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Growing cities in Eastern Europe
With over 30,000 start-up businesses in Eastern Europe alone, there’s no denying that the East European countries are becoming a sizeable hub for entrepreneurs. Even if Warsaw, Krakow, Prague, Budapest, Bratislava, Tallinn, Riga, or Vilnius do not attract as much capital as the major European top hubs like London, Amsterdam, or Berlin, early stage investment in the region has increased from $10 million to $283 million in just five years.
London, England… For now!
With a Silicon Roundabout in East London, also known as Tech City or East London Tech City, being considered the third largest technology start up cluster in the world after San Francisco and New York, London has been a hot spot for start-ups for as long as anyone can remember. According to Rise High, in 2016 the English capital had over 4000 start-ups, 21,590 digital jobs and 70+ co-working spaces. However, following the ‘leave’ outcome of the June 2016 EU Membership referendum, many concerns have been raised regarding the future of London as a central hub for starts up.
Few months ago, The New York Times posted an interactive article titled “Will London Fall?” – questioning whether or not London had a future as a globalisation and global mobility hub, insinuating that the city will no longer act as a global ‘crossroad’ , like it has done for the past few decades. Even if today, 40% of Europe’s most promising start-ups are based in London, with Brexit on the horizon Eastern Europe is beginning to look far more promising.
According to the Intelligent Community Forum, Tallinn saw a major boom from 2004 to 2007, and it’s only been going up ever since. After the financial crisis, Estonia and Tallinn were hit hard. Thousands of companies had gone bankrupt as a result but since this crash, Tallinn has only grown stronger, building up the foundations of IT-based growth, leaving plenty of room for tech-based start-ups to flock in and improve on the city. With the Tallinn University of Technology creating an enviable talent pool and free WIFI around the entire city, after legislation was passed declaring internet access to be a fundamental human right, Tallinn is perfect for tech-based businesses.
Budapest has its faults as a start-up hub in that the post-communist transformation is still in progress. However, as the capital city of Hungary transforms, so does its start-up market. Entrepreneurs, investors and incubators from Central and Eastern Europe are all drawn here, making it perfect for expats looking for a European start-up location. Businesses such as the remote access service LogMeIn and the increasingly popular presentation software Prezi have come out of Budapest, but much of the start-up success in the city can be put down to Peter B Zaboji and the European Entrepreneurship Foundation (EEF) which has been running an accelerator programme and plenty of events that resonate well with the younger, new generation of entrepreneurs in Hungary.
The capital of Poland is the political and business centre of the largest country in the region. Many corporations have placed their headquarters here, which helps to attracts start-ups. This is the place to be for companies offering business to business services and products. Infrastructure is excellent and a Google Campus – one of six in the world – has recently opened here. The proficient and technologically knowledgeable workforce available makes for the perfect talent pool for start-up companies.
If you’re looking to relocate your business to one of the above countries, get in touch with our team to see how we can help you today.