Australia ranks 7th in startup countries; Perth 4th in Australia

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// There are some interesting moves within the annual global ranking of startup centres, with Australia still ahead of APAC neighbours China, Singapore, South Korea and Japan…

The latest (and third annual) Startup Ecosystem Rankings are out, with Australia ranked 7th in the world for quality and quantity of startups, and Sydney ranking as the highest Aussie city, at 31st.

Australia actually ranked 4th in the world for quantity of startups, but 14th for quality. Australia was the top most ranked APAC country, ahead of China, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

As the report says, “regionally disconnected countries like Canada, Israel and Australia prove great things can be done even outside a union of countries.”

StartupBlink Ecosystem Startup Report 2020

Perth ranks 4th in the country, and 136th in the world (yay!). Considering some of the competition, it’s perhaps notable that Australia is anywhere near the top ranked countries.

Australia leapt up 6 spaces in 2019 to rank 5th in the world (only the US, UK, Israel and Canada were ranked higher), so to sit back at 7th still seems like a strong result.

In 2020, Germany has moved into 5th, The Netherlands 6th. Switzerland, Spain and Sweden round off the top 10:

Top 10 ranked startup countries. Source: Startup Blink Ecosystem rankings 2020

The ranking algorithm was built in cooperation with StartupBlink, CrunchBase, Semrush, UNAIDS, and Meetup. It looks at quality and quantity of the startup community, number of successful startups, programs and support.

Other notable changes since 2019 were:

  • Sydney (#31) fell 12 spots, making Australia a top-ranked country with no cities in the top 30;
  • Melbourne decreased by 5 spots to 40;
  • Brisbane is narrowing the gap and is now ranked at number 78, after climbing up 9 spots;
  • Good news is coming from the tier of lower-ranked Australian cities, with Gold Coast skyrocketing 70, and Sunshine Coast, Australia’s latest ranked city is ranked at 259th globally;
  • Regionally in Asia-Pacific, Australia remains to be the top startup ecosystem; 
  • New Zealand fell 21 points to #47 globally, and eighth in APAC
Top ranked startup centres in Australia

As the report goes on to say, “Australia has a strong startup ecosystem, and recently more of its startups are becoming global brands many people use on a daily basis (Canva and Atlassian come to mind).

“However, it is still a young ecosystem, and considering how fast other nations are developing their startup hubs, it needs more inspiring startups to scale globally.”

The report applauds a “smart and proactive approach” by its federal and state governments in support of the growth of its startup ecosystems, as well as the direct involvement of universities as an active stakeholder in the
development of the ecosystem in their cities.

Some of the noted obstacles facing the growth of Australian ecosystems is the time difference and the traveling time between Australia and the USA and Europe, which is “creating challenges for partnerships, sales teams, and integrated remote teams”.

To improve our status as a startup country, the report says that Australia needs to focus on “building more Australian unicorns and raising the impact that the Australian startup ecosystem has on the global startup market.”

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To read the report in full, go to StartupBlink Ecosystem Report. They’ve also done a COVID Innovation report this year.