There are already several rankings for startups in Europe. Normally different parameters such as the economic and legal situation are combined and analyzed on the basis of complex calculations. The European Startup Initiative (ESI) has now published another hub ranking, which it calls the Startup Heatmap. The difference is that this time around the founders themselves were questioned. More specifically, ESI wanted to know where the company founders would go if they had the opportunity to begin again. The big winners are not at all surprising, and are usually at the top of the rankings. Berlin is rated first, followed by London. Vienna is given higher marks by the founders themselves than one would expect from the typical assessments. Vienna is rated tenth, three notches higher than its average score.
Vienna is attractive as a startup hub for founders from neighboring countries
A detailed analysis shows that 19 percent of all Western European founders and 17 percent of Eastern European founders have a positive view of Vienna as a startup hub. The former group comprises neighboring German-speaking countries, whereas the latter group consists of Austria’s Eastern European neighbors. In contrast, Vienna is considered to be less attractive for founders from other European regions. Vienna has a lot of catching up to do in these areas.
Austria as an immigration country for founders
The fact that Vienna scored poorly according to some criteria and still has upside potential should not divert attention from another ranking, namely the actual immigration rate for founders. Here Austria performs extremely well and is rated second overall. (In this case data is only compiled for entire countries.) Only the Netherlands attracts more founders who immigrate to the country in relation to the total number of startups. In contrast, things are much different for Austria’s southern neighbor. Italy boasts the highest emigration rate for company founders of all countries covered in the study.