Singapore has surpassed Silicon Valley as a startup ecosystem in terms of talent, according to a survey of 10,000 startup founders across more than 100 cities.  The Global Startup Ecosystem Report and Ranking 2017 by Startup Genome assessed the startup ecosystems in 50 countries based on overall performance, funding, market reach, talent and startup experience. Silicon Valley in the US remained the dominant global ecosystem, followed by New York and London. The Bay Area tech hub reigned supreme in all metrics in the report except talent, where it was ousted by Singapore.

The report noted that Singapore clinched the top ranking for talent due to its strong performance in access to quality talent and cost.  The experience levels of Singaporean talent was found to be comparatively strong, with 80 per cent of engineering and 74 per cent of growth teams boasting at least two years of prior startup experience compared to the global averages of 72 per cent and 60 per cent, respectively.  The average software engineer salary in Singapore, at US$35,000 (S$49,000), was also below the global average of US$49,000 – pointing to lower costs for businesses. Startup founders based in Singapore were the youngest in the world, with a median age of 28 years.

Overall, Singapore slipped two places from 10th to 12th place among the cities surveyed from 2015, due to the entrance of Beijing at fourth place and Shanghai at eighth place. However, the report said that Singapore was “poised for a continued startup revolution” with its geographical location that renders it an easy access point to up-and-coming tech markets in Southeast Asia and significant government subsidies.

Early-stage funding per startup in Singapore averaged US$276,000, compared to US$252,000 globally. The country also had the sixth-highest percentage of immigrant founders in the world, with immigrants making up 35 per cent of startup founders compared to a global average of 19 per cent.

Source: CNA Singapore


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