Brexit has happened. London has been the number one startup hub in Europe so far – which alternatives should startup founders consider now that we’re in a moment of uncertainty?
Teleport collects and displays data on 156 most creative cities around the world. Within the 180 different data dimensions we use, tech scene and running a business are two things we track quite closely.
As an aftermath of Brexit, UK startups as well as startups that thought about moving there in the near future have to start doing some thinking and research around their options.
We’re here to help with that. Let’s look at some of the tech scene and business scores in Europe in more detail and see how European cities rank (even when we take the until-now fantastic London out of the equation).
What is the startup scene in Europe like?
We’ll focus on three main scores based on Teleport data:
- Startup scene score (consisting of number of startups, increase in number of startups, startup jobs, city followers (on AngelList), investors, jobs per startup)
- Average monthly increase in number of startups
- Venture capital score based on total and average startup funding
Here’s what Europe looks like from those three data points:
Top 5 in general startup scene:
Top 5 in average monthly increase in number of startups:
Top 5 in venture capital score (based on total and average startup funding):
Based on those three startup related layers, it looks like London and Berlin are consistently the main players (and in the relative startup scene growth, Berlin does even better than London), followed by Amsterdam, Barcelona and Paris.
Obviously, startups and their needs are different, which means you should think about what stage you’re in and what you’re currently lacking most. For example, when we compare VC funding and startup scene in Europe, we get this (the size of the bubbles represent the population size):
Correlation between startup scene score and VC score
(The chart is interactive!)
London, Berlin and Paris are up there for both scores, but, say, if you’re a startup that isn’t currently worried about funding, you might want to have a look at something that has a lower score in that and still does great when it comes to the startup scene – like Brussels there.
We’re going to concentrate our following comparisons on the five cities that score best on the three data dimensions we mentioned before, but do check out Teleport Cities to do your own preference toggling specifically according to your needs.
Now that we’ve got the winning team down, let’s see what these cities have to offer.
Options in Europe outside of the UK
London and Berlin – with a highlighted vibrant startup scene and free business environment, respectively. And, on an even more detailed level:
As we can see, even though London is in the lead with startups and venture capital (although not by a huge ton) Berlin takes the cake by quite a bit on housing and cost of living, while still having a strong score in startups as well.
See the whole comparison of London and Berlin (or any other cities) here.
- Venture capital funding
- Increase in startup count
- Startup scene
And adding a few just for the kicks:
- Number of tech events in the city
- Time spent on paying taxes
Here’s what we get:
Even though London is still clearly in the lead on most points, we can also see that the other four cities are definitely not far behind – the chart distribution is pretty even with none of the cities lagging too far behind besides Barcelona, which isn’t doing that great on tech events and VC score.
Now, taking London out of it:
The only aspect Berlin seems to be a tiny bit ahead in is the startup scene score, and Barcelona is still a little bit more behind when it comes to VC’s and tech events, but otherwise, it’s a fairly close match between all the cities.
Alternatives in Scotland and Ireland
Brexit has the potential to trigger a series of other events happening in the UK in the near future. Scotland voted to stay in the EU, but the UK as a whole voted to leave. Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has pledged to do all she can to ensure Scotland remains in the EU despite the UK as a whole voting for Brexit.
Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has called for a border poll on a united Ireland, after the UK has voted to leave the EU.
In case your heart is still set on the British Isles, we list three other cities in that region besides the ones in England – Dublin in Ireland, and Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland. How do they compare to London?
London is completely dominating this chart, but if we leave it out, we can see that Dublin is doing good with the VC score (and is actually in the top 5 in Europe!) as well as monthly increase in startup count.
Edinburgh is looking good on the startup scene and number of tech events, and Glasgow is catching up with the others when it comes to tech events.
Calculating your runway in different cities
London has a booming tech and startup scene, but it’s also notorious for being very expensive. If you’re a startup in the early stages, it’s worth thinking about what being elsewhere but London would do to your runway as well.
Teleport Runway helps to plan your team’s budget and compare costs in your current location to other cities. So, what about runway in London vs runway in Berlin?
Let’s say you have a team of a software engineer, a data scientist, a UX designer, a web developer and a marketing manager, and you’re a startup with 2M dollars in hand.
Hiring this team of 5 in Berlin instead of London would reduce your burn rate by $201,737 per year over London, extending your runway by 41 months.
So, it’s not only that several European cities are stepping on London’s heels when it comes to startup scene and business options – building your startup in one of these cities might actually quite drastically extend your runway.
In the light of Brexit and its impact on the tech scene, a lot of startup founders will be facing some difficult decisions. However, data shows that there are quite a few great alternatives in Europe (and in the rest of the world!) to consider.