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The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020 (GSER 2020)

Rankings 2020: Top 100 Emerging Ecosystems

The Top Global Ecosystems of Today and Tomorrow

Startup Genome has nearly doubled the number of ecosystems studied since 2019 — assessing over 270 ecosystems across over 100 countries to rank the top 30 globally and runners-up. Our ranking this year goes beyond the top ecosystems to include “Emerging Ecosystems” — the next 100 ecosystems after the top ones.

As startup culture and entrepreneurship spreads across the world, different ecosystems are gaining relevance and impacting economies in a meaningful way. The factor weights used to rank these ecosystems are slightly different from those used with top ecosystems (detailed in our methodology section) to reflect their emerging status and emphasize the factors that influence more in ecosystems that are just beginning to grow.


Key Findings

  • The top 10 Emerging Ecosystems are, in order: #1 Mumbai, #2 Jakarta, #3 Zurich, #4 Greater Helsinki, #5 Guangzhou, #6 (tie) Barcelona, #6 (tie) Madrid, #8 Philadelphia, #9 Manchester-Liverpool, and #10 Research Triangle.
  • Combined, the Emerging Ecosystems represent 49 countries and $348 billion in Ecosystem Value.  
  • Europe is the leading continent for Emerging Ecosystems, with 38 cities in the list followed by North America with 32 startup ecosystems and Asia-Pacific is third with 22 ecosystems.

Since 2010, these ecosystems have combined to generate 115 billion-dollar club startups. Nearly 60 of these startup ecosystems across over 20 countries have seen either a unicorn or a billion-dollar exit. Of these, 27 ecosystems have seen at least two such deals. Startups have become a top growth engine of the economy and policymakers are putting more energy and focus into the development of their startup ecosystems.



Ranking Table


Emerging Leaders

A few startup ecosystems stand out from the 100 emerging startup ecosystems based across some key factors.





Europe Leads the way

Europe leads in terms of constituents in the Emerging Ecosystems list with 38 startup ecosystems. Eight of these are from Eastern Europe. It is followed by North America with 32 startup ecosystems and Asia-Pacific is third with 22 ecosystems.


Ecosystem Archetypes

As these ecosystems expand and startups compete globally, ecosystem builders will have to play an important role in forging the path ahead. These growing ecosystems can learn from leader startup ecosystems to leverage their strengths and accordingly focus their efforts and resources. Startup Genome’s years of research and insights have helped us to identify five key Ecosystem Archetypes, based on the primary dimension of the ecosystem, potential, challenges, success strategy and roadmap.

Five Ecosystem Archetypes:



Not on the list?
If your ecosystem is not on this list and you want to know where you stand, please reach out to us (Adam Bregu: [email protected]). Startup Genome has assessed nearly 300 ecosystems globally, although not all of them are published here.