Top 15: Europe’s biggest startup cities in 2015

Startup_CitiesIn 2011 and in 2012, we tried to come up with a ranking of Europe’s biggest startup cities. Both articles, which involved a fair amount of research, generated a lot of interest amongst our readers. Now, after pausing in 2013/14, it’s time for an updated ranking to find out what has changed since then.

In order to come up with the new ranking, we collected the following info and stuffed it into an Excel sheet: a) The top 60 European cities – in relation to this year’s visits on – and the associated number of unique visitors; b) The number of startups that are registered for each of these European cities on CrunchBase (both for 2015 and in total); c) The number of startups registered on AngelList for each city (both for 2015 and in total). After that, we gave each of the these numbers specific weights to get the right ratio. Over all, we applied the same algorithm to our list as in the past. Only change: In order to come up with a slightly more accurate ranking this year, we gave the number of unique visitors an even lower weight as in 2011 and 2012.

Please note, that the resulting ranking isn’t a final judgment about the real importance of each of these cities for the European startup world. It’s more like a mirror of the digital presence of these cities in the English speaking startup universe. And here we are:

1. London (UK)                6. Madrid (Spain)                     11. Munich (Germany)

2. Paris (France)                     7. Dublin (Ireland)                      12. Lisbon (Portugal)

3. Berlin (Germany)                   8. Stockholm (Sweden)             13. Helsinki (Finland)

4. Amsterdam (Natherland)       9. Copenhagen (Denmark)          14. Zurich (Switzerland)

5. Barcelona (Spain)         10. Milan (Italy)                       15. Warsaw (Austria)

If you compare this ranking with our results of 2012, you’ll notice that the first four ranks stayed the same. Although Paris and Berlin were very close this time! Here are some changes/trends we noticed while comparing our results of 2012 and 2015:

  • Between rank 5 and 15 there were quite a lot of changes. It starts with Spain’s two major startup hubs. While Barcelona and Madrid were very close, this time Barcelona made the race!
  • Dublin went from rank 9 in 2012 to rank 7 in 2015. Probably impacted by initiatives like the Web Summit and Ireland’s startup friendly politics.
  • Copenhagen also seems to develop quite well. The Danish capital made a huge jump from rank 12 to 9.
  • Also quite a surprise: Lisbon, which was not even on the list in 2012, now made it to rank number 12. You might have noticed, that people started talking about the startup hub Lisbon like “it’s Berlin, but with a beach”.
  • Hamburg and Vienna didn’t make it into the top15 this year. Instead, Warsaw entered the ranking and landed on rank number 15.

Again, our ranking isn’t meant to be a final judgment about the real importance of each of these cities for the European startup world. Investment activities haven’t been considered either. But we think that the ranking above is a nice indicator for some trends in the development of startup hubs in Europe.

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