Nur-Sultan is 2nd in high-growth ecosystems ranking in the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020

Nur-Sultan, the capital of Kazakhstan, is highlighted in the largest global report about how regions can develop thriving startup ecosystems, ranking 2nd among high-growth ecosystems in Activation phase.

SAN FRANCISCO, California — June 25, 2020 — The 2020 Global Startup Ecosystem Report (GSER) by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network has launched today at The Ecosystems Couch Conference.

The GSER is the world’s most comprehensive and widely-read research on startups with 250 ecosystems studied, a Global Top 40 Ecosystems ranking, and a Top 100 Emerging Ecosystems ranking.

Startup Genome has benchmarked Nur-Sultan’s performance against more than 250 ecosystems globally in the Report.

Among the Activation phase ecosystems, Nur-Sultan is ranked 2nd in high-growth ecosystems, ahead of such cities as Frankfurt, Cairo, Manila, the mid-Eastern region of Ireland and others.

Startup Genome in its #GSER2020 research talks about the Startup Ecosystem Lifecycle Model, which is divided into 4 phases in ascending order: Activation, Globalization, Attraction and Integration.

Startup ecosystems develop across four aforementioned stages, each of which has its own characteristics, challenges and objectives. At the Activation phase the main objectives are to increase the startup output and early-stage funding, activate entrepreneurial-minded people, and grow a cohesive local community that helps each other.

In addition, the study showed that another one of Nur-Sultan’s advantages among similar ecosystems at this stage of development is affordable talent.

Moreover, according to the results of the #GSER2020 study, Nur-Sultan has achieved maximum Funding Growth Index value. This indicates that the ecosystem of the capital overall has a high potential for further development and for increase in funding for local startups.

According to the latest data, Kazakhstan has achieved a record high 25th position in the World Bank’s Doing Business rating. In this regard, ease of doing business and support for startups are cited as additional reasons why startups should move to Nur-Sultan. FinTech and GovTech are also highlighted as regional sub-sector strengths.

Noting the latter, Kazakhstan’s E-Gov ranks 39th in the world and is in TOP-10 among countries in Asia. In addition, automation of public services is at 82%, which has allowed a provision of public services for more than 10.7 million users, providing more than 277 million services over the entire period of operation and saving more than $21.5 mln.

  “With the emergence of GovTech in the world, Kazakhstan’s high ranking in this field allows our startups and IT-companies to leverage their expertise for expansion into Asian, African and subsequently global markets” – noted Pavel Koktyshev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of JSC “Zerde” Holding”.

It is important to note that this study has been conducted at a critical time.

In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, four out of every 10 startups globally have three months or fewer of cash runway.

With an expanding footprint, the 2020 GSER provides insights and guidance to public and private leaders about how to foster thriving startup ecosystems, particularly forwarding the conversation on how governments can support and leverage tech ecosystems to restart stalling economies recovering from the COVID-19 lockdowns.

“This is the time for policymakers, community leaders, and foundations to double down on their support of local startups — the #1 engine of job creation and economic growth,” said JF Gauthier, Founder & CEO of Startup Genome. “The Global Startup Ecosystem Report is the foundation of global knowledge where we, as a network, come together to identify what policies actually produce economic impact and in what context.”

Since the onset of the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, at the initiative of the President of Kazakhstan, a number of measures has been implemented, such as the accrual and payment of taxes and payroll social payments were canceled for 6 months for SMEs in the IT-industry and other affected sectors of the economy.

Other measures include expanding the types of organizational activities that are recognized as priorities for state support, deferring and restructuring loan payments, reducing and unifying loan rates, and increasing the volume of state guarantees.

In addition, government agencies constantly interacted with representatives of the IT community and startups to discuss priority issues and collect relevant proposals for changing the “Digital Kazakhstan” state program, the update of which was initiated by the President of Kazakhstan. Thus, more than 400 initiatives were gathered from more than 200 IT-companies, divided into Task Groups by such areas as the development of the ICT industry, Artificial Intelligence, Innovation Development and others.

“As a result of active cooperation between the state, IT business and other participants of the innovation ecosystem, actions and initiatives have been developed, which will be reflected in the updated “Digital Kazakhstan” state program. These measures reflect the current realities of the digital economy and will stimulate its active development.” – summed up Pavel Koktyshev, Deputy Chairman of the Board of JSC “Zerde” Holding”.

It should be noted that since 2018, from the moment of the “Digital Kazakhstan” state program launch, there has been a stable growth across all the main indicators of the ICT industry. During the two years of the “Digital Kazakhstan” state program implementation, the number of ICT companies has increased from 5,129 to 6,904 companies, employment in the IT market has increased from 60,229 to 69,507 people, and exports of IT services have increased from $14.9 mln to 22.2 mln.

 Find out how more than 100 entrepreneurial ecosystems across the world stack up and view the full report here:


Startup Genome’s mission is to enhance startup success and ecosystem performance everywhere. Startup Genome is the world’s leading policy advisory and research organization for governments and public-private partnerships. Its impact is rooted in the world’s largest entrepreneurship research with data on over a million companies across 250 cities. Learn how Startup Genome accelerates global startup ecosystems by contacting Adam Bregu at and on, LinkedIn, Twitter.

  For interviews and further inquiries, please contact:  

 Tricia Whitlock

Chief Operations Officer, Startup Genome

WhatsApp: +1-770-561-1701

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