In focus: Hubs

Last summer we embarked on a global start-up hubs tour, as we unearthed the best location for your business. From young tech entrepreneurs in Tel Aviv to a new generation of nimble start-ups in Ho Chi Minh City, if you have an idea you wish to grow then there’s a hub out there to cater for your needs.

This summer we’re going back on the road, as we look to discover the next generation of hubs for aspiring entrepreneurs, musicians and adventurers. We’ll also be assessing the worth and role of hubs in our increasingly connected world – are they a dying breed or do hubs hold more relevance than ever before?

If you work or live in an emerging hub then let us know...

What the rise of digital nomad hubs means for entrepreneurs of the future

The rise of digital nomads are seeing a number of entrepreneurial hubs spring up across the world – but where are they and what do they tell us about modern business?

Dubai: The unexpected start-up hub

At first glance Dubai might not look like a start-up friendly city. But all those glass and steel towers can be deceptive. If you scratch away at the surface you’ll find a city with the potential to dominate the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region as a start-up hub.

Music tech in Nashville

To say that Nashville is well-known for its music would be an understatement. Over the years the city has produced some of the world's great artists. But as tastes change and innovations increase, Nashville is determined not to be left behind, as it turns its hand to music tech...

Is Alderley Park the UK's most innovative hub?

The rolling Cheshire countryside might not seem like the obvious place for the cutting edge of bioscience, but look beyond the grazing sheep and footballers’ mansions and Alderley Edge is where the biotech’s going down.

Hong Kong: Six tips for cracking Asia's fastest growing start-up hub

If you're an entrepreneur looking to crack Asia's most up-and-coming hub for the first time, here are six key tips...

Georgia: The making of a global port hub

How Georgia managed to overturn its fortunes and created one of the world's busiest and most successful ports in the world...

Richard Branson: This is why hubs are so important

Great creations or movements are born from communities based around hubs. I learned this early on with Virgin Records, which found success by being heavily involved in creative communities. 

Transforming Ireland into a global start-up hub

Ireland has ambitions of becoming a global start-up hub by 2020 and with the numerous accelerators and start-ups already calling Dublin home it’s no surprise. But is five years a realistic target to turn the Emerald Isle into a go-to hub for start-ups?

How Virgin Trains created retail hubs with Pop-Up

When Nicola Griffiths came up with the idea of getting local businesses to sell on the platform at Crewe railway station, where she works for Virgin Trains, she never realised the impact it would have as a retail hub supporting small businesses...

Why the idea of a community is the key to the new world of work

In the latest installment of our Hubs series we look at the impact communities are having on the modern workforce and the different working environment they’re inspiring…

Inside Trondheim: What does it take to create a music hub?

These shows happen all over the place – true hubs of local talent coming together to do something special. But I’ll focus on one particular festival I’ve visited for the last few years, which always seems to belie expectations by delivering an incredible roster of home-grown. Liverpool? Berlin? Gronigen? Nope. This is Trondheim – the picturesque third city of Norway...

Music in Sheffield

For such a small city, how does Sheffield continue to hold its own in the music scene? It has bigger, brasher neighbours in the form of Leeds and Manchester, and truly, they should dominate the music scene. Instead, thanks to Sheffield's entrepreneurial, hedonistic spirit, the city has well and truly established itself as the music hub of the north.

How Christchurch created a start-up hub in the face of adversity

In February 2011, Christchurch was struck by an earthquake for the second time in five months, this time resulting in 185 fatalities and bringing a city, already reeling, to its knees.

Eco-conscious Amsterdam

Going green is nothing new for the Dutch. For more than 400 years they’ve been planting trees along the canals of Amsterdam to ‘green up’ the city, which, with 400km of bike paths, is a city where green transportation is no joke. But how else is Amsterdam building its eco-conscious reputation and how does the city encourage other places to follow in its green footsteps?

What makes a start-up hub successful?

Some locations seem to be havens for entrepreneurs, crowded with accelerators, incubators and co-working spaces. But what is it that makes a good start-up hub and are some start-up hubs doomed to fail?

Creatives in Manchester

Manchester has led the future of innovation for over 200 years, but recent events have seen it turn into a global hub for creatives - how has this evolution been able to take place?

3D printing in Shanghai

The Chinese government’s increased investment in 3D printing technologies appears to be bearing fruit, as the construction industry continues to be disrupted by an incredibly efficient new way of creating houses..

Boston's Innovation District

How easy is it to artificially create an innovation hub in an area which has a long past of crime and low wages? We travelled to Boston’s 'Southie' neighbourhood to find out…

Designers in Kilkenny

Ireland’s tech entrepreneurs are doing their bit to support their country’s economic recovery, with hubs in Dublin and Cork home to some exciting new start-ups. But is Kilkenny the most exciting business hub currently operating in the country?

Are airports the most important hubs in the world?

Airports have become more than just a port that people travel through on their way to their destination, with many now operating as hubs that send passengers around the world. Hub airports work to create economies of scale by pooling demand for destinations and regular flights.

Entrepreneurs in Chicago

In recent years, Chicago has become as well-known for its start-up scene as it is for its deep dish pizzas. But how has this city that was once just a trading post become an entrepreneurial hub?

Modern business in Athens and Tel Aviv

Start-up hubs of the world unite. Today we look at the fortunes of two emerging hubs for business and assess their fortunes, as well as their chances of prospering through increased collaboration…

Biotech start-ups in San Francisco

Silicon Valley is a pretty effective tech hub, of that there is no question. But what happens when a world leading hub aims to diversify in order to tackle a different set of problems? Phil Rodriques finds out…

Manufacturing in Shenzhen

Many have been quick to label Shenzhen as China’s answer to Silicon Valley, but how much of a global impact on manufacturing and technology could it truly have? We travel east to find out more…

Live music in Austin

Austin, Texas never used to be the first place that sprung to mind when you thought about live music. But the city’s music industry is now worth an estimated $1.6 billion, so how did it become such a thriving hub for live performance?

Youth culture in Guatemala City

In 2008 the entire district of Guatemala City’s 4 Grados Norte was shut down - many thought for good. So how did the area overcome it's problems with drugs and prostitution to become a thriving hub of youth culture?

Is the idea of a hub becoming redundant?

With the ease and appetite for playing out our lives online, has modern technology made the idea of a hub or community increasingly redundant?


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