August 14, 2017

Best Cities to Work in Startups

Nestpick studied hundreds of cities, utilising 13 criteria to rank the best cities to work in startups.

Singapore is the best city for those looking to work in startups, scoring high for healthcare, safety and offering a vibrant startup ecosystem full of professional opportunities.

Helsinki, Finland is in second place, scoring well for quality of life and social security.

– Well-known startup hubs San Fransisco, USA and Berlin, Germany also feature in top 5.


Furnished apartment platform, Nestpick, have produced a ranking comparing 85 cities worldwide to discover which offer the best quality of life for those employed in the startup industry. With an interest in the relocation patterns of young professionals across the world, Nestpick combined their professional knowledge with this insightful research project, examining the cities via 13 factors synonymous with startup professionals. The factors can be broken down into five important criteria; the city’s Startup Ecosystem, the Salaries on offer in each location, Social Security & Benefits the city offers, Cost of Living, and Quality of Life.

These criteria were further broken down into the following categories; for salaries, average salaries for entry-level and experienced positions were taken into account for Project Management, Tech, and Marketing roles. Social Security & Benefits took Income Tax, Health Care Quality and Vacation into account, whilst Quality of Life analysed Gender Equality and Safety in each location. Finally, Cost of Living looked solely at the Affordability of each city.

The results show that Singapore calculated as the best place for those looking to work in startups. The Asian hub scored well in terms of healthcare and safety and it’s offerings of a vibrant startup scene, boosting career opportunities.

“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?” comments Ömer Kücükdere, Managing Director of Nestpick. “We believe that time taken researching potential employers should not overshadow understanding the best cities in which to work. We hope that our study helps those looking to work in startups identify the cities which may best suit their needs.”

Results for Singapore:

Note: Scores are out of a maximum of 5 points. In rare cases some cities were tied in rank. Where necessary, we have tried to account for this above. Full rankings can be found on the results page.

Note: Scores are out of a maximum of 5 points. In rare cases some cities were tied in rank. Where necessary, we have tried to account for this above. Full rankings can be found on the results page.

A full breakdown of scores, including average salaries in each location, can be found in the full results here.

Overall, the top ten highest scoring cities for startup employees are below. The sub categories have been combined into five broader categories for ease of understanding.


Full results for each of the 13 criteria can be seen on the results page.

Further Insights

San Francisco, USA has the highest salaries across all industries studied, for both entry level and experienced positions. However, despite high salaries, San Francisco ranks in the bottom 10 cities for affordability.

– Of the top 10 highest earning cities, 70% are in the US.

Cairo, Egypt has the lowest salaries across all industries for entry-level positions, while Tunis, Tunisia has the lowest salaries for experienced positions.

Dubai, UAE has the highest overall Social Security & Benefits score*, with the best score for income tax, but ranks last for equality. Lagos, Nigeria has the worst Social Security & Benefits score, with the lowest ranking Health Care Quality and Vacation Days.

– 50% of the lowest ranking cities for Healthcare Quality are in Asia.

– Vienna, Austria and Valletta, Malta are the joint top ranking for Vacation Days, while six French cities (Nice, Toulouse, Marseille, Lyon, Nantes and Paris) rank jointly first for Health Care Quality.

– Munich, Germany has the highest overall score for Quality of Life whereas Sao Paulo, Brazil has the lowest—it also ranks last for safety.

– Bangalore, India comes out top for affordability, compared to New York City, USA which ranks last.

– Helsinki, Finland ranks top for equality while Singapore ranks top for safety.