Startuptravels has done an excellent job connecting travelling entrepreneurs with fellow businesspeople based in cities across the world, and, according to the number of searches on the website, entrepreneurs want to meet up in Copenhagen, London, Berlin, Vienna and Paris. However, Europe is actively cultivating some less known start-up hubs that may be perfect for trailblazing entrepreneurs.
Here are some locations where young entrepreneurs move to give their start-ups a chance to become powerhouses:
Eindhoven, the Netherlands
According to Forbes contributor Alison Coleman, Eindhoven has been described as one of the most inventive cities in the world, thanks to its productive patent activity. This city is home to start-ups such as Shapeways, a 3D printing marketplace and an interactive education enterprise named Gynzy.
Probably the most important space in Eindhoven is the High Tech Campus, a base for over 130 businesses, as well as 10,000 entrepreneurs and researchers. Plus, the global Entrepreneurship Monitor survey ranked the Netherlands as the European Union’s most entrepreneurial country.
Coleman believes that Budapest may be one of those places young entrepreneurs can call ‘home’. It is a genuine hotbed of engineering expertise, especially if you are planning to grow a business in the area of telecom security. You might not know this, but Prezi –the presentation software tool for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas- is a Hungarian product launched in 2009.
Most of this capital city’s success as a start-up hub has been credited to Peter B. Záboji and his well-known European Entrepreneurship Foundation.
Estonia may be small, but its capital city is a force of nature. We can thank this city for giving us Skype, but Tallinn’s stellar reputation does not necessarily go hand in hand with the app used by roughly 300 million people worldwide. According to the Intelligent Community Forum, Tallinn is one of Europe’s most intelligent cities. Next to the Tallinn University of Technology, the city shelters Science Park Tehnopol and Start-up Incubator –the perfect business environment for tech-based companies.
The city has flawless broadband connectivity, with free, widespread Wi-Fi thanks to a legislation which ruled that internet access is a fundamental human right. Young entrepreneurs receive support from both the state and private sector, which has helped the start-up sector skyrocket.
Portugal may have been severely hit by the Eurozone crisis, but after years of silence, Lisbon is ready to speak again. This city’s entrepreneurial scene is now booming.
In 2014, Portugal saw just over 35,000 new companies established, almost 100 start-ups per day. In the first months of this year, nearly 18,000 new companies were created, an 11 per cent increase comparing to the same period last year. The country has an impressive English-speaking workforce and strong examples of success stories such as fashion start-up Chic by Choice and Uniplaces, an easy and safe platform where students can find and rent rooms and residences.
It’s safe to say that Europe is not all about the big cities. Skype and Prezi are the living proof that great start-ups can be based anywhere, so when an opportunity presents itself, don’t hesitate to have your headquarters in Poland, Ireland, Sweden, the Netherlands or Austria.