An entrepreneur’s guide to Bratislava’s tech scene

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Nestled between Austria, Hungary, Ukraine and the Czech Republic, Slovakia is truly at the heart of Central Europe, however the country often gets overlooked in favor of its larger, better known neighbors.

With its affordable ski slopes, awe-inspiring peaks and natural parks, and the highest number of chalets and castles in the world, the country has established itself as a blossoming tourist destination. However, while its capital Bratislava is increasingly drawing hordes of holiday-makers from both the east and west, there is a lot more going on there than meets the eye.

While operating on a much smaller scale than more established tech hubs like Berlin, London or even Budapest, Bratislava is starting to mark its territory as a ripe tech talent base, and an attractive, affordable startup location.

Last year Inc. Magazine reported that 57% of the country’s economic output was the result of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), and that the country ranked disproportionately high on the Inc 5000 Europe list of Europe’s fastest growing private companies, with 107 homegrown enterprises featured.

This is especially impressive when compared with hubs like London, which has 16 times the population of Bratislava, but only has 177 enterprises on the list.

And while the capital’s population – 500,000 people – pales in comparison to other European cities, it has allowed for the growth of a tight-knit community of local entrepreneurs who work together to bolster the reputation of The Danube Valley. Local businesses assist one another in getting a ´foot up,´ to scale, and to compete on the international market.

I recently had the opportunity to enjoy a visit to the Slovak capital while visiting Europe. Here are some key takeaways for entrepreneurs who are considering starting up in Bratislava.