Nesta launched the 2016 version of the European Digital City Index (EDCi,) which describes the ‘˜fertility’ or attractiveness of different European cities for digital entrepreneurs. The Index is not a simple count of the number of new firms or capital flows, but a composite measure of the varied factors which matter to founders and young firms.
For startups and scale-ups, the Index provides information about the strengths and weaknesses of local ecosystems, allowing them to plan accordingly and consider where they may need to devote more resources. For policy makers aiming to encourage digital entrepreneurship in their own city, the Index helps to identify existing and promising hubs of activity, in order to learn from their practices. Additionally, it allows benchmarking of performance against other European hubs and helps identify which policy areas to prioritise.
As on the previous Index, London leads for both startups and scale-ups.However, the rankings are very close, especially towards the top, with a fraction of a percentage point separating London from close contender Stockholm. Stockholm performs extremely well for its size, with superb digital infrastructure and a highly digitally skilled population; companies like Skype, Spotify, Klarna, King and Mojang are the result.
The Index reveals a significant divide between North-West and South-East Europe, which is particularly visible when it comes to different cultural attitudes towards entrepreneurship, the availability of capital, and mentoring or managerial assistance.