The 5 Most Exciting European Cities To Found Your Startup In

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You could think that in the age of omnipresent technology, launching a startup could be done at any place in a world. You can just find a nice place with a decent Internet connection and start working, right?

After all, almost everyone communicates by email or a phone on daily basis, and a chances are that you’ve came up with an idea that can be applied in many markets. Some people even made it a lifestyle to connect day-to-day working with wandering around the world – digital nomadism that is. Though it seems like a great and exciting way of living, it may be quite a challenge for most people. Being an entrepreneur, or launching your startup for example, is always easier in a place saturated with assets and opportunities. Transforming your brilliant idea to an actual company will also require cooperating with many different people. Finding all these things in one place is a challenge, but don’t worry – here is our short list of most startup-friendly cities in Europe.


Although it seems like an obvious choice, it has to be put out there. London for another year bears the name of second most performing city worldwide (right after New York), according to the ranking from City Initiatives for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. This global metropolis attracts not only startup enthusiasts, but practically everyone – from tourists, scientific researchers, media and creative industry creators to big investors and venture capitalists. The range of your future potential contacts is staggering, so are the opportunities – just don’t be afraid of competition . Last year’s report on startup ecosystem from Compass also agrees that London is the place to be, if you want to start your own business in Europe.


If you find London’s size and prices a little bit overwhelming, maybe you should try another place? You can find a similar diversity, dynamics and global vibe in Berlin. In the last years the startup scene there was developing continuously, resulting in the largest number of startup companies and venture capital investment in Germany – a country definitely much more decentralized compared to the UK, dominated by its capital. Here you can find established community builders like Silicon Allee, who bind the local tech ecosystem and currently are working on providing their own space for startups. Berlin is also a natural hub for the East-European startup scene, which is developing at a really fast pace. When startup enthusiasts from this region are seeking for further development chances, their first choice usually will be Berlin.


Having a supporting and stimulating environment around yourself is not good enough for everyone. For those result-oriented, who are only convinced by hard facts and numbers, Sweden’s capital might be the best fit. Stockholm is right after Silicon Valley when it comes to the number of unicorns created – six startups from there surpassed the magical 1 billion $ valuation mark. When you compare the Valley and Stockholm it seems almost unnatural that such a small place could be right after this global giant. But it shouldn’t be a surprise for anyone, when you take a closer look at what is going there: for years the Swedish government has been investing not only in infrastructure, but also in people’s technical skills. Its society is full of young, well-educated, open-minded individuals ready to start their career somewhere in the tech industry – most certainly in the country’s capital and biggest city.


Looking for a strategic location in between the biggest European markets? Maybe you should settle in one of the Benelux countries, from where you can easily reach the biggest hubs such as London, Paris or Berlin. Amsterdam may give you this strategic advantage, and more. Its startup scene is growing not only organically but also with the help of the local government. This combination is already producing fruits. The city itself is boasting of having the continent’s best testbed; being a global launch pad and attracting a pool of talented engineers. Sounds pretty confident, right? For founders looking in a first place for easy access to talented people, but also good infrastructure and good quality of living – this may be the place. Especially if you want to park in an inspiring co-working space, this city has a lot to offer.


It would have been a big faux pas if we’re talking about the quality of living and we don’t mention one the most livable cities in the world – Vienna. For yet another year the city is listed on the very top of Mercer’s annual Quality of Living report. Though it’s not exactly targeted to the startup community, it can convince you that living and working in Vienna can be really great. If you plan to start your entrepreneurial adventure there, you wouldn’t have to worry about necessities of a day-to-day life at all. You can also join the startup community which is constantly developing, thanks to regular meetups and events. Access to guidance or help is easy thanks to organizations such as the Vienna Business Agency, which tries to bind the startup ecosystem together.

There are even more fantastic places where you can start from the scratch with your idea or get your startup to the next level. You can find out about other European cities with our 55+ cities guides available here.


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Photo credit: Jorge Lascar via VisualHunt / CC BY