Top 6 European Cities to Build Your Startup

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According to Rotterdam-based accommodation company Nestpick, London is one of the best cities to launch a startup. The company recently released its list of the best European cities to begin a startup; a short list based on (their) experience and research into those factors that affect startups: cultural, political and economic. Here are the top six cities, based on Nestpick’s research.

See also: Europe’s Top Technology Startup Destinatinon Revealed

1. Berlin

According to a McKinsey study quoted by Nestpick, Berlin is poised to create more than 100,000 new jobs through startups by the year 2020. The city already boasts well-known startups including Nestpick, SoundCloud, Wooga, and Zalando.

 2. Budapest, Hungary

Nestpick describes Budapest as “one of the hidden champions among entrepreneurs”. A combination of a good “ecosystem of accelerators, funding sources and co-working spaces” make it an attractive location proposition for a startup. Other appealing aspects include the low cost of goods, a highly educated workforce, and “exceptionally” fast internet. Startup successes in Hungary include Prezi, Ustream and LogMeIn.

3. London, England

Startups have been a pivotal focus for the UK government, with the creation of Tech City in East London being one result of this. In addition, London is well-known for its excellent business schools (London Business School produces the richest alumni in the country, according to a recent report) which, according to Nestpick, serve as “magnets” for entrepreneurs worldwide. Three examples of successful startup stories are Candy, Hailo, and Shazam.

4. Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona’s startups are in diverse fields, from gaming to B2B to travel. The Spanish government has been proactive in its support for entrepreneurs, notably through the introduction of tax breaks and funding programmes. Successful startup stories include Watly Lively WaterGreen Earth Aerogels and BMAT.

5. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

An increasing number of accelerators, angel and VC networks, and booming creative and digital sectors make the city a highly attractive proposition for a startup launch. Nestpick deems Amsterdam to be the “most creative global city, as well as the world’s largest digital exchange platform”. Unsurprisingly, Amsterdam attracts startups from the fields of information and communications technology. According to Nestpick, the rate of entrepreneurship in the Netherlands is higher than the European average. Successful startup stories include WeTransfer, Layar, and Mipagar.

6. Tallinn, Estonia

Estonia is one of the smallest countries on the planet (by virtue of its land mass) but boasts a larger number of startups per head of population when compared with any other European country. And the country attracts numerous eagle-eyed angel investors, too, who benefit from the Estonian government’s co-investing system, SmartCap. Success stories include Skype, Zerply, GrabCad and

See also: The Costs of Running a Startup

When buying property, we often hear the refrain “location, location, location”. The same is true of finding entrepreneurial success: being in the right place is essential. Not all environments are conducive to entrepreneurism, so it pays to do your research. Hopefully, this list will help, and you might gain some further inspiration by reading about the entrepreneurial journeys of the startups that are listed in the examples.


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