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At the Founder Institute, we believe that great startups can be built anywhere...

Who says that Silicon Valley is the best place to found a startup? According to the Founder Institute’s “Entrepreneur DNA" test, there are talented founders everywhere, and you don’t have to move to Silicon Valley to build a startup. With the right tools and entrepreneurial skills, great companies can be built anywhere in the world.

Through the Founder Institute, we have tested over 30,000 aspiring entrepreneurs across the globe since 2009 using advanced social science techniques.

Our data shows that there are talented entrepreneurs everywhere, and that each region has unique entrepreneurial strengths.

Here are just a few examples of what our data has shown across over 110 cities and six continents:

  • Latin America has the most “Conscientious” founders in the world. Conscientiousness is a “Big 5 Personality Trait” for people that are organized, self-disciplined, diligent, and hard-working. Cities outside of LATAM that also ranked extremely high for Conscientiousness include Kabul, Chengdu, Abidjan, and Lagos.
  • Founders from Singapore have shown the highest “Fluid Intelligence” in the world. Fluid Intelligence measures someone’s ability to quickly learn a new ruleset, and then adapt that ruleset towards solving problems. After Singapore, Munich, Hong Kong, Moscow, and Tokyo round out the top 5 globally for this trait.
  • Founders from India have shown the highest “Agreeableness” in the world. Agreeableness is a “Big Five” personality trait that measures cooperation versus antagonism. It can be synonymous with compassion, and being kind, sympathetic, cooperative, warm and considerate — or, conversely, with suspicion.
  • Founders from Australia have shown the highest “Emotional Stability” in the world. Emotional Stability is related to neuroticism (another “Big 5 Personality Trait”), and people with high emotional stability have high impulse control and can remain calm in stressful situations.
  • Founders from Europe have shown the highest “Openness” in the world. Openness is another “Big Five” trait for people who are intellectually curious, creative, risk-taking, and willing to try new things.
  • Founders from Athens have shown the highest “Overall Predictive Entrepreneurship Score” in the world. The “Overall Predict Score” is a combination score of many traits that the Founder Institute has found to correlate with entrepreneurial success, and it is the main criteria in our global admissions. After Athens, Tel Aviv, Rome, Perth, and Denver round out the top 5 globally.
  • Silicon Valley is not in the Top 10 globally on any of these rankings.

No matter where you go, there are highly-motivated people with the raw skills necessary to be successful entrepreneurs.

Check out some of the program’s top companies below, as well the regional entrepreneurial strengths we discovered from testing over 20,000 aspiring startup founders from around the globe. 


If you also believe that great startups can be built anywhere, then take a few minutes and apply to be a Founder Institute Director at Or, consider creating a "Startup Ecosystem Canvas" for your city at

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