In the startup world, there is no place like Silicon Valley. But while Google engineers are living in the parking lot at work, the rest of the world is stepping up its startup game.
Check out five of the best cities in the world to run your startup:
1. Warsaw, Poland
Poland is right in the middle of the European Union, and it brings the love that Europe has for small business along with the cost and standard of living that entrepreneurs love to the table.
Warsaw is home to funding opportunities, but what makes it unique is the opportunities for those intending to bootstrap their business. In fact, 60 percent of the digital startups in Poland reported bootstrapping their startup. But most of all, low costs in Poland kept them profitable from day one.
2. Boulder, Colorado
Boulder is a playground for the eco-friendly and the lovers of endurance sports. It also represents one of the brightest beacons of the American entrepreneurial spirit. Back in 2010, Boulder boasted over six times the typical tech startups per capita than the national average.
The result of this entrepreneurial spirit is an economy that depends on itself and not on a single employer. As a result, it is home to venture capitalists and incubators like the famous Techstars.
The best reason to run a startup in Boulder is that, while it is only now becoming well-known for its startup scene, the city has been running in this capacity for years. Since 1960, Boulder has provided a quiet, leafy home to startups that would go on to be huge companies. Ball Aerospace, which was one of the first contractors sought by NASA, and StorageTek, which was purchased by Sun Microsystems for a cool $4.1 billion, were all nurtured here.
3. London, UK
London is the premier place to start up and run a business. As the technology and financial capital of Europe, it offers a vast amount of resources for fledgling businesses in all industries. The cosmopolitan lifestyle and breadth of culture make it an inspiring city to both live and work in.
London startups may have access to some of the greatest resources in the world including finance and talent. However, they certainly pay for the luxury. London was recently ranked as the most expensive city in the world to run a tech startup.
Fortunately, because it has plenty of resources, startups are not forced to head down the conventional, expensive route. Collaborative offices abound in London, and the UK government has been actively working to lower barriers for startups, which includes funding and relief for entrepreneurs.
As an old saying goes: you get what you pay for. Those who can afford London get access to the global finance system, over a dozen incubators, and the opportunity to set up shop near one of London’s 12 billion dollar unicorns.
4. Tel Aviv, Israel
Tel Aviv is commonly recognized has having a big influence on the global startup scene, but few go far enough to mention what the Mediterranean city really brings to the table.
Israel is a small country both in land and population, but not regarding startups. According to recent reports, for every one thousand people living in Tel Aviv, at least one person owns a startup.
The city credits this success to a national ethos that rids its residents of the fear of success and encourages them to move on from failures quickly. Plus, with a city full of people all in the same boat, an entrepreneur can run into exactly the inspiration they need by just living their daily life.
Until recently, Singapore lingered on the periphery of startup scenes. Despite being recognized as a global business hub, it was not experiencing the exponential growth of other cities both in Asia and across the world. But in 2012, the state began working hard to change that. Since then, Singapore has joined the global list of the top 10 startup ecosystems in the world.
Entrepreneurs looking to head to Asia find Singapore an easy place to set up a business. They also find plenty of access to financial and technical resources required for success.
The downside of Singapore is often cited as its high cost of living, which does not approach London costs but is about equal to the costs of living in a multicultural and cosmopolitan European city. There is also a current lack of tech talent in Singapore compared to other cities. However, considering the rapid growth and investment currently being made here combined with its position in the crossroads of Asia, this could change soon.
There is no place like California. But fortunately for entrepreneurs, there are plenty of places in the world that offer unique ecosystems primed to prepare them for success.