Startup Heatmap Europe: 5 Challenger Hubs Are Emerging On Europe’s Landscape

Published on:

Yesterday evening, the second edition of the Startup Heatmap Europe launched in Madrid during South Summit. We've got the first details, revealing insightful observations of founder's mobility in Europe.

The recent results of the “Startup Heatmap Europe” study confirm founders’ hypermobility in Europe and give founders’ perceptions of how Brexit might affect the European startup ecosystem. Founders’ perceptions indicate five hubs evolved especially strong this year:

With 21% of founders being foreign-born and 50% of the founders wanting to startup in the top 5 cities, it becomes clear that the competition for startup talent between cities is heated. Cities must show that they are connected to a global startup ecosystem to stay attractive for founders. “With our research”, says founder Thomas Kösters, “we give municipalities and their mayors an idea of how well they are perceived and also how well connected they are in the startup world.”

Brexit Endangers London’s Top Position

While London re-gained the lead over Berlin in this year’s survey, 35% of founders say that Brexit makes the city less attractive. The most feared consequence is the loss of free movements, which 61% of founders see as a great danger (even more in the UK, where 71% fear this consequence). Not surprisingly, 85% of startup founders would have voted against Brexit.

However, this effect did not play out in the short term as London attracts 55% of the founders and leads before Berlin (45%). At the moment, only two international hubs come somewhat close are Barcelona (21%) and Paris (19%).

Five Emerging Challenger Hubs In The Top 20

The study identified a field of five ambitious Challenger Hubs, who attract a decent amount of founders from a diverse set of countries – and they have a remarkable advantage: Founders say they are more likely to move here than to a top hub (79% vs. 71% on average).

The group is led by Amsterdam, which has a particularly strong appeal for High-Tech founders of which it is able to attract 16%. Dublin and Stockholm are tied for rank 6th and attract both 9% of founders from 13 diverse countries in Europe. A surprise entry last year, Lisbon remains in the top ten this year, even though its media attention is comparably low (Rank 32). Finally, Munich enters the ranks of the Challenger Hubs with a strong edge among High-Tech Founders and the highest ranking for access to talent in the survey.

Finally, the authors of the study conclude, Europe’s hubs are increasingly diverse and interconnected. “The true strength of a startup community lies in its diversity” reads the report’s introduction and continues this could be seen both as a sign of its international appeal as well as for its creative power integrating various cultures and tapping into ample resources. While in the Silicon Valley 57% of tech employees are foreign-born, London has 54% and Berlin 44% international digital entrepreneurs.

2017’s survey ran from April to July and 321 founders from 30 countries responded to our call. The survey was closed and based on invitation. The startups were invited to the study based on four requirements:

  • Headquartered in Europe (based on historical delimitations 45 countries were selected)
  • Date Founded: later than 1/1/2012
  • Ownership status is “privately held”
  • Match one of 84 select innovative industry sectors

About the Startup Heatmap Europe Survey

The annual European-wide study on founder mobility run by the non-profit “european startup initiative (esi)” monitors startup founders’ perceptions of the best places to start a company in Europe and tracks their actual movements. Over the past two years over 1000 startup founders have participated. This year’s study is based on a representative sample of 321 founders in Europe. Their opinions are used as an indicator to predict the development of startup hubs around Europe.



Sharing is caring!