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Some initial findings from a year in the field of some of Europe's startup cities. Digital entrepreneurship is an engagement with community-- thus it is important for communities to foster these spaces to ensure they can grow.
Technological change and the development of the digital economy have drastically reshaped our
connection to our work, our cities and to one another. As technology companies and startup firms
have begun to comprise a larger proportion of the global economy, entrepreneurs trading in products
and services that exist entirely online are less constrained by geography than ever before. While the
constraints to geography slip away for these entrepreneurs, locality takes upon a new meaning.
Increasingly, aspiring tech entrepreneurs are choosing startup cities-- transnational social
spaces existing on top of, and not entirely within the confines of the modern city. The Startup City exemplifies today's urban superdiversity (Vertovec 2007), new forms that are
uniquely comprised of
people, institutions, practices, and values, making them distinct from other types of transnational
communities grounded in shared ethnicity or religion (Faist 1998). Wholly engaged in
entrepreneurship and the technologies that have faci
take on a global dimension while inhabiting the modern geography of the city. Many times, these
spaces and the people that populate them exist outside the confines of local policy, utilizing privilege
and human capital to maneuver around bureaucracy and visa policy. As governments increasingly aim
to increase competitiveness by supporting the digital economy and the entrepreneurs that sustain
it, we investigate the spaces they inhabit. This piece introduces the features and development of
Startup Cities, and outlines the challenges and opportunities they present.