global startup economy. LA boasts a startup ecosystem value of US$119 billion and is a hub for businesses in the realm of life sciences, gaming and advertising tech. The city has a vibrant network of local incubator and accelerator programs that may help your startup get a head start. The city also has a vast and diverse market, making it perfect for consumer-oriented companies to test the water. 


The final entry on this list is the capital city of England, London. London has an ecosystem value of US$142 billion, and the area is home to businesses in the FinTech and EdTech space. The city offers entrepreneurs access to a talented workforce as well as tax benefits. For instance, England offers 24 enterprise zones where businesses receive a 100% tax exemption for the first five years. The city has more than a third of the United Kingdom’s 12,000 investors. It has also been seeing increased interest from investors in the U.S. and Asia.

At the end of the day, you must pick a city that meets your startup’s needs and is a space where you can get the resources for your area of expertise. Make a decision based on your requirements, and you will set yourself up for success!

Header image courtesy of Freepik


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