The Sunshine Coast has debuted in 259th place in the StartupBlink Ecosystem Ranking Report 2020 released last week, placing it in the global top 26% of cities/regions that encourage and support startup companies.


Twelve Australian cities feature in this year’s rankings, with the Sunshine Coast in 8th place nationally and the second-highest ranked region outside Australia’s capital cities.

The annual StartupBlink report ranks 1000 cities across 100 countries using a geographic crowdsourced database of startups, accelerators, and coworking spaces, among others.


The rankings measure the quantity and quality of startups and other supporting organisations, the infrastructure, business environment, and ability to operate as a startup founder. 

Innovation Centre Director and USC Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Innovation) Professor Roland De Marco said the drawcard for the Sunshine Coast goes beyond a great lifestyle, but is a place where innovation lives and entrepreneurs thrive.


“The Sunshine Coast is a globally competitive, dynamic and innovative economy.  We have a strong entrepreneurial spirit that is driven by a multitude of enablers such as an excellent innovation ecosystem, an internationally competitive University, a state-of-the-art University Hospital, a fast telecommunications network, a major international airport, and a progressive government with strong interests in business attraction and retention.”


Voice tech startup Alkira Software is one of more than 90 startups featured in the online Ecosystem map, representing the region’s active innovation culture and continued growth.


Alkira has been pioneering inclusive and accessible voice software since 2014 and is now set to release its software as a service (Saas) tools worldwide later this year, allowing brands to build sophisticated voice-driven experiences using their cloud-based development platform.


Chief Technology Officer Ray Guy said despite the slowdown of the COVID pandemic, the Alkira team was still pushing forward and fully engaged getting the software platform ready for release.


“Being able to encapsulate our technology and releasing it to the world is very exciting for us. It still blows my mind that this is happening from the Sunshine Coast. It’s a place with an incredible depth of talent and a strong entrepreneurial community,” he said.


This next expansion phase in Alkira’s success follows its recent collaboration with the State Library of Queensland’s Anzac Stories app using Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.


“It was a great way for people to commemorate Anzac Day in a different way, but still feel engaged in the current lockdown circumstances.”


Alkira also recently won the Apps, Mobile and Voice – Education and Reference category of the prestigious international 2020 Webby Awards for Last Seen, an art exhibition developed for Queensland Eye Institute in collaboration with The Studio at Southern Cross Austereo and Publicis Worldwide Australia.


2020 Australian rankings

National rank City Global rank Rank change (from 2019)
1 Sydney 31 -12
2 Melbourne 40 -5
3 Brisbane 78 +9
4 Perth 136
5 Adelaide 150 -7
6 Canberra 207 -7
7 Gold Coast 224 +70
8 Sunshine Coast 259 new
9 Wollongong 386 -122
10 Hobart 470 +165
11 Darwin 725 +27
12 Tamworth 844 +142


In the country rankings, Australia sits 7th in the world, down two spots from 2019.


About StartupBlink

StartupBlink is a global startup ecosystem map and research centre working with governments, municipalities, and economic development corporations on the development, mapping, and benchmarking of their startup ecosystems.

Download a copy of the report HERE