Rising costs of doing business in traditional tech cities are forcing information, communication and technology (ICT) start-ups to seek for new countries where the costs of production are much lower.
According to a new research by Lamudi and Africa Internet Group, while Silicon Valley, London and New York have traditional been known to be the world’s tech cities, the shift is changing fast as other cities in emerging markets in Asia, Far East and Africa become favourable for startups.
Lamudi is a global property portal focusing exclusively on emerging markets while Africa Internet Group introduces and accelerates the online shift in Africa for its people and its culture.
The research shows that with innovation on the march globally, the five most promising tech cities in emerging markets that have all the right ingredients to become future start-ups capitals are Medellin in Colombia, Amman in Jordan, Lahore in Pakistan, Jakarta in Indonesia and Lagos in Nigeria.
Notably, Medellin was named 2012’s innovative city of the year by the Wall Street Journal Magazine and Citibank while Amman is the leading start-up hub in the Middle East region owing to the fact that the government has invested in infrastructure, education and also reformed regulations making Jordan one of the easiest and cheapest country to register a business.
Lahore is a promising city for tech start-ups because of its urban development, adding industrial areas, new university campus and airport to the cityscape. Besides, the strong infrastructure has helped to create a dynamic market for start-ups, with many incubators launching fascinating business ideas.
With the young population, the city has the potential to be one of the most innovative start-up hubs in the world. Big companies such of Microsoft already have their eye on the country, with the tech giant hosting a Windows phone hackathon in Lahore last year.
Indonesia’s growing middle class presents plenty of opportunities for new business ideas, of which the outcome is a strong market for tech start-ups to explore in Jakarta. Already the city is home to a number of start-ups focusing on travel, e-commerce and lifestyle.
Lagos offers vast opportunities for tech start-ups considering that Nigeria has now taken the lead as the largest economy in Africa while the city is the most populous with over 20 million people. Besides, Lagos is the second fastest growing city in Africa and the seventh in the world.
The city is thus a unique place for high-tech innovation and development buoyed by the country’s growth, the middle-class affinity towards technology and massive online population of 45 million internet users.