Kingston Maintains Rank as Top Small City for Startups in Canada

Kingston, Ontario – May 31, 2023 – In a highly anticipated virtual conference hosted yesterday in London, StartupBlink proudly presented its comprehensive 2023 Global Startup Ecosystem rankings, featuring 100 countries and 1,000 cities from around the world.

For the third consecutive year, Kingston has maintained its rank as the the top small city (100,000 – 500,000 population) in Canada for its startup ecosystem. Overall, Kingston secured an impressive position ranking 9th of all Canada cities and moving three points up globally to rank 180th in the prestigious Global Ecosystem Index Report.

Within Kingston’s entrepreneurial landscape, various sectors have demonstrated exceptional strength and competitiveness. Notably, Kingston excels in the Energy and Environment sector moving up in the ranks substantially in 2023, securing an impressive 4th place in Canada and 31st globally compared to 6th nationally and 59th globally in 2022.  The city’s overall performance also shines on a regional level, placing 62nd in North America compared to 70th in 2022.

“Continuing to rank as the top small city in Canada, Kingston is showing its leadership status once again on the StartupBlink Ecosystem report,” says Mayor Paterson. “To see us excel in the Energy and Environment sector demonstrates that we can lead the charge for change through innovation and entrepreneurship. I’m very proud of the community-wide efforts to partner, collaborate and support one another to show Canada and the world what Kingston is capable of.”

StartupBlink’s Global Startup Ecosystem Index, an annual publication since 2017, represents the most comprehensive ranking of 1,000 cities and 100 countries, meticulously evaluated through an index ranking system based on a multitude of data points. The index is curated, incorporating hundreds of thousands of data points processed by an algorithm that accounts for numerous parameters.

“We are thrilled once again to witness Kingston’s outstanding international recognition and heartened to see our global position climbing. The city’s exceptional positioning empowers startups to capitalize on global opportunities and attract visionary entrepreneurs worldwide. In close collaboration our ecosystem partners, we consistently champion startup investment, offering abundant resources and opportunities for Kingston-based companies to achieve remarkable global scalability,” says Donna Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, Kingston Economic Development Corporation.

Recognizing Kingston’s extraordinary potential, StartupBlink highlighted the city’s ability to surpass expectations, showcasing its ability to compete alongside larger counterparts. Kingston stands alongside illustrious small cities such as Cambridge (UK), Zug (Switzerland), Luxembourg City (Luxembourg) and Bend (Oregon, USA).

Norman Musengimana, Business Development Manager for Start-ups & Entrepreneurship at Kingston Economic Development, took the stage at the virtual conference, delivering an overview of the thriving start-up ecosystem in Kingston. With great enthusiasm, Norman stated, “Here at Kingston Economic Development, we find ourselves truly inspired by the remarkable agility and dynamism that characterizes the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Kingston. Our success is a direct result of the unwavering collaboration among esteemed partners such as Queen’s Partnership and Innovation, St. Lawrence College, Dunin-Deshpande Queen’s Innovation Centre, KPM Accelerate, GreenCentre Canada, and the exceptional co-working spaces like Seaway Co-working, Fractal, and Sanctuary. Together, we provide unparalleled support to our entrepreneurs and startup founders, fostering continuous improvement in our global ranking and overall performance. Receiving accolades in prestigious global rankings, such as the one we have achieved, serves as a powerful testament to the collaborative spirit that defines the Kingston entrepreneurship ecosystem.”

StartupBlink emphasized the presence of over 150 startups within Kingston, spotlighting success stories such as Li-Cycle. Founded in 2016, Li-Cycle’s growth was significantly bolstered by Kingston’s supportive ecosystem, alongside GreenCentre Canada and Kingston Process Metallurgy.  Additional recognition was given to Distributive, a Kingston-based tech startup founded in 2017, specializing in developing a distributed compute platform utilizing JavaScript and Web Assembly. Distributive’s open network computing model was used in Project Arrow, the first all-Canadian, zero-emission concept vehicle. This pioneering solution accelerates Canadian science, innovation, and discovery, propelling Kingston’s reputation as a hub for ground breaking technological advancements.

With its remarkable performance and dynamic ecosystem, Kingston continues to establish itself as a beacon of entrepreneurship, primed for international collaboration and future successes.

Media Contact:
Nour Mazloum
Marketing & Communications Manager
Kingston Economic Development Corporation