Singapore, Bangalore among top 20 startup ecosystems

The two Asian cities are ranked 17th and 19th most influential startup ecosystems in the world, signaling the startup scene is moving beyond Silicon Valley.
Written by Liau Yun Qing, Contributor

Singapore and Bangalore are ranked the world's 17th and 19th most influential startup ecosystem, respectively, signifying a global startup revolution.

These findings were published Tuesday in Startup Ecosystem Report 2012, released by Startup Genome and Telefónica Digital. Based on data from more than 50,000 startups around the world, the study concluded Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv and Los Angeles were the top 3 startup hubs.

"Overall, the Startup Ecosystem Index paints a glowingly positive picture of the state of entrepreneurship aorund the world. While Silicon Valley is far and away the strongest ecosystem, just 5 or 10 years ago, most of the other ecosystems on the list either barely existed or didn't exist at all," it said.

startup ecosystem
Startup Ecosystem Index


Two Asian cities among top 20
The report noted Singapore, ranked 17th, has the potential to become the central startup ecosystem of Asia, bringing together the markets of China, India, Indonesia, and Malaysia. The city-state's "unique geographical position at the heart of Asia provides a fertile environment for entrepreneurs to start, grow and scale their businesses not only in Asia, but globally", it added.

Singapore performed well, ranked 8th, in both the funding and talent indexes. The funding index measures how active and how comprehensive the risk capital is in a startup ecosystem, while the talent index measures how talented the founders are in the startup ecosystem.

India's Bangalore also made the top 20 list ranked at 19. The report noted India could well be "one of the toughest countries in the world" for a startup to flourish as it is ranked 140th in the world in nominal GDP per capita despite being one of the fastest growing economies. However, India's large market "provides a foundation for a prospering startup scene", it noted.

Although it ranked 18th in the talent index, the report stated India's rich talent base meant well-educated and highly skilled India Web entrepreneurs had the ability to transform both the country's economy and society. "Bangalore needs to take certain steps to enable entrepreneurs to build global startups and attract talent and capital from abroad," the report said.

The Singapore government has been making concerted efforts to encourage a startup environment, setting aside funds to support such activities and providing access to these via its various agencies including the Economic Development Board and International Enterprise Singapore. 

India's startup ecosystem also is developing, with several local major companies including Infosys, Wadhawan Group, and Wipro, starting up incubators and venture capital funds. In addition, there are initiatives such as the National Entrepreneurship Network (NEN) which links up mentors and students or other members, and IIM Ahmedabad's Centre for Innovation Incubation and Entrepreneurship (CIIE) which seeks to foster innovation through incubation, investment and training.

Editorial standards