Innovation, Startups and Venture Capital in Iceland

Reykjavík continues winning – in the per capita game

Silicon Valley has, for many years, been a global center for technology and innovation. Still, more and more people have started to wonder if the region is losing some of its entrepreneurial magic due to policies limiting new immigration in the country and the prohibitive costs of living.

That is at least what Capital 300, a European venture capital fund, which recently invested in Icelandic Authenteq, thinks, pointing out that other places are holding appealing opportunities for startups, and could, therefore, be a better choice for startups. “Europe is in a great position to benefit from the reduced gravity and attractiveness of Silicon Valley, too. The continent has great talent and education, one-third of universities ranked in the top 100. And with over €9b in grants provided by the EU, there is plenty of (public) funding for fundamental research,” they write in a recent post.

The report shows that when accounted for population, Reykjavík ranks quite high in the ‘Top 50 cities by startups, scaleups and exists per million population and funding per inhabitant” lists. This might not be a surprise, given that Iceland always ranks high – per capita, due to its small population. But in this report, it ranked second in startups per million, following Cambridge.

The quest to find the next Silicon Valley isn’t a new one, however, and under normal circumstances Northstack wouldn’t write about. In this case, however, Iceland emerges – yet again – as one of the winners. Per Capita.

The fun part is, of course, that Reykjavik doesn’t have a million – not even close. But as with most of what Icelanders do, we punch above our weight and win per capita.

But in the end, winning per capita isn’t the goal. Winning – building a sustainable, international, tech industry – is.

Read more about the report here

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