Lena Gaede

Chicago is proving to be a leading global tech startup hub: The city vibes show that early stage startups are gravitating to the ‘Windy City’

The US continues to lead the field in attracting tech startups as we reviewed in our previous article  “Pros and cons of promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Europe vs. US”. Digging a little deeper, Illinois, specifically the Chicago land area, is growing rapidly and has a hugely dynamic and supportive business environment suited especially well to tech startups.

Chicago is more than a world-famous musical title! Business friendliness, coupled with the fast-paced lifestyle, strategic location, relatively low cost of doing business, and healthy economic growth make Chicago an ideal city to start a new business.

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Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Singapore overtaking! Insights for strengths, weaknesses and special powers

So far, we’ve taken a look at startup scenes in both Europe and the US. It’s been interesting, that’s for sure, but let’s take it to a deeper level and take a dip into a completely different culture: SINGAPORE! With several startups in Singapore that have gotten multi-million-dollar funding, Singapore’s well on its way to becoming the South East Asian Silicon Valley! Thanks to serious startup fever going around, coupled with a nation’s state-of-the-art infrastructure and booming venture-capital industry, there’s greatness to expect from the city state. So, lets discover the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of Singapore as a tech startup hub!

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Lena Gaede

German Digital Hub Initiative: CODE_n and partners will accelerate Stuttgart Hub

Frankfurt, Hamburg, Berlin, Munich and now Stuttgart – to name just a few! The Federal Ministry of Economics Affairs and Energy recently announced the launch of twelve digital hubs in Germany as part of its Digital Hub Initiative. The aim of the program is to foster collaboration between companies and business entrepreneurs, thus allowing them to work side by side in close quarters, similar to Silicon Valley. The program will also help fuel collaboration between the German startup scene and industry hotspots. An alliance of regional players, GFT Technologies SE and CODE_n among them, formed a consortium that nominated and qualified Stuttgart as a leading digital hub in Germany. The focus: the industries of the future! The Initiative is a great opportunity to bundle the strengths of the lively local startup scenes, international world market leaders and the excellent science in Germany!

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Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Stuttgart’s startup scene on the fast track! Gain insights into its strengths, weaknesses and special powers

What comes to your mind when hearing “Stuttgart”? Let’s say, other than CODE_n’s home base, do you think of it as a booming scene for startups? No? Well, you might as well reconsider this since Stuttgart is becoming more and more of an insider tip for starting businesses. Yes, you heard right. This German city is capable of so much more than Maultaschen and Spätzle! Today we discover the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of Stuttgart as a tech startup hub!

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Lena Gaede

Pros and cons of promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Europe vs. US – what’s the best choice to start a business?

Long gone are the days when entrepreneurs would start their business right in their hometown. Nowadays, the financial, social and digital advantages that each city can offer to startups have become a lot more important. Since founders often have the agony of choice when searching for a suitable place, we like to take a closer look at cities with promising startup hubs worldwide in a regular basis to determine their pros and cons.

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Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Dublin is the 8th best European city for startups! Here are its special powers

If you don’t think of Dublin as a good city for startups, you should change your mind quickly. The capital city of Ireland is ranked among the top ten cities in Europe for startups – and this is not without good reason! Dublin is like a bridge between the US and Europe and offers a lot of possibilities to start a business. Already more than 1,200 startups figured this out, including sectors like FinTech, EdTech and HealthTech. Surrounded by influential tech firms like Google, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon, Dublin is an attractive location to get off to a flying start with a new successful business. So let us discover the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of Dublin as a tech startup hub!

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Lena Gaede

Promising tech startup hubs worldwide: Helsinki is up and coming! Here are its strengths, weaknesses and special power

What comes to your mind when you think of startup hubs? Silicon Valley, Berlin? Those are no doubt some of the best-known cities in that context. But we all know the world of startups is always in motion! New centers of innovative entrepreneurship come up like rising stars and offer new possibilities. Just like Helsinki! Finland’s capital has evolved to an innovative stronghold and surely is a city to keep an eye on. Helsinki is said to host over 500 tech startups and holds its share at the Nordic countries having Europe’s fastest growing startup scene. Let us dive deeper into the strengths, weaknesses and special powers of Helsinki as a tech startup hub!

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Janina Benz

Go East: Central and Eastern European Startups Scenes

When it comes to the startup scene in Europe, London and Berlin may be the best known, but like the industry itself, everyone’s on the hunt for the Next Big Thing. In Central and Eastern Europe, though, it’s not just one Big Thing—cities from Budapest to Bucharest and from Krakow to Moscow are hotbeds of activity for promising new companies. Even within countries, it’s common to find several startup clusters; Poland, arguably the startup leader in Eastern Europe, has seen new ventures spring up in Warsaw as well as Krakow and Poznan.

Regardless of where you go, startups are hard at work inventing the future. According to Tomasz Czapliński of LMS Invest, what sets it apart is that the region boasts “really open-minded people who are now learning and trying to start their own business; who think in unconventional way in terms of ‘old’ businesses.” As founders and developers often come from an engineering background, typically working at large companies before striking out on their own, startups are more focused on technical solutions rather than the social and mobile companies that are so popular in the US. Startups also have an advantage in that although their employees are highly skilled, they are still less expensive than their competitors in Western Europe.

Several companies, including Prezi from Hungary, Parallels from Russia, and a little calling service you may have heard of from Estonia have already found international success, and the formation of networks and incubators is certain to lead to greater achievements in the near future. Of course, as the startup culture is still relatively new to the region, entrepreneurs face several challenges:

  • Funding: Although companies have attracted foreign investment, funding is lacking, so it’s essential to build up strong domestic VC firms
  • Expanding: Founders must think internationally from the beginning or risk getting stuck in a mid-sized market
  • Recruiting: Young people have traditionally opted for secure jobs in government and the corporate world; failure must be made culturally acceptable

CeBIT may have ended for 2013, but as the founders and investors of startups in Central and Eastern Europe will attest, these first steps are only the beginning. As Czapliński noted, the most important thing to know about the region is that it’s full of “people still looking for solutions that make their lives easier.”

Our thanks to Tomasz Czapliński for the interview.