California’s Silicon valley is still the world’s best -- and most renowned -- place to start a tech company, but Canada’s largest city is giving it a run for its money, according to a new survey.
According to Startup Genome, a research company that collects data about “entrepreneurial ecosystems,” Toronto is the fourth best place in the world to launch a new tech company.
That places Toronto behind Silicon Valley (the San Francisco Bay Area), New York City and London, but ahead of many other major cities known for their tech companies, such as Los Angeles and Seattle.
Two other Canadian cities made the top 25 as well -- Vancouver in 16th place, and Montreal in 25th place.
With its financial sector growing in global importance and a knowledge economy replacing traditional industrial jobs, Toronto has been increasingly recognized as a center of innovation. Australian consultancy 2thinknow last year named Toronto the 10th most innovative city in the world, out of 331 measured.
Yet how cities rank on innovation can vary greatly, depending on the criteria. For instance, Calgary didn't make Startup Genome's list, but in a report from the Toronto Board of Trade last month, the Alberta city bested Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver as an information and communications cluster. (That study also placed Paris ahead of Silicon Valley.)
Startup Genome collected data from more than 16,000 fledgling companies to compile its list. Started in 2011, the project is meant to give entrepreneurs insight into their business environments and a way of measuring how their startups are doing compared to others.
“The goal of the project is extremely ambitious - to map, model and analyze what makes startups tick, what helps them succeed and why many of them fail,” the project’s founders wrote on their blog.
As the researchers told TechCrunch, startups tend to cluster near “support networks” -- places where they can find the money and people they need to succeed. And while, for tech companies, that has traditionally been Silicon Valley, in recent years the options for locating a tech startup have grown considerably.
With cities all over the world becoming better incubators of tech companies, Silicon Valley’s competitive advantage is eroding, the researchers said.
Researchers looked at a long list of factors in compiling their list, including startups’ success rate, availability of capital, revenue and even work ethic.
Check out the top 10 cities to launch a tech company, according to Startup Genome.