Berlin continuing to lead European tech innovation 

Berlin has become established as one of the central tech hubs in Europe.

As it continues to challenge the tech supremacy of cities including London, New York, and Amsterdam the start-up culture is thriving.  

As well as the established infrastructure and high-tech industry success in the city, Berlin provides a highly skilled workforce, acumen that can be invaluable for those looking for the best cities for tech start-ups and ventures.  

When it comes to new tech ventures, Start-Up Map Berlin offers an insight into the buoyancy and growth across the city.  

Although an approximation, it estimates that more than 4,400 start-ups are currently based in Berlin.  

This translates to about 124 start-ups for every 100,000 Berliners, making it a genuine tech start-up hub that significantly supports and impacts the local and national economy.  

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In spring 2023, Volkswagen AG announced further increases in tech-related investments in Berlin and across Germany.

In a move showcasing how the city continues to be a multi-industry tech hub, the investments are earmarked for software development for Volkswagen’s EV production, designed to close the competitive gap with Tesla Inc.

With their five-year spending plan estimated to be generating a 13% rise in overall investments, two-thirds of this will be designated for software and electric vehicle development.

Start-up workforce talent driving Berlin tech sector growth 

In terms of employment, as one of the best cities for tech start-ups it is no surprise that new tech ventures in Berlin employ 33 people on average, with one out of ten employing more than 50 people.  

During the Covid-19 pandemic, Berlin showed robust resilience with more than 680 tech start-ups registered in the city during 2020.  

This was, in part, due to a significant increase in international investments, an increase of about 150% on the 2019 figure.  

Initiatives including Silicon Allee, a start-up hub spread across Berlin to assist the network of tech workers, and Factory Berlin, a campus that helps start-ups to connect with well-established tech companies.

Each of these are designed to nurture collaboration and growth for the tech sector in the city, promoting it as a start-up hub for new companies and investors.

Stockholm tech start-up culture continues to flourish

As the capital and most populous city in Sweden, Stockholm is the financial centre of Scandinavia. The region covered by greater Stockholm accounts for about 45% of the country’s GDP.  

Though it boasts a diverse economy, the tech sector in Stockholm continues to expand, and start-ups in the city are on the rise.  

As an established tech hub, Stockholm is responsible for producing more unicorns (a privately held start-up company valued at more than $1bn) per capita than any location outside Silicon Valley.  

These companies include Skype, Spotify and Mojang, the video game developer behind Minecraft.  

When researching the best cities for tech start-ups, investments in the sector can be a useful barometer of the current fiscal and overall state of the industry landscape.  

According to the Finnish Venture Capital Association, Sweden is the second-largest European country in terms of investment volume in tech startups, much of which is concentrated in and around Stockholm.  

Innovation meets collaboration in Stockholm-based initiative 

Part of the reason Stockholm can be considered one of the best cities for tech start-ups is the collaborative environment between academic institutions, tech investors and research facilities.  

Since the launch of the tech-supporting Innovation Stockholm initiative in 2010, start-ups have been able to benefit from a network designed to further tech advancements and nurture sector success in Stockholm.  

With support from industry and government, the region is looking to become the world’s most innovative tech-driven region by the end of 2025.  

Coupled with the tech-trained workforce, this acts as a significant draw for investors and makes the city an attractive proposition for new tech ventures.  

As the organisation and related network continue to stimulate innovation and encourage collaboration between public authorities, business and academia, tech start-ups continue to open in Stockholm.  

Public authorities including CAB Stockholm, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm City, Invest Stockholm and the Association of Municipalities in Stockholm County continue to work with academic institutions including KTH, Karolinska Institute and Stockholm University.  

In addition to this support, tech start-ups can take advantage of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce’s networking opportunities.  

From stakeholder discussions to curated discussion groups, the chance to make relationships and form potential partnerships for innovation and development are part of the city’s business-friendly tech start-up environment.  

With recent new ventures involving battery developer Northvolt, emerging unicorn company Budbee and online electric vehicle sales platform Carla, Stockholm is now establishing itself as one of the best cities in Europe for tech start-ups. 

Amsterdam tech hub strengthened by ongoing investment 

Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands, with a metropolitan population of about 2.4 million.  

As a city with a diverse economy and excellent access to mainland Europe, many of the world’s largest companies have chosen to locate their European headquarters in Amsterdam.  

When it comes to the best cities for tech start-ups, the presence of established tech-sector companies in Amsterdam, including Uber, Netflix and Tesla, showcase the city’s status as a hub for the industry and a location for new ventures.  

Recent new ventures operating in Amsterdam include leading electric vehicle charger manufacture EvBox, online tool rental marketplace platform Peerby, and Sympower, the developer of a renewable energy system specifically designed to respond to disturbances and fluctuations in supply and demand of the grid.  

With the global food supply becoming more agritech-based, (Amsterdam and the Netherlands more widely) is emerging as one of the sector leaders in Europe and across the world. More confirmation of this was seen in the recent investment of 1.5 million Euros by Dutch agritech start up Agurotech.

Designated to strengthen a more sustainable future for farming and food supply, the company has also signaled its intent to grow and expand further.

As the farming industry and farmers continue to be under immense pressure, this is a welcome investment and a further sign that Amsterdam is an attractive market for industry investment and growth.

With more tech companies already investing in the city and a sector that shows no signs of slowing, Amsterdam is now firmly established as one of the best cities in Europe for tech start-ups.  

Information, Data and Statistics from Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Statista, Globalisation and World Cities Research Network.