Best Cities Around the World to Start a Business

By Thomas Price Saturday, January 16, 2021

Despite the significant economic challenges that 2020 brought due to the COVID-19 pandemic, startup companies and small businesses still were cropping up all over the world and receiving funding. However, what may have been the difference between gaining funding and success for many of those startups was location. Not every city is equal in the eyes of those starting a business, and depending on what kind of startup is being developed, location might be a make or break difference. As a result, many different cities around the globe have become major hotspots for different types of startups. So, what are the best cities to be developing a startup within the coming year, and what industries in particular do these cities benefit the most?

Healthcare

Healthcare startups have been gaining significant traction in more recent years, and especially in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic clearly putting far more focus on the industry. Within the industry, two cities that certainly stand out are New York City, which is home to nearly 200 startups in the healthcare field, and Los Angeles which is home to nearly 100. While both have a massive healthcare infrastructure, New York City in particular has large scale funding to match this, with startups in the city receiving the second most funding in the world for healthcare startups, only behind startup giant, Silicon Valley.

Financial Tech

For the many financial technology, or fintech startups, the cities which provide the most support are not in the United States. Instead cities like London and Singapore sit atop the list with significant financial backing into the industry. The United Kingdom as a whole invested $783 million into fintech startups in 2016, with that number growing larger in recent years, while Singapore in the same year invested almost $100 million despite being much smaller than many others. Both cities benefit from strong government support and proximity to high-level expertise which has in turn created an environment of major success for the fintech startup industry.

Biotech

Biotech startups have also benefited slightly from the focus on environmental sustainability and the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, biotech startups have been subject to a colossal $80.9 billion in funding in recent years. Two cities which have certainly become major supporters of this biotech boom are Boston and San Diego. 

Both cities have become home to a series of influential and important biotech companies and startups including Boston-based Ribbon Therapeutics and San Diego-based Argonaut. Boston alone raised $3.1 billion in 2017 for biotech startups — part of the long-term, upward trajectory the city has seen in funding since 2012. More recently, San Diego saw Amplyx Pharmaceuticals and ChromoCode raised $90 million and $38 million, respectively in the startups’ most recent funding rounds.

Tech

Tech startups have without a doubt been the largest subsection of the field since the beginning, and that trend has really only continued in recent years. As a result, the top of the tech startup cities, without question, still belongs to Silicon Valley, with up-and-comers like Seattle and Tel Aviv making major waves. In fact, all 3 cities were in the top 10 global startup ecosystems according to Startup Genome, with Silicon Valley being ranked number 1. While Silicon Valley is without a doubt, still the king, with $15.4 billion being raised by startups in the area in 2019, Seattle’s $3.59 billion worth of funding in 2019 has shown how impactful the city has become in recent years. At the same time, Tel Aviv now has the highest number of startups per capita of any city in the world, with the majority of those startups being involved in tech.

About the Author


Headshot for author Thomas Price

Tom Price is a writer focusing on Entertainment and Sports Features. He has a degree from NYU in English with a minor in Creative Writing. He has been previously published for Washington Square News, Dignitas, CBR, and Numbers on the Boards.

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