Clockwise from top right: Cape Town, Boston, Tel Aviv and London. Clockwise from top right: Cape Town, Boston, Tel Aviv and London. Clockwise from top right: Cape Town, Boston, Tel Aviv and London. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Startup cities that we love

From Boston to Beijing and parts in between, find out where young entrepreneurs are flocking.

There's a reason HBO's popular show about a fledgling startup is called "Silicon Valley." It's the epicenter of the high-tech scene and a burgeoning spot for an entrepreneur with a good idea.

A new report of the world's best startup cities – commissioned by Startup Genome, a global collaborative team of analysts – bestowed its top honor to the California region known for being home to the likes of Facebook and Google. Other cities that made the list included New York, London, Boston, Beijing and Jerusalem.

It should be no surprise to our readers here at From The Grapevine that the coastal Mediterranean city of Tel Aviv came in at No. 6 on the list. After all, we've reported on a host of Tel Aviv-based startups – including a dating app for dogs, a company that plans on bringing the internet to the far reaches of the earth and another that's literally reinventing glass. Not to mention its high concentration of car technology companies have people calling Tel Aviv the new Motor City. The AMC television network – home to "Breaking Bad," "The Walking Dead" and "Mad Men" – is hoping its next breakout TV hit will be one based on the Israeli city's high-tech scene.

City street themeEmployees at Google's office in Tel Aviv get a nice view of the city from these Vespa-inspired seats in the break room. (Photo: Itay Sikolski/Camenzind Evolution)

"The capital of Israel is Jerusalem, but the capital of the Startup Nation is undoubtedly Tel Aviv," the report's authors wrote. "With some 2,200-2,700 tech startups churning out products for global markets, Tel Aviv has one of the highest startup densities in the world."

Yossi Abramowitz, the CEO of Israel-based Energiya Global, a leading international solar development company, is not surprised that two Israeli cities cracked the top 30. "Israel is big on innovation," he told From The Grapevine. "We are blessed with some of the best universities in the world, a diverse population speaking 70 languages and a tradition of challenging conventional thinking."

A view of the Sandton business district in Johannesburg, South Africa.A view of the Sandton business district in Johannesburg, South Africa. (Photo: Wesley Lazarus/Shutterstock)

Another country, South Africa, also had two cities on the Startup Genome report. Johannesburg and Cape Town, with more than a thousand active startups between them, both made this year's list. "As the financial and corporate epicenter of the continent, Johannesburg is seen by many as the New York of Africa," said Marcellus Schermer, a business analyst in South Africa. Adds the report: "Much of Cape Town's talent comes to the 'Silicon Cape' for its solid academic institutions and stays for its moderate living expenses and friendly people."

In total, 55 cities were considered for this year's report and were rigorously analyzed based on their performance and eight factors driving startup success: funding, market reach, global connectedness, technical talent, startup experience, resource attraction, corporate involvement, founder ambition and strategy.


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