Top startup hubs in Europe

In the rapidly evolving landscape of global innovation, Europe has emerged as a beacon for startups seeking growth and development. The continent's diverse ecosystem is characterised by a unique blend of cultural heritage, robust economic policies, and a commitment to fostering entrepreneurship.

"Europe's Leading Startup Hubs 2024" by the Financial Times, presents a curated list of the top centres for founders, featuring incubator and/or accelerator programmes designed to nurture the growth and development of new businesses. To qualify in the ranking, these startup hubs must have at least one physical presence in Europe, so solely online programmes were not eligible. The full ranking includes a total of 125 startup hubs, and spotlights their pivotal role in supporting entrepreneurs on their journey to build and expand their ventures.

To come to the final ranking of the top startup hubs, a thorough registration and survey procedure was carried out. The evaluation process took into account various factors, with the primary emphasis placed on feedback from alumni who had taken part in at least one incubator or accelerator programme hosted by the respective hub. Insights from external experts, including investors (business angels, venture capital firm representatives), entrepreneurs, and academics, were also considered in the final ranking. Additionally, the performance and achievements of the most successful startups emerging from each hub were reviewed to finalise their spot on the list.

According to the Financial Times’ ranking, here are Europe’s Top 25 Leading Startup Hubs:

  1. UnternehmerTUM, Germany
  2. Hexa, Belgium
  3. SETsquared, United Kingdom
  4. Founders Factory, United Kingdom
  5. Growth Studio, United Kingdom
  6. LSE Generate, United Kingdom
  7. Startup Braga, Portugal
  8. ESA Business Incubation Center, The Netherlands
  9. Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub, United Kingdom
  10. Startup Lisboa – Unicorn Factory Lisboa, Portugal
  11. InnovX, Romania
  12. SpinLab, Germany
  13. Wolaria, Spain
  14. EIT Climate-KIC, The Netherlands
  15. Oxford Oracle, United Kingdom
  16. Startupbootcamp, The Netherlands
  17. BerriUp, Spain
  18. Startup Wise Guys, Estonia
  19. Lanzadera, Spain
  20. Next Commerce Accelerator, Germany
  21. 6AM Accelerator, Norway
  22. Lloyd’s Lab, United Kingdom
  23. BIND 4.0, Spain
  24. LifeSciences@Work, The Netherlands
  25. Building Global Innovators, Portugal
  26. SSE Business Lab, Sweden
  27. Rockstart, The Netherlands
  28. Plexal, United Kingdom
  29. NatWest Accelerator, United Kingdom
  30. EuraTechnologies, France

The UK’s presence on the list

The UK's presence on the "Europe's Leading Start-Up Hubs 2024" list is notably strong, reflecting the country's longstanding commitment to fostering innovation and entrepreneurship. British hubs are well-represented, underscoring the vibrant startup culture that permeates cities across the entirety of the UK.

24 startup hubs that are based in the UK appear on the list, which includes some big hitters.

The UK startup hubs that appear are:

  • In 3rd place: SETsquared
  • 4th Place: Founders Factory
  • 5th Place: Growth Studio
  • 6th Place: LSE Generate
  • 9th Place: Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Hub
  • 15th Place: Oxford Oracle
  • 22nd Place: Lloyd’s Lab
  • 28th Place: Plexal
  • 29th Place: NatWest Accelerator
  • 40th Place: Catalyst
  • 41st Place: Carbon13
  • 45th Place: Entrepreneur First
  • 49th Place: Imperial Enterprise Lab
  • 50th Place: Hatch Enterprise
  • 58th Place: L Marks
  • 60th Place: Colorintech
  • 62nd Place: DigitalHealth.London
  • 64th Place: The Greenhouse
  • 71st Place: Canopy (CISL)
  • 76th Place: CodeBase
  • 78th Place: Form 1 Partners
  • 105th Place: Somerset House
  • 110th Place: The University of Warwick Science Park
  • 111th Place: Insurtech Gateway

In conclusion, "Europe's Leading Startup Hubs 2024" provides an invaluable resource for founders and entrepreneurs looking to find the best environments to nurture their ideas and accelerate their growth.

The ranking of 125 hubs reflects a vibrant and diverse European startup landscape, where innovation thrives and support systems are robust, ensuring founders are supported during their journey to success. Each hub listed not only meets rigorous criteria but also stands out for its unique contributions to the entrepreneurial community. Whether you're at the idea stage or scaling up, these hubs offer the resources, networks, and expert guidance necessary to succeed in the competitive world of startups.