Silicon Valley was once the dream destination for budding entrepreneurs. Although it is the undisputed leader for tech entrepreneurs and startup visionaries, other regions on continents around the globe are becoming increasingly worthy competitors. Below we’ve rounded up seven startup hubs around the world that are quickly rising in prominence. 

1. Calgary, Canada

Calgary is a relatively young mid-sized Canadian city and has been named the country’s top city to start a business. It places second in the nation for tech diversity and first for average salary (wages grew 23% in the five-year period from 2010 to 2015). Partnerships between the city, major businesses, and prestigious universities make it one to watch. 

2. Hong Kong, China

Often referred to as the city where “East meets West” Hong Kong is an eclectic fusion of British and Chinese culture. The bustling city is home to over 3,184 start-ups and is one of the most well-connected economies in the world. The city is welcoming of foreign investment and is often seen as a gateway into Mainland China. The government has encouraged innovation with the creation of Cyberport, a business park community home to over 1,400 digital and technology companies.

Victoria Peak in Hong Kong

3. Lisbon, Portugal

The picturesque Portuguese capital has been booming in recent years. In 2017, Portugal’s rapidly growing tech industry raised $350 million in new venture capital. Additionally, in three years private equity investments more than tripled to €7 billion as investors flock to a rebounding economy hungry for additional capital.

Startup hub

Even established corporate giants are choosing Lisbon. Daimler has launched a new major tech hub, and Google announced the construction of an engineering hub in Oeiras, just steps away from Lisbon’s breathtaking beaches, opening up 500 tech jobs.

Read the article ‘The Missing Step: A Story About Lisbon’s Startup Ecosystem’

4. Doha, Qatar 

In 2019, the Harvard Business Review published an article presenting how Qatar is building its own Silicon Valley. Currently, there is a revolution happening in the country Led by Qatar Foundation (QF), a nonprofit organization supporting Qatar’s development through its education, research, and community development initiatives. 

AIA - Doha, Qatar 2020

Qatar entrepreneurship ecosystem is thriving. Home of international renown universities and incredible startups, the country is a tech hub for those who want to invest in the MENA region.

5. Melbourne, Australia

Voted the “World’s Most Livable City” seven years in a row, Melbourne is known for its foodie culture, street art, and live music scene. The city has a rapidly growing population of over 5 million and is soon projected to overtake Sydney as the largest city in the South Pacific. 

Melbourne is a hot-bed of young, creative talent with nine public universities and over 100,000 university students. The city has over 8,000 tech businesses, contributing to a $34 billion industry that is showing no signs of slowing down.

6. Johannesburg, South Africa

The South African Government has been working to make Johannesburg, the largest and wealthiest city in South Africa, the biggest tech hub on the continent. They have developed a coding and programming academy as well as co-working and co-creation spaces for start-ups and young people. In 2016 the Tshimologong Precinct, a digital innovation ecosystem, was born. Made especially for the digital economy, this incubator is a collaboration between universities, corporations, entrepreneurs, and the government.

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