This new Compass (formerly Startup Genome) report presents the first Ecosystem Lifecycle model plus lessons that apply to startups and ecosystem leaders worldwide. It marks the first time the wealth of data compiled for the Global report 2015 is used to perform an in-depth analysis of an ecosystem. It also offers recommendations as to how small and medium-sized ecosystems can accelerate their growth and compete with top ones.
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The startup revolution is a global phenomenon. It has taken center-stage as startups have become the primary engine of job creation and economic growth throughout the world, while large corporations continue to cut down on their workforce to compensate for the long slide in returns on assets.
But as many cities struggle to join the circle of successful startup ecosystems, they face the many challenges of global competition for resources such as entrepreneurs and investors, which are attracted by the multitude of success stories of the top startup ecosystems such as Silicon Valley.
The good news is a few medium-sized cities seem to have “cracked the case“ and made it to the top. With populations of 2 to 3 million, Tel Aviv’s startup ecosystem ranks number 5 in the world while Austin and Vancouver are part of the top 20—each one an impressive feat.
In a real-life story of David versus Goliath, the Waterloo Region in Canada ranks #25 in the Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking 2015 with a population of only half a million. Its startup density is second only to Silicon Valley and a full 50% higher than its closest follower. How can such a small city compete against cities 10 to 30 times their size such as Rio, Atlanta and Rome? How can it be so productive and effective at developing innovative technologies and startups?
Today the lessons from Waterloo are of global relevance for every stakeholder working on growing startup ecosystems and creating economic growth—from investors and business leaders to policymakers and economists.