The Asia Pacific region has gained attention from venture capitalists and investors over the last few years. As a result, there has been a sudden boom in the startup ecosystem in Asian countries. The best cities for startups in Asia have world-class infrastructure, robust economy, political stability, sound investor-friendly economic policies, rich human capital, and easy availability of resources.
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So, what makes these the best cities for startups in Asia? Let’s take a look
The startup ecosystem in Asia has seen an extensive expansion with India and China being the frontrunners. A lot of investors prefer booming Asian cities over Silicon Valley due to numerous reasons such as- low cost of living, fast-growing talent pool, flourishing trade, and the large population size which ensures a growing market share for the startups.
As per the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2018, here are the 12 best cities for startups in Asia that have become home to some of the world’s most innovative and valuable startups.
Bengaluru- The Startup Capital Of India
The Indian startup ecosystem has progressed significantly and Bengaluru has been a leader in bringing about this transformation. There are a number of factors that work in favor of this city but the most prominent is the availability of highly skilled talent in the IT sector. This makes it easy for startups to acquire top-notch technical talent. Flipkart, the e-commerce giant, Wipro, and Infosys, the IT powerhouses had humble beginnings in Bengaluru. Besides that, many global companies have their headquarters in this city that makes the place an attractive proposition for budding entrepreneurs to sell their ideas and secure funding.
Beijing- The Economic Powerhouse Of China
One of the top startup hubs of China has several high profile startups that have gone to become big corporations now such as WeChat, Xiaomi, Baidu and more. This tech hub focuses on latest technologies such as Machine Learning, Deep Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and most of China’s unicorns are based in Beijing. The advantage of starting a startup business in the city is that it is close to Shenzhen, which is the biggest manufacturing hub in the world.
Hong Kong- A Booming Startup Ecosystem
Hong Kong is widely considered as a great place for startups due to its location, political environment, trustworthy economy, and a lower rate of interest and taxes. This Asian country is also home to some of the top startup conferences in Asia including Rise and Fintech. Besides that, there is support from government and private entities that have helped in developing Hong Kong’s startup ecosystem.
Kuala Lumpur- A Truly Asian Experience
The capital city of Malaysia is one of the best cities for startups in Asia. It has a mix of culture and most of the people living here are either Malay, Chinese or Indian. The city offers a good startup climate for many reasons. Kuala Lumpur is located in South East Asia which makes connectivity easier. In addition, living expenses, labor costs, housing, and office spaces are relatively affordable here. Furthermore, the tax rates are also not very high.
Manila- A Hotspot For Startups
The Philippines has become a hotspot for startups. The city of Manila as entrepreneurs view has become the primary market to tap. The availability of talent and low barriers to entry along with available market are the top factors that have helped the startups to boom.
Melbourne- A Booming Economy Down Under
The city has been recently named as the ‘technological capital’ of Australia. Melbourne offers a lower office rate and more co-working spaces. There are many new tech startups coming through the ranks. The big software giants use Melbourne as their landing ground down under. As a result, there is a boom in the startup scene due to the availability of innovative minds and investors. The city has an official long-term plan to attract and retain talent and people here share an innovative and entrepreneurial mindset which makes Melbourne as one of the top cities for startups.
New Zealand- The Entire Country Is Your Playground
Setting up a business in New Zealand is not only cheap but hassle-free as well. Moreover, New Zealand offers favorable living costs. The taxes are affordable and there are a lot of government grants and incentives available for research and development for entrepreneurs who want to build a business in New Zealand. In fact, there is no capital gain tax as well thus making the overall cost of doing business here quite reasonable.
Shanghai- Another Chinese Powerhouse
The startups in Shanghai are not solely focused on tech, unlike Beijing. However, the cities in close proximity to Shenzhen are a definite boost for the startup community. The city has become a hub for lifestyle tech startups. Focus on results and long working hours are a standard for the city.
Shenzhen- The Manufacturing Hub
The city has a complete ecosystem that consists of everything needed for all stages of electronic manufacturing which has made the place ideal for rising startups. Tech giants like Tencent, ZTE, and Huawei, all got their start from here and there are many more coming up the way.
Singapore- A Truly Global City
Singapore is truly one of the best cities for startups in Asia and has a lot to offer to the startups, from the educated workforce and modern infrastructure to strategic proximity to many developed and even emerging markets. Besides that, the government offers tax incentives to businesses making Singapore an ideal location for startups. Moreover, the city is home to many trade associations and chambers to help local businesses in upgrading their operations and even for developing operations internationally.
Sydney- Another Booming Economy Down Under
The city has emerged as a home to the biggest technology startup ecosystem in Australia. The growth in the startup scene has been majorly due to the increasing number of co-working spaces, incubators, accelerators, and startup events. It is home to success stories like Freelancer.com and is also seeing a rise of many new innovative startups.
Taipei City- An Economic Hotspot
The capital city of Taiwan is home to a network of notable design expertise and engineering. It is also a global hotspot for development and manufacturing of hardware. To boost the startups, the government has made subsidies and entrepreneurial visas available to non-citizens. Taipei city is quickly becoming one of the fastest growing city in the startup ecosystem.
To conclude, the above mentioned Asian cities have seen a surge in the startup scene due to new initiatives, an abundance of talent, low costs, and government support. They are the best cities for startups in Asia.
So, if you want to set up a business in the Asia Pacific region then one of these cities can be an ideal pick to realize your dream. Alternatively, if you are looking to invest, these cities should definitely be on your radar.
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