London named EU capital for tech start-ups

London skyline at sunset

Technology entrepreneurs have chosen London as the best city in Europe for start-ups and scale-ups, according to a new index charting the suitability of cities across the EU.

The European Digital City index, created by innovation charity Nesta, measures capital cities in the EU that have become known as digital innovation hubs' based on 10 criteria chosen by more than 90 digital businesses, policymakers and academics.

London was ranked the number one city for both start-ups and scale-ups because of its access to capital, entrepreneurial culture and knowledge crossover between various industries, according to the index, while its lowest score was for lifestyle, which included cost of living.

Amsterdam, Stockholm, Helsinki and Copenhagen made up the rest of the top five, and Cambridge and Oxford also made the top 15, ranked 11th and 13th respectively.

Chris Haley, head of start-ups and new technology research at Nesta, said: "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."

The criteria the cities were judged on includes digital infrastructure, culture and skills availability. The resulting index is designed to help both entrepreneurs who are considering where to base themselves and policymakers looking for the best places to apply extra resources.

The European Digital City index was launched by Nesta, the European Digital Forum and the Lisbon Council at the European Commission's ICT 2015 Innovate, Connect, Transform Conference in Lisbon today.

Caroline Preece

Caroline has been writing about technology for more than a decade, switching between consumer smart home news and reviews and in-depth B2B industry coverage. In addition to her work for IT Pro and Cloud Pro, she has contributed to a number of titles including Expert Reviews, TechRadar, The Week and many more. She is currently the smart home editor across Future Publishing's homes titles.

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