Cities Must Compete To Become Start-Up Hubs

Posted on 10th June 2014

According to new research, although technology means that people can work anywhere, so geography shouldn’t be as important as it used to be, start-up clusters need wealth to succeed, and are being lured to big cities like London and New York.

This is because, the research says, the success of a cluster lies as much in the wealth of consumers and investors as the bright ideas produced by its entrepreneurs or any government policy stimulus.

However, even these cities have to fight to attract entrepreneurs as competition intensifies. According to the research, 15 years ago, 80 per cent of educated people would move to a place where they were offered a job but now 64 per cent of a similar cohort choose a city first and a job second.

Interestingly however, the lure of different cities has not changed over the years, with the top 10 start-up cities for tech businesses in 2010 also being in the top 20 in 1990. Moreover, being near a hub could actually deter entrepreneurs from moving to a relatively nearby location, with one study revealing that the problem for entrepreneurship in Scotland is its proximity to London.

However, places like London could lose out in the future to cities with an even more attractive lifestyle, with Santo Domingo in the Dominican Republic being tipped as a ‘hot spot’ for tech start-ups in years to come.

As one commentator put it, in addition to the outstanding amount of software development and outsourced call centres on the island, where children in schools are being trained in programming at a young age, there are also fantastic beaches and a wonderful climate, attractions cities like London lack.

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