The Czech Republic’s second city Brno is the highest ranked city in the CEE/CIS region on Nestpick’s latest Startup Cities Index. Globally, Singapore tops the ranking, followed by Helsinki, San Francisco, Berlin and Stockholm.
Like other countries from the CEE/CIS region, Brno’s score is pushed up by low costs — both the cost of living and the cost of employing tech and management staff are relatively low — but it also scores well on factors such as safety, income tax and vacation days.
The ranking by the furnished apartment platform is based on scores on a scale of one to five in five categories: startup ecosystem, salary, social security and benefits, cost of living, and quality of life.
“We began by researching hundreds of locations across the world and selected 85 of the world’s most dynamic startup cities. These ranged from quintessential startup hubs such as San Francisco, to cities leading the way in the digitalisation of their continents, such as Lagos, Nigeria,” said the report’s authors.
Brno, which has is in 31st place on the index of 85 cities, with Prague coming close behind in 35th place, followed by Warsaw in 39th place.
Other CEE cities such as Bucharest (52nd), Budapest (55th) and Bratislava (56th) also score relatively well, beating the likes of Moscow (68th), Tallinn (69th), Istanbul (72nd), Riga (73rd) and Sofia (74th).
The scores of all of these cities are lifted by their affordability, for which their rankings range from 8th (Bucharest) to 35th (Moscow).
The cost of employing tech personnel is also relatively low in the region, with Brno the more affordable city. It is ranked in 7th place for entry level personnel, which have an average salary of just €17,461, and 9th for experienced personnel (€27,619). This is despite recent data showing rising salaries in several key CEE markets.
A previous study from real estate firm Cushman & Wakefield also identified Brno as the top destination for IT firms among eight regional cities, citing the low level of wages and other costs such as office rents.
On the other hand, cities from the region scored less well in areas such as healthcare and gender equality.