Move over Silicon Valley, your reign as the global leader among tech cities is over.
While the city has enjoyed unparalleled success over the last decade, it is no longer considered as a cornerstone for future tech progress and creativity. While it may continue to host tech giants such as Google, Facebook, and Apple, the city’s structural change and obscured availability of cheap funding is forcing new startups to look elsewhere to call home.
Alternatively, many cities around the world want to take advantage of the growing tech momentum and attract innovative companies to their region to boost economic growth.
While the Bay Area may have been the first, the following international destinations are quickly becoming distinguished in the startup world.
You may note that some of the cities mentioned may not seem like a conventional choice for companies. We’ve rounded up our list based on several factors including entrepreneurial programs, investors and incubators, and availability of talent.
Toronto is evolving on its strengths. The city allows a strong and diverse society for many collaborative programs that encourage startups’ expertise to capitalize. It also offers an excellent network for entrepreneurs to sustain and thrive.
The city also has a history of attracting many smaller and medium-sized companies that have been perceived as the foundation for the growing Canadian economy.
Additionally, Toronto’s Economic Growth Division boosts entrepreneurial ventures with many innovative infrastructures by offering affordable shared working spaces, incubators, hubs, and accelerator programs.
While Toronto has already started bringing in tech giants such as Salesforce to open up offices and take advantage of the low hiring and operating costs, you can expect to see the city explode with new startups and mid-level enterprises over the next few years.
This is the second Canadian city that has made our list, and for good reason.
Originally home to BlackBerry, the Waterloo-Kitchener corridor has seen a recent surge in tech giants such as Google and McAfee opening up offices in the region. The cities have been attracting tech companies to settle in this small corridor due to lower operation costs and a growing pool of tech talent graduating from nearby universities and colleges.
Recently, the mayor of Kitchener was seen pitching to companies in San Francisco to consider opening up or moving offices to the small Canadian region due to its strong production of top tech talent, thanks to the University of Waterloo, McGill, University of Toronto and more.
Recently, CNBC named Austin as the number one place in America to start a business. It also labeled the capital city of Texas as the center for “small-business vitality“.
The locals here are generous, taking out time to support and assist entrepreneurs, and the city is advancing its networks for supporting over 10 incubators, accelerators, and hubs.
It’s also been reported that there is a special service offered for seed-stage companies, which makes it a lucrative location for startups.
Besides, Austin secures higher than Silicon Valley in terms of the cost of doing business. It also has a more desirable microenvironment for startups’ success and offers a higher quality of life and security for residents living in the city. These factors have been attracting a lot of families to relocate from other parts of the country and create a far more diverse and skilled pool of talent available for hire.
China’s vast capital is all set to take Silicon Valley’s crown as the premier tech hub of the world. With one of the highest early-stage funding generated in the world, CB Insights reports that Bejing is set to bring in $75 billion worth of tech deals.
Several factors are driving Beijing’s growing appeal. There is the notably low cost of living, for one — especially critical for the numerous early-stage companies immersing into the city. The Beijing market also has a strong urge for change and innovation.
The report also stated, “Beijing and Shanghai are poised to be the tech hubs of the future. They lead among high-growth hubs for unicorns, mega-rounds, and large exits. Company creation is accelerating.”
Although certain language and cultural barriers are holding many North American and European countries to move to Beijing, we will likely see more startups being funded through investors and accelerator programs there.
With a new Google Campus in the city and a well-developed startup infrastructure, Warsaw is slowly becoming one of the most sought after tech cities in the world.
As one of Poland’s largest city and capital, Warsaw is a dynamic business center in the EU and at the core of the country’s economic and financial success. It also boasts a prominent center of development and research with more than 4,500 researchers and over 40 centers.
Over the last few years, an abundance of a technically competent workforce allowed many multinational companies such as Samsung, Siemens, Microsoft, Intel, and IBM to establish heir R&D centers in Poland.
Startups that are based in Warsaw are mainly in the B2B SaaS space, and approximately 50% sell their products internationally to companies in Europe and the US. While the startup ecosystem is decentralizing at a rapid pace, there is a growing number of startups drawing investments from Krakow and Wroclaw as well.
Although there is a lack of VC funding in the city, it’s slowly gaining interest among international and EU investors. At the current trajectory, Warsaw is continuing to scale at a rapid pace and set to become a booming tech city soon
Other notable mentions
While we feel that the above five tech cities are the next big hub for the industry, the following are some notable mentions that are also flourishing in the tech space: