Dublin drops out of top 10 start-up cities ranking in Europe

1 Sep 2023

Image: © tilialucida/Stock.adobe.com

At rank 11, Dublin trails behind cities such as Helsinki and Madrid in the StartupBlink European cities ranking, while Ireland remains in the top 10 European countries.

Dublin has dropped two spots to number 11 in a ranking of European cities that have the best start-up ecosystems.

According to StartupBlink’s latest Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023, Dublin ranks 11th in Europe and 51st in the world – dropping two and five positions respectively from 2022.

In the whole of Europe, which includes Moscow at number six, Dublin takes the 11th spot with a total score of 12.93, which is based on the number of start-ups within the ecosystem, the amount of start-ups that are unicorns and the availability of funding.

By comparison, London, which ranked highest in Europe and third in the world for its start-up ecosystem, had a total score of more than 127. San Francisco and New York took first and second place globally, while Los Angeles and Boston came in at fourth and fifth.

Helsinki replaced Dublin’s number nine spot in Europe from last year after jumping five points in the global rankings, while Madrid came in at rank 10. However, when specifically looking at EU rankings, Dublin maintains its position in the top 10 at number nine.

Other Irish cities to make the annual list of start-up ecosystems are Cork, Galway, Limerick, Tralee and Dundalk, with Kilkenny and Sligo making debut appearances on the list.

Overall, Ireland was ranked 16th on the global list, losing its number 15 spot from last year to Spain. In Europe, Ireland bagged the 10th spot in the rankings, while in the EU, Ireland was ranked eighth.

Some of the biggest start-up unicorns based in Ireland that StartupBlink singled out in its 2023 report are software testing platform BrowserStock, revenue-based financing platform Wayflyer and on-demand food business Flipdish, all of which are headquartered in Dublin.

“Now that Brexit has made the UK a more difficult option for immigration, Ireland is a good substitute for EU tech talent wishing to relocate to an English speaking country with an abundance of tech jobs,” the report noted.

“However, Ireland’s potential has yet to be fully realised, and many talented Irish founders still choose to relocate or establish their start-ups in more prominent ecosystems.”

The report gave the example of Stripe, which is founded by the Limerick-born Collison brothers and dually headquartered between San Francisco and Dublin. “The public sector is trying to reverse this trend with measures aimed at attracting investment,” it added.

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic