Madrid, Spain cityscape above traffic on Gran Via shopping street.

Madrid, Spain — Crisis spawns start-ups

The economic downturn has provided plentiful and cheap engineers

French Quarter in New Orleans, Louisiana

New Orleans – start-up city with jazz heart

A place where people come to do business as well as have fun

NANTES, FRANCE - CIRCA SEPTEMBER 2015: View of Nantes from the top of Tour Bretagne, a 37 stories skyscraper situated in downtown Nantes.

Nantes, France — flair and collaboration

Young alumni of bigger tech clusters are forming networks

Milano, 2015 panoramic skyline with Italian Alps on Background

Milan, Italy’s biggest start-up hub

Renzi laws aim to foster entrepreneurs but red tape is daunting

FYK1AA Elevated view of Tay Rail bridge and Dundee at dawn Scotland April 2016
©Stephen Finn/Alamy

Dundee, Scotland – serious about games

Gaming and life sciences are replacing jute, jam and journalism

View of Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh, a reforged Steel City

Rusting relics are being worked into gleaming opportunities

DBBD39 Sidewalk cafe and shops on Pearl Street Mall in downtown Boulder, Colorado, USA
©Ian Dagnall/Alamy

Boulder: Nature is escape from business

Founders and investors attracted by Rocky mountains

Shenzhen, Silicon Valley of hardware

A ready supply of components and support but a lack of skills

Helsinki feels the Nokia effect

Mobile phone company’s decline has released a skilled cohort

Portland, Oregon

Culture behind craft beer and coffee roasters nurtured tech too

Grenoble, France

Centre of innovation, science and research, with mountain scenery

Waterloo, Canada

The city’s tech scene has grown up with and outgrown BlackBerry

Belfast, Northern Ireland

City is shifting from bomb-scarred backwater to knowledge economy

Sofia, Bulgaria — a growing tech talent

New seed funds have boosted the start-up scene

Buenos Aires, Argentina

The market-friendly government plans to make the country ‘normal’

Kyoto, Japan: a decades-old start-up hub

City has a strong belief in its own ability to foster innovation

Seattle, US: a different west coast scene

Many potential recruits, if you can lure them from big companies

Brighton, UK

Cluster focuses on digital, creative, marketing and advertising

Rotterdam, Netherlands

The port city’s history fostered a spirit of getting things done

Los Angeles: alternative to San Francisco

Silicon Beach is becoming more of a reality than an aspiration

Brussels: Hopes of being another Berlin

Staff for tech start-ups are easy to find but hiring is costly

Washington DC: where wonks meet nerds

The heart of US politics is alert to the influence of technology

Tokyo — a hive of ideas

This city likes innovation, but start-up backing remains weak

Cairo: a concentration of Egyptian talent

Emerging tech start-up scene is starting to attract investors

Hong Kong: The start-up landscape

Skilled workers and good overseas transport links attract talent

Bucharest, Romania: Upbeat after success

City is upbeat after success of local technology companies

Tallinn: Baltic city’s digital ambitions

Backers and founders eye the first home of Skype and TransferWise

Montreal’s start-up hub ambitions

The multilingual city’s growing ecosystem for entrepreneurs

Copenhagen: A strong start-up community

Entrepreneurs must look abroad to scale up

Cork: role in Ireland’s tech aspirations

The city is ambitious, but dwarfed by the capital Dublin

Guadalajara: Mexico’s ‘Silicon Valley’

Networks, tech brains and hipster vibe help the city stand out

Melbourne: most liveable city turns to technology

A population boom and tax change are set to boost start-ups

Welsh capital Cardiff’s sporting chance

Made for sports and health focused tech start-ups

Austin: a business-friendly attitude

Quality of life and low costs attract tech start-ups

Vancouver: west coast powerhouse

Three of Canada’s ‘unicorn’ companies were launched in the city

Chicago: big city thinking, smaller rents

The tech scene is blossoming in this vast, cultured metropolis

Exeter: work-life balance for founders

The university has an ambitious spinout programme

Bournemouth: beach resort’s digital push

Creative base draws tech start-ups but access to funds is tight

Miami: US gateway for Latin America

Start-ups drawn by chance to tap into Spanish speaking community

Newcastle: lively centre of innovation

The city has diversified from its heavy industrial past