Cork and Dublin named top cities for launching a start-up

12 Oct 2021

Cork city. Image: © kanuman/

Cork and Dublin were both ranked in the top 10 best places to launch a start-up, ahead of cities such as Singapore and Berlin.

Danish cities Copenhagen and Aarhus are the best locations from which to launch a start-up, according to a ranking by online financial comparison service

But Irish cities Cork and Dublin both made it into the top 10, with Cork ranking at number eight and Dublin coming in fourth place.

The Irish capital ranked ahead of both London and Manchester, which came in sixth and fifth place respectively. It was beaten to third place by Prague.

Cork ranked ahead of Polish city Kraków but behind Bergen in Norway. No non-European location made it into the top 10 list. Singapore came in at number 12 and Montreal was in 15th.

The list was compiled by based on several factors, including a location’s corporate tax rate, business registration fees, the cost of renting a desk in co-working space, coffee shops per person, average broadband downloads speed, student population, world university rankings from Times Higher Education and employer social security rates.

First-placed Copenhagen scored 77.7 and Aarhus scored 73.7 out of a possible total of 100. Dublin scored 66.8 and Cork scored 61.5.

Both Irish cities performed well on corporate tax. However, Ireland recently signed a deal with the OECD to change its corporate tax rates to 15pc from 12.5pc as part of efforts to have a standardised global tax rate.

Aarhus, Stockholm and Montreal were found to offer the cheapest co-working spaces per desk. Cork boasted the most coffee shops per resident, ahead of Prague and Espoo in Finland.

The 10 lowest scoring cities on the list were Milan, Marseille, Antwerp, Rome, Tel Aviv, Helsinki, Jerusalem, New York, Stockholm and Rotterdam.

However, New York recently ranked highly in Startup Genome’s list of best cities in the world for start-ups. The US city was in joint-second place alongside London, while Silicon Valley took the top spot.

Dublin was also recently named as one of the best locations in the world from which to work remotely. In a report by remote working specialists Remote, Dublin came in at number nine in a top 10 that included major cities such as Berlin, Toronto, Madrid and Sydney.

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Blathnaid O’Dea is Careers reporter at Silicon Republic