London ranks as the number one city for start-ups

London has been named the number one city for start-ups in Europe, according to the European Digital City Index (EDCI), which was developed by charity Nesta in association with the European Digital Forum.

The analysis named the best cities for digital start-ups and innovation, and was created to provide a “holistic and local view across Europe, describing what ecosystem factors are most conducive to encouraging digital start-ups (and scale-ups).”

According to Consultancy UK, the study looked at cities with a “strong entrepreneurial profile” and collected data based on interviews with over 70 experts across Europe, along with “secondary academic literary analysis” of the cities.

Entrepreneurial spirit

The analysis showed that London ranked highly based on its “entrepreneurial spirit” and “knowledge spill-over.” However, the city ranked a little lower on its business environment due to the cost of living being expensive and the high cost of talent.

Amsterdam was voted the second best city for start-ups for its strong business environment and “entrepreneurial culture.” However, the city scored lower in areas such as digital infrastructure and market, with the cost of living being considered too expensive.

Stockholm came in at number three, ranking highly as a result of its high number of start-ups. The city currently has 8,000 start-ups with around 52,000 employees.


The analysis also looked at scale-up viability, with London once again ranking at number one. The city secured the number one spot based on factors such as “entrepreneurial spirit” and providing the best access to capital.

Also scoring highly in this area were Cambridge and Oxford, which came in at number eleven and three respectively.

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