By Clay Chandler

Clay is an author, editor and fellow at Hult International Business School where he follows technology, economics and global business. He is a former Asia editor at McKinsey & Company, and has held senior editorial roles at Fortune, The Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal. Follow him on Twitter @claychandler

Share this post

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInGoogle+

Where do you go to do that?

Until recently, it was a no-brainer: Silicon Valley. The Valley is, by far, the world’s No. 1 ecosystem for startups and entrepreneurs, according to a massive 2012 survey by Startup Compass, a global team of entrepreneurs, engineers and data scientists based mostly in (surprise!) Silicon Valley.

From the top: New York, Moscow & London are interesting starting points

From the top: New York, Moscow & London are interesting starting points

But that may be changing. Technology writer Timothy Sprinkle thinks the Valley is now more tired than wired. In his delightfully titled new book, Screw the Valley: A Coast-to-Coast Tour of America’s New Tech Startup Culture, Sprinkle argues that if entrepreneurs are serious about innovating, they should begin by thinking more creatively about where to locate their new venture. The Valley, says Sprinkle, is “expensive,” “inbred” and totally overrated. He nominates these seven American cities as offering new ventures “more room to breathe, easier access to funding and talented workers, fewer heads to butt and less money down the drain”:

1 Detroit
2 New York City
3 Las Vegas
4 Austin
5 Kansas City
6 Raleigh-Durham
7 Boulder

Sprinkle’s list wins the blessing of contributing editor Geoffrey James (although he ranks them in a different order). But why just limit your search the United States? We think there are plenty of interesting global alternatives. Inc. also has ranked seven non-US startup hubs to watch in 2014. Those cities are:

1 Beijing
2 London
3 Barcelona
4 Amsterdam
5 Stockholm
6 Tel Aviv
7 Moscow

Entrepreneur magazine’s list, which combines US and global cities, ranks Tel Aviv 2nd only to Silicon Valley. Other top non-US hotspots favored by editors at Entrepreneur include: London, Toronto, Vancouver, Paris and Sydney. In Asia, only Sydney (No. 12), Singapore (No. 17), Melbourne (No. 18) and Bangalore (No. 19) make Entrepreneur’s Top Twenty.

One handy tool for expanding the horizons of your search for the perfect starting point: this Startup Genome database, which allows you to track maps, charts and venture data cities all over the world.