Singapore landed at number one on a new list of the best startup cities.
The index was released on Wednesday by Nestpick, a Berlin-based startup that analyzed popular startup locations based on metrics such as existing startup ecosystems, quality of life, salary, cost of living and social security and benefits. The top five were rounded out by Helsinki, San Francisco, Berlin and Stockholm.
That Singapore outranked San Francisco may come as a surprise, given Silicon Valley’s undisputed position as the startup capital of the world. San Francisco scored highest on the startup ecosystem and salary metrics, but it was among the lowest of the cities ranked for cost of living and quality of life.
But those who have been following Singapore’s rise as a startup and innovation hub may be less shocked by the results. Earlier this year, Startup Genome’s Global Startup Ecosystem Report declared that Singapore had unseated Silicon Valley as the number one place in the world for startup talent.
While companies sometimes struggle to recruit advanced software engineers and tech talents in developing Southeast Asian markets, Singapore boasts a young but experienced cohort of software engineers, according to The Straits Times. As another Forbes contributor noted last year, the city-state is advantageously positioned in addition to being among the wealthiest communities in the world. Thanks to its advanced infrastructure, highly educated workforce (Singapore was said to have the world’s best education system in 2015) and proximity to a number of emerging and developed markets, Singapore became a natural hub for tech companies and investors.
Nestpick’s index ranks 85 countries around the world based on the above criteria. According to Nestpick, Singapore’s strong startup ecosystem and high marks in health care and safety clinched the number one spot. The Straits Times noted that salaries for software engineers fall below the global average of $49,000 per year in Singapore, though that drawback may be counteracted for some by the other benefits referenced in Nestpick’s findings.
Nestpick Managing Director Ömer Kücükdere explained in a press statement that the company wanted to provide a resource that looked beyond job opportunities and marquee employers to offer a holistic picture of the potential cities in which professionals might consider working.
“Certain cities may offer bigger paychecks, but after considering taxes and living expenses, the return may not be so high. Similarly, professionals should consider quality of life: will vacation days be adequate to visit home? Is healthcare as accessible as you would like it to be?” Kücükdere said. “We believe that time taken researching potential employers should not overshadow understanding the best cities in which to work.”
The only other Asian city to land in the top 10 was Seoul. Shanghai, Hong Kong, Beijing, and Tokyo appeared further down the list. Several other Southeast Asian cities, including Bangkok, Hanoi, Kuala Lumpur and Jakarta also made the rankings, though all fell at 70 or below.
More Info: www.forbes.com