Top 15: Europe’s biggest startup hubs in 2016

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It’s time for our annual ranking of Europe’s biggest startup cities. Almost exactly 365 days have passed since we did our last research on this topic. Let’s see 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 50 European cities – in relation to this year’s visits on EU-Startups.com – and the associated number of unique visitors; b) The number of startups that are registered for each of these European cities on CrunchBase (since the beginning of 2015); c) The number of startups registered on AngelList for each city. After that, we gave each of these numbers specific weights to get the right ratio. Overall, we applied the same algorithm to our list as in the past year. The number of unique visitors per city obviously received the lowest weighting, since this metric is clearly influenced by our editorial work.

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            2. Berlin           3. Paris

4. Amsterdam     5. Barcelona    6. Madrid

7. Stockholm       8. Dublin         9. Copenhagen

10. Milan           11. Helsinki     12. Munich

13. Lisbon         14. Warsaw      15. Zurich

We compared the new results with our ranking of 2015. Here are the key changes and trends we noticed:

  • We started this ranking in 2011. In 2016, Berlin was able to overtake Paris – for the first time ever. The German capital now ranks as the 2nd biggest startup hub in Europe!
  • As in the year’s before, it was very close between Spain’s two major startup hubs. But Barcelona made the race again!
  • Stockholm (rank 7) was able to overtake Dublin (rank 8). One reason for the downgrade of Dublin could be that the Web Summit, one of the world’s largest startup events, left Dublin for Lisbon. An additonal factor for the exchange between rank 7 and 8 was the strong/positive development of Stockholm’s startup ecosystem within the past year.
  • Between the ranks 11 and 15 there was quite some action. Helsinki jumped from rank number 13 to 11. A big jump! Major startup events like Slush and Arctic15 definitely helped stimulate the growth of the region’s startup scene.
  • Munich and Lisbon both lost 1 rank. Mainly due to the strong development of other startup hubs like Helsinki.
  • Warsaw was able to overtake Zurich. This is a huge step for the Polish capital. In 2011 and 2012, Warsaw wasn’t even in the Top15.

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 good indicator for current developments and trends regarding startup hubs in Europe.