No doubt you’re aware of Silicon Valley, located in the southern San Francisco Bay Area of California, and home to leading tech companies such Apple, Facebook and Google to name a few. Lauded as one of the most socially progressive cities in America, Silicon Valley is home to an extensive range of well-known successful brands and emerging start up companies all of which contribute to the area’s innovative and continually changing community.
However the famous San-Fran tech hub is not the only place to house cutting-edge businesses. We trot across the globe to bring you the world’s cities that are making their own unique and progressive mark in tech, culture and environment.
Germany’s capital is fast-becoming the destination for some of the world’s most promising start-up companies. Boasting young businesses such as fashion etailer Zalando, that has 15million customers and 9,000 employees, as well as music storage company SoundCloud, estimated to value €6.5 billion, Berlin’s start-ups raised about $2.2bn in venture capital last year. According to Greunden (an advisory agency for fledgling businesses) a new start-up is founded every 20 minutes in Berlin and it’s not that hard to understand why. Its young millennial workforce is well educated and drawn to affordable housing - rent is typically cheaper than its European counterparts. While Berlin may not be famed for its art, its cultural scene is also thriving, boasting exciting nightlife, drawing in migrants from surrounding areas to work, live and play.
Europe’s tourist epicenter includes music streaming monopoly Spotify, as well as international companies such as Skype and Minecraft (the world’s best selling PC game). Last year the city was awarded 8th place on the Economist Intelligence Unit’s most competitive city in the world. With venture capital totally $200 million invested by U.S firms, Stockholm is fast on the rise to become Europe’s strongest tech competitor.
While technically soon to detached from Europe it’s impossible to disregard its stronghold in the European tech industry. London is at the forefront of innovation from some of the most impressive skyscrapers to its dense intricate web that we call the London Underground. In addition the average broadband speed is marginally slower than that of New York, second only to Silicon Valley. Some notable tech companies spawned in London include Transferwise, a platform that allows people to transfer money while abroad at a rate less than banks offer, and Lyst, a site that accumulates a personal feed of luxury items from a number of e-commerce site in one handy place. Perhaps London’s greatest strength in the tech industry is its ability to present tech in a meaningful and coherent way to consumers through a range of cultural events.