London, New York, Helsinki are leading the world’s most innovative city list this year, according to the CITIE report which conducted by innovation charity Nesta, Accenture and innovation network Catapult. “We set out to measure the quality of the policy environment — how well city governments are supporting the growth of a tech community,” says John Gibson, study co-author and Director of Government Innovation at Nesta.

The report evaluated 40 major cities in the world and identified nine roles within each city that can support local entrepreneurship from regulator and customer, to host and connector. While the goal is to help policymakers make entrepreneurs‘ lives easier.


According to the data analysis of the report, cities were grouped under four tiers of performance as a strategist, as an investor and as a customer. By grouping them in different ways it allows us to see how each city scores best, and compare them against their competitors.

“Helsinki came as a surprise,” Gibson says, and Amsterdam was another pleasant surprise as these cities have some of the leading innovative companies and city-sponsored smart districts, co-working locations and investment funds. The government just launched their Startup Amsterdam strategy to promote the community globally,” he says.



The report also indicates that Sao Paulo got high scores due to government’s policies that allow startup companies to get preferential treatment if their price is up to 10% more than that of large companies. On the contrast, startups in Tokyo were left out as the policies are set up to bring in large corporates, over small businesses.