Hence, there is sufficient information for certain countries and cities, and no information about many others. However, we would like to pay attention to a number of interrelations which become very evident when considering the results of both reports.
For example, we can argue that there is a direct link between the level of external funding availability and the innovation level of a country. France and Switzerland have some of the highest levels and quality of funding [Startup Gemone, p. 38], and we find them among the most innovative countries.
Though according to GII 2021 North America is the most innovative continent, followed by Europe, Startup Genome paints a different picture.
‘Europe is the leading continent for Emerging Ecosystems, with 38 cities in the list followed by North America with 32 startup ecosystems and Asia-Pacific is third with 22 ecosystems. Combined, the Emerging Ecosystems represent 49 countries and $348 billion in Ecosystem Value… Startups have become a top growth engine of the economy and policymakers are putting more energy and focus into the development of their startup ecosystems.’ [p.43]
Next, the Report lists Warsaw [Poland], Budapest [Hungary], Bucharest [Romania], Belgrade & Novi Sad [Serbia], Ljubljana [Slovenia], and Prague [Czech Republic] among the 100 emerging startup ecosystems [p.46]. As we underlined above, this Report does not contain information about so many countries like GII 2021. This is it does not display any information about Bulgaria and Croatia.
Just to add one more perspective to the whole picture, we can include also a review on the overall number of R&D centers in the SEE countries. The Recursive in their article dd 01.06.2021 display how Greece, Serbia, Romania, and Bulgaria stand in terms of number and type of corporate R&D centers. The result is as follows,
● Bulgaria – 27 R&D centers, and the most outstanding ones are those of SAP Labs, VMware, Paysafe, and Sensata Technologies;
● Romania – 24 R&D centers with Amazon and Adobe leading the list of the largest investments;
● Serbia – 14 R&D centers with Microsoft, Continental, and NCR heading the list of largest investors;
● Greece – 13 R&D centers with Microsoft and Volkswagen as the most remarkable ones.
To conclude, both GII 2021, and Startup Genome 2020 report put CSEE countries under the spotlight not only in terms of their high-growth potential, but also high achivements in innovation.