What makes a city a great place for a startup? Beyond a great idea and an awesome team, there are certain factors that help a startup flourish. We looked at entrepreneurial culture, financial incentives, number of startups, and location benefits to create this list of top startup cities in the world. Enjoy!


1. Bogota, Colombia

bogota columbia

Photo by Claus Pacheco

  • Tax incentives for business founders; 175% tax deduction for tech companies
  • Currently over 1000 startups; over 800 in nearby Medellin
  • Easy access to South, Central, and North America
  • Strong entrepreneurial culture; plenty of networking and socializing events 
  • Notable startups in Bogota: Frutamour, Ascendo, Civico


2. Lisbon, Portugal

lisbon portugal

Photo by Liam McKay

  • Easy access to other startup cities in Europe and an affordable cost of living
  • Many accelerators, incubators, and co-working spaces to work from 
  • Member of the Startup Voucher which funds 400 entrepreneurial fellowships in the city annually
  • Notable Startups in Lisbon: Muzzley, unbabel, and aptoide


3. Los Angeles, U.S.A.

los angeles california

Photo by Olenka Kotyk

  • Established tech startup scene; currently has over 6000 startups
  • Respected universities nearby, thus lots of local talent to hire from 
  • Immense access to venture capital, loans, and grants 
  • Recognized on the world stage for technology and business 
  • Notable Startups in Los Angeles: Dave.com, Mythical Games, Surkus, and many more 


4. Sydney, Australia

sydney australia

Photo by Dan Freeman

  • The national economy is stable; there hasn’t been a recession in nearly three decades
  • 35% of Australia’s startups are in Sydney, along with hundreds of accelerators and incubators
  • High-energy, youthful, and vibrant entrepreneurial scene and overall culture 
  • Notable Startups in Sydney: Muru, Hivery, veromo


5. Santiago, Chile

santiago chile

Photo by Caio Henrique

  • 90% of the country’s startups are in Santiago; it’s casually been dubbed “Chilecon Valley”
  • Extremely affordable cost of living and doing business 
  • Santiago is especially attractive to tech startups related to copper and mineral mining
  • Many co-working spaces are free to entrepreneurs, demonstrating the city’s entrepreneurial spirit 
  • Notable Startups in Santiago: Wanna Migrate, Trumpit, and Junar


6. Shanghai, China

shanghai china

Photo by Denys Nevozhai

  • The city is full of technologically advanced citizens, perfect for testing 
  • The government encourages venture capitalists to fund tech startups by reimbursing them for their losses
  • Shanghai is full of competitive, hard-working, and results-driven businesses 
  • Notable Startups in Shanghai:  FiFish, Hellobike, and E-Shang 


7. Istanbul, Turkey

istanbul turkey

Photo by Anna on Unsplash

  • Businesses have access to both European and Asian markets
  • Foreign investors enjoy the same rights as local Turkish investors
  • The cost of living, especially housing, is very affordable
  • Member and host of New York’s global accelerator, Endeavor
  • Notable Startups in Istanbul: Teleporter, BiSu, and Getir


8. Helsinki, Finland

helsinki finland

Photo by Jaakko Kemppainen

  • Easier access to early-stage funding
  • A large pool of tech talent, accelerators, hubs, and incubators
  • Access to the Finnish Startup Permit which makes it easier for tech entrepreneurs to grow in the city
  • Notable Startups in Helsinki: Nokia, Linux, and Clash of Clans


9. Berlin, Germany


Photo by Levin on Unsplash

  • Very international visitor-friendly; entrepreneurs from other countries highly welcomed
  • Affordable cost of living and cost of doing business
  • Focused on diversity and inclusion; many opportunities to network and socialize with other tech entrepreneurs and talent
  • Regarded as one of the top startup destinations in the world
  • Notable Startups in Berlin: GoEuro, N26, and Blinkist 


10. Vancouver, Canada

vancouver canada

Photo by Kyle Ryan

  • Home to over 3000 startups
  • An average cost of living and doing business, but above-average entrepreneurial culture
  • 16 local universities to pull talent from as well as plenty of grant opportunities
  • Vancouver is well-regarded all over the world for technological innovations and advancements  
  • Notable Startups in Vancouver: Hootsuite, Slack, and Weddingful