10 Best International Cities for Millennial Startups
Every business professional needs to consider a number of factors before they can take their first steps toward creating startups. If you haven’t yet decided on the type of business you’re ready to start, or are a new business owner and struggling to grow your business, you might want to think about your ideal location.
Location is often central to a new business’s success. The location determines many factors involving your business. It can affect the amount of taxes you pay, the amount of mentors available, the majority of a workforce’s education, investors, startup support and in general your business’s success.
1. Seoul, Korea
With glittering skylines, a myriad of universities and technological advancement on seemingly every street corner, the Seoul government encourages young entrepreneurship and there are a host of interesting and fun places to locate your business including expos for entrepreneurs across varying industries.
There are plenty of cafes, bars, clubs, and meeting places across Seoul, which makes it worth a visit even if you don’t plan on starting a business there.
2. Sao Paulo, Brazil
Boasting the largest economy in the southern hemisphere, Sao Paulo offers funding and support in the form of a government program called Startup Brazil. Sao Paulo is also known for being extremely open to foreign businesses as well.
Though it doesn’t offer the pomp and glitter of Seoul, Sao Paulo has its own charm. On top of the museums, art galleries, famous football stadium and beautiful natural views, this city has a lot to offer.
4. Hong Kong City, Hong Kong Island
Rife with opportunity, one of the most attractive features of Hong Kong is its tax rate, which isn’t nearly as high as the US. Hong Kong has just about everything a budding entrepreneur could ever need, including a growing economy, openness to foreign businesses and a supportive government. The process of setting up an offshore startup in Hong Kong can be done in around 2 weeks.
There’s a number of fun things to do in Hong Kong, including great shopping, clubs, restaurants (the dim sum is amazing here) and sightseeing. Thanks to its location, you’ll run into a mix of different cultures, most notably the British-Chinese melding of culture and cuisine.
4. Boulder, Colorado, United States
Nestled in the lush green foothills of the Rocky Mountains, Nerdwallet named Boulder the no. 1 best U.S. metropolitan city for starting a business in 2015. Incubators, capital investors and art combine in this mellow city.
In Boulder, the tech scene is booming and full of innovative startups and it’s located near a number of beautiful ski resorts (not to mention gorgeous views no matter what direction you turn).
5. Santiago, Chile
Not only is Santiago rated at the no. 1 city in South America, but it’s among the top 10 most cost friendly cities in the world. Santiago is also known for its low tax rates, which makes it an unmistakably lucrative spot to start any business.
Santiago also happens to be famous for its quality wine. There are several wineries available to visit should you ever have some extra time on your hands. It also boasts beautiful beaches and skiing during the winter.
6. Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA
Brimming with venture capital and a well-educated workforce, Cambridge, home to MIT and Harvard, might just be a goldmine for startups. In 2013 an estimated 933.5 million were raised in venture capital deals for biotech alone.
If the Harvard Museum of National History isn’t enough, you’ll find a plethora of art galleries, historical tours, parks & outdoor activities, bars, local restaurants with Bostonian charm and even Harvard University Herbaria.
7. Nashville, Tennessee, USA
On top of having no state tax, the city offers an option of funding for new businesses. There are six major colleges and a large number of educated workforce which means ample opportunity to hire quality employees.
Most know Nashville for its historic music scene and the famous Parthenon replica, production studios and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Nashville’s southern food scene is also extremely famous and worth exploring.
8. San Francisco, California, USA
San Francisco has long been known for encouraging young entrepreneurs to pursue their dream companies. The city contains a myriad of angel investors, venture capitalists and startups, and is home to several startup incubators.
San Francisco has a wide variety of things to do- so you should never really lack in places to meet and shmooze with clients, or just have a good time in general. Visit the Golden Gate bridge, visit Alcatraz, check out Chinatown, enjoy the nightlife and visit at least one of their art galleries and museums.
9. Mexico City, Mexico
Mexico City has several underlying factors for the budding entrepreneur to consider. The Mexican government is extremely supportive of early startups and entrepreneurship. The government has also changed laws to draw in foreign investors from varying industries.
Coupled with more than 100 incubators, crowdfunding platforms, accelerators and registered venture capital funds, Mexico does what it can to attract business owners to partake in its economy.
Boasting 15 of Latin America’s billionaires, some of the wealthiest in the world, a young population (half of them under 20 years old), an increasingly educated talent pool and a growing middle class, Mexico a goldmine for opportunity.
10. Guangzhou, China
Like Mexico City, Guangzhou’s government is extremely supportive of foreign businesses and investors. Guangzhou actively seeks to become an international trade hub and metropolis.
As it’s the center for the Maritime Silk Road, Guangzhou is perfectly positioned for capital opportunity, making it an up and coming city for new and veteran businesses alike. Up and coming cities are great starting points for upstarts, as the savvy business owner can get her foot in the door while it’s in the early stage of opening.
Let’s not forget that Guangzhou’s culture is renowned for its vibrant traditions and amazing cuisine, which make Guangzhou worth it already.
Now go out, do your own research, and find the right place to lay down your startup’s roots.
Resources for Startups
Here are some awesome resources for startup business owners:
- US Quickbooks: small business/ startup resource center
- Library of Congress: reference guide to small business information
- Alltop: latest news and opinions in the startup scene
- Evernote: tool for cataloguing information
- Y Combinator: seed funding for startups for qualified applicants
- Entreprenuer: 55 business ideas
- SBA.Gov: 10 Essential Ingredients Every Startup Needs
- IRS: tips and important information on starting a business
- UAB School of Business: infographic
With an extensive background in business and small startups, A.D. is widely known for her writing about women in tech and business. She's written for Techcrunch, Blogher, Shewrites, FinancesOnline and more. A nerd who loves to read and look up tech news, A.D.'s favorite thing to do is travel and explore new places. She believes adventure is always around the corner if you're willing to look for it, and if you're not, it might just find you anyway!