Sappin Global Strategies is pleased to share its ranking of the Top 10 Most Innovative Cities in the World as we close out 2014. The list aims to present the cities that are centers in creating and growing new ideas and concepts that have the greatest impact on the world and our everyday lives.

We have considered cities across the globe, examining innovation by important stakeholders in the economy including entrepreneurs, universities, corporations, and governments. Cities have been judged on a scale of 1-10 with 1 the best. The criteria are:

  • Education base: Are there elite universities feeding into the job market? Is this a destination for educated professionals who can support an innovation economy?

  • Investor base: Are there angel investors, corporate investors, or other funds available to back new innovative ideas?

  • Innovation track record: Has the city given rise to innovations that are lasting and have had an impact in other regions and countries?

  • Exit track record: Has the city been a proving ground for young companies that have had strong financial exits?

  • Job creation: Does the city’s innovation economy create high-level jobs?

  • Patents awarded: Are companies based in the city awarded patents at a high rate, whether they are large corporates or young startups?

The Sappin Global Strategies Most Innovative Cities in the World 2014 includes 4 entrants from the United States, and 3 each from Asia and Europe. While the US continues to be the innovation capital, Asia is making noticeable progress, with China and India coming up the ranks. Europe, in spite of its economic challenges, has some bright lights particularly in Scandinavia.


1. Silicon Valley / Bay Area

Weighted average score: 1.0 - Notable Industries: High Technology, Internet/Social Media, Healthcare, Clean Energy // No surprise here. Silicon Valley is the barometer against which every city measures itself when it comes to innovation. The original home of venture capital, the Bay Area has continued to give rise to world-leading companies from Intel to Apple to Google to Facebook thanks to its unique combination of business culture, educational institutions, investors, and entrepreneurs.

2. New York

Weighted average score: 1.8 - Notable Industries: Media, Financial Services, Internet/Social Media // New York is largely a corporate town but has seen a burgeoning social media scene emerge including companies such as Kickstarter and Etsy. The center of finance with a well-established angel and venture capital industry, New York has a highly educated population with world-class universities. It has begun to provide strong exits for early stage investors through such companies as MakerBot and Tumblr after many years where corporate innovation dominated.

3. Bangalore

Weighted average score: 3.0 - Notable Industries: High Technology // India’s outsourcing capital Bangalore is the home of global IT heavyweights including Infosys and Wipro and corporate R&D parks for many major US technology companies including Intel and Google. Bangalore boasts a strong entrepreneurial culture and a well-educated workforce that has helped push it ahead of India’s other successful IT centers such as Mumbai.

4 (T). Boston / Helsinki / Tel Aviv

Boston - Weighted average score: 3.2 - Notable Industries: Healthcare, Financial Services // Boston, home of MIT and Harvard, has long been a leader in healthcare with an emphasis on biotechnology. // Helsinki - Weighted average score: 3.2 - Notable Industries: Mobile // Helsinki has become a leading center for mobile entertainment, with success stories including Rovio (Angry Birds) and Super Cell (Clash of Clans). // Tel Aviv - Weighted average score: 3.2 - Notable Industries: High Technology, Water, Healthcare // Tel Aviv has long been a center for high technology, water technology, and healthcare with a strong support from world-class university Technion.

7 (T). Beijing / Hangzhou / Raleigh-Durham / Stockholm

Beijing - Weighted average score: 3.3 - Notable Industries: Media, Mobile // Hangzhou- Weighted average score: 3.3 - Notable Industries: Social Media/Internet // China is represented in our top 10 by northern capital Beijing and southern internet hub Hangzhou. Beijing is home to innovators such as Xiaomi (mobile handsets), Baidu (search) and Qunar (online travel), while Hangzhou is the headquarters of recently listed Alibaba. // Raleigh / Durham -Weighted average score: 3.3 - Notable Industries: Healthcare // North Carolina’s Raleigh-Durham is the hub of the Research Triangle, one of the world’s leading research centers for healthcare. It boasts a high concentration of PhD’s and a track record of successful exits. // Stockholm - Weighted average score: 3.2 - Notable Industries: Mobile // Stockholm has emerged from the malaise of Europe to be a home of innovative corporates, as well as internet and mobile technology. The Swedish capital is home to H&M, birthplace of Skype and King (Candy Crush) and headquarters of Mojang (Minecraft).

Honorable Mention

London (media, financial services) // Mumbai (high technology) // Munich (healthcare, automotive technology) // Shenzhen (social media/internet, healthcare)



Want all the details? Please find the complete rankings and weights here.


For more information, please feel free to contact Ed Sappin at Sappin Global Strategies at +1 917 720 8970 or