Amsterdam climbs up the rankings

Startup Genome has released its Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2019, which explores the driving factors behind the success of startups and how ecosystems perform. Amsterdam experienced the largest rankings gains of any city, moving up four spots to claim 15th place in the Global Ecosystem Ranking and fifth place in Europe, as well as 16th place in the Software Ecosystem Ranking. 

The city’s rise was made possible by increased funding and strong performance in the areas of life sciences and deep tech. Startup exits (the point at which an investor sells their stake in a company to realise their gains or losses) and output (the number and growth of software startups in the ecosystem, not including hardware and life sciences businesses) also helped its performance. Additionally, the multi-billion dollar IPOs of Adyen and Elastic contributed to Amsterdam’s strong performance in the report.  

Europe’s share of top startup ecosystems has steadily increased as well, moving from 25% in 2012 to 33% this year. Thanks to its quick climb up the rankings, Amsterdam, along with Shanghai and Stockholm, was named as a “riser ecosystem”. The three cities did not make the top 20 positions in 2012, but are among the top 15 in 2019. 

Staying connected

The report also revealed that global and local connectedness are vital to startup success. According to the report, global connectedness centres on how strongly local startups are linked with the “global fabric of knowledge, quantified through the number of relationships and local meetings with founders from top global ecosystems.” 

Local connectedness, on the other hand, is seen as a “function of how much support startups receive locally (measured as founders-helping-founders, as well as investors and experts helping startups), meaningful local relationships (among founders, inventors and experts), and collisions (number and density of local tech events).” 


Concentrated wealth

Although the wealth created by startup ecosystems is significant, it is not evenly distributed at present. The report states that “over two-thirds (68%) of tech exit value is created and captured by the top 10 cities globally.  This concentration, however, appears to be declining: it was 87% in 2011-2012.” Continuing, it explains that there is a pressing need to help other groups (including women, racial minorities and people of different socio-economic backgrounds) benefit from the success of startups. If this does not happen, it warns that there will be a serious economic, political, and human price to pay.

Looking beyond Silicon Valley

Though North American cities and regions continue dominating the startup field, healthy ecosystems are developing around the world. The startup scene as a whole is globalising and Startup Genome believes that by connecting with one another and sharing contacts and knowledge, ecosystems in different countries and cities can become thriving magnets that attract talent and investment. 

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