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Ranking the World's Top Startup Ecosystems

Mark Marich

There is a reason why much of the world looks to the U.S. to replicate its success in promoting startup ecosystems and entrepreneurial growth—and it isn’t just Silicon Valley. To be fair though, Silicon Valley is at the top of the list.

Six U.S. cities find themselves in the top 10 of a new Startup Ecosystem Index that ranks the top 20 startup ecosystems around the world. Los Angeles (3rd), Seattle (4th), New York (5th), Boston (6th), and Chicago (10th) follow Silicon Valley—which is still “far and away the strongest ecosystem.”

The Index, developed by the Startup Genome on data it compiles from early stage startups that use its benchmarking tool to help make better informed decisions, suggests a booming expansion of ecosystems around the world as “just 5 or 10 years ago most of the other ecosystems on (the) list either barely existed or didn’t exist at all.”

Tel Aviv (2nd) is the highest ranked non-US ecosystem followed by London (7th), Toronto (8th) and Vancouver (9th). The second half of the 20 are (in order): Paris, Sydney, Sao Paolo, Moscow, Berlin, Waterloo, Singapore, Melbourne, Bangalore and Santiago.

In addition to the ranking, the Index takes a deep-dive look at the characteristics of each ecosystem. So why does Silicon Valley still dominate? Among other findings highlighted in its deep-dive:

  • Capital raised in SV is 32% higher across all stages of a startup’s development
  • SV has 20% more mentors
  • SV has 35% more serial entrepreneurs
  • In SV entrepreneurs are 54% less likely to engage in on-the-side consulting activities
  • Silicon Valley entrepreneurs are much more ambitious, shown by how they: work longer hours daily; are more committed to work full time; are 19% more likely to motivate themselves by the vision of changing the world, rather than just building a good product; and are 30% less likely to tackle ‘niche’ markets.

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