London ranks best in Europe’s top cities for digital entrepreneurs, according to the European Digital City Index (EDCi).

The European Digital City Index (EDCi) measures what start-ups and scale-ups think are most important when identifying the benefits and challenges of a city.

The index was launched by Nesta as part of its work on the European Digital Forum, a project with the Lisbon Council to promote the digital economy. The EDCi measures Europe’s capital cities against ten criteria set by digital businesses themselves, and is supported by policymakers and academics. The ten criteria are: access to capital, business environment, digital infrastructure, skills, entrepreneurial culture, knowledge spill-overs, lifestyle, market, mentoring and managerial assistance, and the non-digital infrastructure.

“Entrepreneurship, particularly digital entrepreneurship, is vitally important for innovation and growth but not all cities provide equally fertile ground for these businesses. Our research indicates that location does matter, and illustrates the ways in which top cities create a supportive environment and where lessons can be learnt.” – Chris Haley, head of start-ups and new technology research at Nesta

The ranking can be customised, adjusting the importance of each individual criteria on a five-point-scale, for both start-ups and scale-ups. Its purpose is to help entrepreneurs and city policymakers to identify strengths and weaknesses of a particular city.

Top ten cities for digital entrepreneurs according to EDCi:

Start-ups:

  1. London
  2. Amsterdam
  3. Stockholm
  4. Helsinki
  5. Copenhagen
  6. Paris
  7. Berlin
  8. Dublin
  9. Brussels
  10. Munich

Scale-ups:

  1. London
  2. Stockholm
  3. Amsterdam
  4. Helsinki
  5. Copenhagen
  6. Paris
  7. Brussels
  8. Dublin
  9. Berlin
  10. Munich


For both start-ups and scale-ups, London ranks top, given the preferable access to capital, entrepreneurial culture and knowledge spill-overs in the city. Other cities in the UK featuring on the list are Cambridge and Oxford, ranking 11th and 13th respectively for start-ups and scale-ups. Notably, Berlin is in 7th position, said to be due to its expensive and relatively sluggish digital infrastructure and the high cost of employment.

The EDCi will be updated and expanded in 2016 to include even more European cities.

Website: EDCi