View all newsletters
Receive our newsletter - data, insights and analysis delivered to you
  1. Technology
August 27, 2014updated 22 Sep 2016 11:39am

6 up and coming global tech hubs

A selection of cities around the world which could be housing the next big thing.

By Vinod

There’s no doubt that the world as we know it is becoming an ever-more connected place as technology increasingly covers and governs much of our everyday lives. The scope of the sector is so large that companies are continuing to evolve and develop new tools and technologies all the time, with knowledge and creation spreading across the globe.

We’ve previously looked at UK cities striving to be the next national tech hub, but where else in the world is innovation striking hardest?


Eindhoven, The Netherlands

Recently named as "the most inventive city in the world" by Forbes on account of the sheer number of patents registered in the city (22.6 per 10,000 residents), Eindhoven, with its population of just under 700,000, has quickly grown to become a key focal centre for European technology.

The city, home to the 7,100-strong Eindhoven University of Technology, consistently ranked among the world’s ten best-performing research universities, has also consistently been ranked highly amongst the world’s most intelligent communities by the Intelligent Community Forum lifestyle index, and took the top spot in 2011.

All of this combines to make Eindhoven a hotbed for new technology knowledge, with start-ups such as leading 3D printing marketplace Shapeways, interactive education service Gynzy, and real-time advertising platform Flxone.

Content from our partners
Scan and deliver
GenAI cybersecurity: "A super-human analyst, with a brain the size of a planet."
Cloud, AI, and cyber security – highlights from DTX Manchester


Vancouver, Canada

With costs for establishing costs in the US hitting an all-time high, many North American companies are turning to the neighbour in the north for a solution. Situated just across the border a few hour’s flight away from Silicon Valley, Vancouver has quickly become an attractive proposition for several major corporations recently, including the likes of Microsoft, Amazon and

As well as featuring local bases for international companies such as IBM, Intel and Broadcom, Vancouver has also proved to be a hotbed for several major start-ups, with dating site PlentyOfFish and social media tool HootSuite both founded in the city.

This has created a large need for highly-skilled employees, with a recent Bloomberg study finding that the US government being inundated by visa applications for workers moving to the city, ultimately being forced to issue them in a lottery format.

The city is also a leader in sustainability, harnessing renewable energy sources for much of its power, and has stated it aims to be the "greenest city in the world" by 2020, as well as being one of the global centres for fuel cell technology, a sector set to take off as electric cars in particular become more widespread.

Canada’s eighth-largest city consistently ranks highly in worldwide desirability stakes, at it seems this reputation is now rubbing off onto technology companies too.


Malmö, Sweden

Like Eindhoven, Malmö ranked highly in Forbes’ recent inventiveness index (with 6.85 patent applications per 10,000 inhabitants), and Sweden’s third-largest city is proving to be a friendly home to technology as well.

Malmo is a young city, with nearly half of its population under the age of 35, a figure boosted by the launch of the city’s university in the eastern Lund region in 1998. It is also very diverse, boasting the highest proportion of foreign-born residents of any city in Sweden, as well as attracting foreign talent and investment.

The city also has a strong start-up community, as it looks to prevent local talent from moving to the more traditional hotspot of Copenhagen just over the border in Denmark. Notable residents include social media tool Flattr, touchless interface company Crunchfish, and GetSalesDone.



Harlem, United States

Yes, we all know New York is far from an up-and-coming prospect, but as with any big city, certain areas may get forgotten or neglected during a business boom, before eventually still coming good. This now appears to be the case with Harlem, previously best-known for its contributions to American musical and creative culture.

Attracted by cheaper rents and available office space, start-ups and established businesses are moving to the area from other boroughs, with Harlem seeing the benefits of becoming ever more connected. Thanks to an initiative set up by former city mayor Michael Bloomberg, Harlem will soon be home to the largest, continuous free Wi-Fi network in the United States, covering 95 blocks as part of an attempt to connect up the borough.

The area is also home to Harlem Biospace, a biotech incubator that provides up to 24 emerging life science companies with access to necessary facilities including the likes of an affordable wet-lab, microbench space, specialised laboratory equipment, mentorship, business support, and programming.


Raleigh, United States

Recently voted the friendliest city in the US for young families, Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina has a population of just over a million, and is also one of the fastest-growing cities in the country.

The city is part of the North Carolina Research Triangle, one of the most prominent U.S. research parks pioneering in IT and biotechnology, covering over 7,000 acres and including 190 companies alongside several cutting-edge research institutions from surrounding universities.

Alongside this, Raleigh can also boast a selection of fast-growing technology start-ups like Bandwidth and Yealink, as well as major companies such as RedHat (which employs 4,500 workers in the city), GlaxoSmithLine and Cisco also present in the city, meaning it should continue to grow for many years.

Hong Kong

Hong Kong, Hong Kong

Although China, Japan and South Korea often steal the limelight when it comes to hot new technology, their local (and slightly smaller) neighbour is also doing its bit to promote Asian technological innovation.

It may have a population of just over seven million, but the region is one of the world’s major financial trading centres, and so attracts much investment and interest from the wider global scene. Many of the world’s leading finance companies have Hong Kong offices, and businesses are aided by superfast internet speeds and fairly lax censorship rules.

Established in 1991, the region also boasts the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which supports a wide variety of specialised fields of study including nanoscience, bioeneginnering and biotechnology.

This all makes Hong Kong a key breeding ground for startups, with venture programs like StartMeUpHK offering resources and companies such as Burg Limited paving the way for wearable tech.


Websites in our network
Select and enter your corporate email address Tech Monitor's research, insight and analysis examines the frontiers of digital transformation to help tech leaders navigate the future. Our Changelog newsletter delivers our best work to your inbox every week.
  • CIO
  • CTO
  • CISO
  • CSO
  • CFO
  • CDO
  • CEO
  • Architect Founder
  • MD
  • Director
  • Manager
  • Other
Visit our privacy policy for more information about our services, how Progressive Media Investments may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications. Our services are intended for corporate subscribers and you warrant that the email address submitted is your corporate email address.