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Singapore Overtakes Silicon Valley as Top Place for Startup Talent: Survey
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Singapore Overtakes Silicon Valley as Top Place for Startup Talent: Survey

Singapore ranks first globally in the talent factor overtaking Silicon Valley, mainly due to strong performance in access and cost sub-factors. This is perhaps the biggest surprise coming out of a 150-page research report covering 10,000 start-ups and 300 partner companies.

The report by Startup Genome project, a US-based organisation, credits Singapore's innovative policies for its success as great start-up ecosystem. While Singapore's overall ranking in 2017 fell two notches to 12th place, this was due to two new Chinese entrants, it said, adding that Singapore's performance numbers are solid and will probably continue to rise.

It said along with a geographical location that makes Singapore an easy access point to up-and-coming tech markets in Southeast Asia, its 1,600-2,400 tech startups enjoy significant government subsidies and the country's strategies are working to establish local tech startups as globally-relevant companies.The experience levels of Singaporean talent is comparably strong, given that 80% of the engineering and 74% of the growth teams have gained at least two years of prior startup experience already.

Start-up founders based in Singapore were the youngest in the world, with a median age of 28 years.

Singapore has overthrown tech mecca Silicon Valley as world's No. 1 for start-up talent according to a report by Startup Genome. Image: Desmond Wee / ST Photo
Singapore has overthrown tech mecca Silicon Valley as world's No. 1 for start-up talent according to a report by Startup Genome. Image: Desmond Wee / ST Photo

The average software engineer salary in Singapore, at US$35,000 (S$49,000), was also below the global average of US$49,000 - high salaries is one of the reasons why Silicon Valley lost its top talent ranking.

Besides talent, the indicators taken into account in the overall ranking are performance (including start-up exits, valuations, early-stage and growth-stage successes), funding, market reach and experience — in all of which Silicon Valley scored the best. 

However, the report noted that the US is losing dominance to Asia and Europe. Los Angeles and Chicago, for example, had the biggest drop of the top 20 cities, mainly due their lowered scores in "global connectedness". 

New entrants Beijing and Shanghai were ranked 4th and 8th, respectively, while Boston, Tel Aviv, Berlin, Los Angeles, Seattle and Paris made up the other ecosystems ranked above Singapore.


Source : Straits Times | Singapore Business Review | Today Online

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