Interviews

The most fashionable places in the world to found and grow a business

5 min read

02 June 2015

Former editor

From the traditional designations of Shoreditch and Silicon Valley to the less well-trodden hubs of Osaka and Santiago, new research has revealed the “hippest” places to have an office address.

British business Pack Send has assembled the 16 global designations it believes provide the most gravitas and prestige when it comes to a location for an office.

The City of London, housing synonymous buildings such as The Gherkin and Shard, has long been known for its finance and professional services residents but is still seen as an attractive place to run a smaller company from. Famous firms to call it home are Standard Life and Aon.

Joining it is Shoreditch, often referred to as Tech City for its clustering of digital businesses. Since businesses such as Moo first settled in East London a decade ago, it has become a world-renowned designation for innovation and entrepreneurship, despite rent rates creeping up. Big corporates such as Barclays and Amazon nestle next to growing digital brands including Mind Candy.

Other destinations in the UK and Ireland to feature included Salford’s new MediaCity, where the BBC now calls home for a large part of its operations. Located on the banks of the Manchester Ship Canal, the 200-acre complex is in close proximity to the Lowry Arts Centre and Imperial War Museum North.

As the destination being favoured by big technology companies including Facebook, Twitter and Google, Dublin’s Docklands has 7,000 people working in technology companies located there. Now dubbed Silicon Docks, its workforce is fed by academic institutions such as Trinity College.

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Looking on a wider European scope, Sweden’s Stockholm features in Pack Send’s list. Figures show that, between 2005 and 2012, 6.5 per cent of the world billion-dollar exits were form businesses originating in Sweden. With companies such as iZettle and Spotify based there, we should soon see some more multi-billion-dollar deals.

Tel Aviv also has a very dense population of technology startups and is third only to the US and China when ti comes to the amount of companies listed on the NASDQ.

Unsurprisingly, the US has three designations on the study. As home to the headquarters of some of the biggest technology firms in the world, ranging from Netflix to eBay, the area accounts for one-third of all the venture capital investments in the US.

Moving to New York, the increasingly trendy DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass) region has views of the Manhattan Skyline and a wide range of office space. Companies such as Vice, Kickstarter and Amplify have moved in. Located nearby, and rising out of the site of where the Twin Towers once stood, the new One World Trade Centre Complex is a 104-floor high rise housing Conde Nast and BMB.

Leaving the US and Europe brings about some of the more surprising inclusions. Osaka in Japan has headquarters for Panasonic and Mitsubishi despite being ranked as the second most expensive city in the world in 2013 by the Economist Intelligence Unit.

Also representing the east is the yet to be finished Songdo International Business District in Seoul, South Korea, being touted at the “business hub of Northeast Asia”, and soon to count Cisco as a resident – and Connaught Place in New Delhi, India, described as “one of the largest and most sought-after business centres”.

Melbourne’s hip Melbourne is the headquarters for companies ranging from Boeing to ANZ as well as a growing number of startups, based on the provision of grants and support services for small businesses.

Finishing the list off are some well-known buildings, including the Burj Kahlifa in Dubai, the world’s tallest building at 163 floors high. Alongside businesses such as Regus and Dentons are restaurants, observatories, a hotel and residential units. Another big tower block complex to feature is the Petronas Towards in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.