Paris is gaining slightly in attractiveness, but is not yet at the level of London or Stockholm

by bold-lichterman

  • London is at the top of the European index of digital cities, which brings together the 60 most attractive European cities for digital entrepreneurship.
  • The French capital is in second place in terms of access to capital, and in seventh place for digital infrastructure.
  • Lyon (21st), Toulouse (31st), Bordeaux (43rd) and Lille (48th) make their entry into the European index of digital cities.

Paris is on the way to dethroning London in terms of start-up financing, according to a study commissioned by La French Tech. But it is the British capital that attracts digital companies according to the European index of digital cities (European Digital City Index 2016) which shows that London is at the top of the entrepreneurial culture. Paris is 16th on this criterion. Produced by Nesta, a British charity specializing in entrepreneurship, the ranking brings together the 60 most attractive European cities for digital entrepreneurship.

The index measures the capacity of European cities to support digital entrepreneurship in two categories: start-ups and scale-ups. To do this, key factors, such as financing capacity, the skills of the workforce or the quality of infrastructure and support networks, are taken into account. The index includes all the capitals of the 28 Member States of the European Union as well as 32 other cities belonging to the EU considered to be important centers of digital entrepreneurship.

Nesta Index

138,000 employees in Parisian start-ups and mid-size companies

Paris, sixth last year, ranks fifth this year in the European index of digital cities 2016. In the French capital, more than 22,600 start-ups and scale-ups (i.e. digital mid-caps) employ more than 138,000 people. For Nesta, the adoption of many digital technologies is slower in France compared to other European countries.

In addition, the cost of living is quite expensive according to the organization, which constitutes an additional brake for entrepreneurs. Paris is thus in 50th place in terms of lifestyle. However, Nesta believes that the French capital is “one of the most economically powerful cities in Europe“. Paris is in 2nd place in terms of access to capital, and in 7th place for digital infrastructure.

In addition, Lyon (21st), Toulouse (31st), Bordeaux (43rd) and Lille (48th) make their entry into the European index of digital cities.

London at the top, 7 Scandinavian cities in the Top 35

Like last year, London is at the top of this ranking, both for start-ups and scale-ups. Nesta believes that London’s venture capital industry is the most developed in Europe, which attracts many companies to the financial sector. This ecosystem is thus helping to encourage a growing number of FinTech and crowdfunding start-ups to settle in London, like Transferwise, Wonga or even DueDil.

In addition, London appears as the European capital of acceleration and coworking, according to the organization. If the British capital is first for access to capital and second in terms of skills, it is however very far in terms of the business environment (45th) and lifestyle (54th).

Behind London, the Nordic cities are present in force in the ranking. Stockholm (2nd) and Helsinki (4th) are in the Top 5 while five other Scandinavian cities (Copenhagen, Aarhus, Malmö, Uppsala and Göteborg) are present in the top 35 positions.

According to Nesta, the Nordic countries have developed a strong digital infrastructure. This draws on a large pool of highly skilled workers and the governments that support them to make them key pillars in the aim of making Scandinavia the most competitive region in Europe in terms of digital entrepreneurship. The organization emphasizes in particular that Stockholm has the highest number of unicorns per capita in the world after Silicon Valley.

** Methodology: European index of digital cities which brings together the 60 most attractive European cities for digital entrepreneurship. The ranking was made according to the reception and financing capacities for digital companies. The index includes all the capitals of the 28 Member States of the European Union and 32 other cities belonging to the EU considered to be important centers of digital entrepreneurship.

Read also: Paris on the way to become the European capital of start-ups ahead of London