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Where Are the UK’s Top Start-Ups?

Where Are the UK’s Top Start-Ups?

Nothing beats the thrill of becoming your own boss and seeing your dreams of starting a company come to life. It can be tough starting out, but every year hundreds of start-up companies flourish making the dreams of the people behind them a reality. As a champion of everything entrepreneurial, we wanted to dive into the statistics and see the state of the UK’s start-up landscape.

Using the last three years of the Startups 100 rankings, we plotted the location and industry of the UK’s top start-ups to see which industries are surging ahead, and which have room for improvement. Some companies were so successful they graced the Startups 100 list over multiple years, meaning our research found a total of 234 different businesses.

First, let’s see where in the country you’ll find the best start-ups with our map:

The vote to leave the EU seemed
to throw London’s
economic future
into uncertainty, though it may be a case of ‘out with the
old and in with the new’. According to our map, London is something of a haven
for UK start-ups. In fact, we found that you can visit as many as 16 of the
best start-ups in the country all within 500m of each other! Overall, London
was the home of a whopping 68% of all companies in our list.


Looking deeper into the stats, England is dominating the start-up market, where you’ll find all but 10 of the best UK companies. Thanks to London’s dominance, and the inclusion of the Welsh companies, the South holds far more of the top-performing businesses than the North.

While London may be the top dog, that didn’t stop other cities shining through in our findings. Birmingham and Cardiff both give us five top start-ups, while Chelmsford is also home to three. That just goes to show that success really can come from anywhere!


Among our research, we also got to see which industries are giving us the best new companies and which are sorely lacking. Technology topped the list, thanks to a large amount of local search and comparison sites helping the public find great deals on everything from new cars to cleaners.

Food and retail were also strong industries, and we saw more than a few subscription box business models in our findings. Craft gins, coffee, locally sourced meat, and healthy snacks were just some of the lovely goods being delivered every month to homes across the country.

On the other side of the coin, legal, travel, recruitment, and education were some of the lower-performing industries. While we wish them every success, these start-ups may face a tougher time than others against long-established firms and brands.


If you’re an aspiring business, make sure you have the equipment to store everything you need and stay on top of things. To hear business advice from start-ups across the country, follow our Tomorrow’s Leaders interview series.

Are any of the UK’s best start-ups close to you? Or perhaps you’ve got a great business idea and you’re ready to make next year’s top 100? Let us know on Twitter at @viking_chat.


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