2022 | StartupBlink View the Global Startup Map p. 3 A Word from StartupBlink CEO 2022 is the year of global startup ecosystem uncertainty. And that’s not necessarily bad, as it historically brings new opportunities and potential exponential growth in sectors and technologies. First and foremost, our vision of an integrated and global startup ecosystem where hundreds of countries and thousands of cities are all playing on the same global playfield is not materializing. Some Startup Ecosystems are now fragmenting. Some aspects of this trend are positive. Emerging regional hubs such as Singapore and Dubai are building technologies catering to their geographies. People around the world are now using solutions that were customized specifically for their tastes and local preferences, that were built by local entrepreneurs, instead of patronizing a handful of powerful global corporations. We love this. However, we can’t ignore the negative implications of this separation. A few notable countries, such as China and Russia, have made a conscious decision to build closedwall ecosystems decoupled from the global internet and digital economy. This usually happens due to geopolitical reasons and results in complete separation between startup ecosystems. Our ability to connect to each other globally, share information, and develop global solutions is harmed by this trend. The internet used to be a magical place where we could meet people from all over the world. It is now a place where we mostly meet people from our geopolitical block. Those we don’t meet cannot become our friends. We believe countries that decide to isolate their startup ecosystems from the world will not thrive in the long term. If currently the cycle is leaning towards increased fragmentation, it will shift at some point, and those who have stayed connected will be in a much better position. Countries, and each of us as digital citizens, that choose to stay connected to an open version of the Internet should also be careful not to isolate ourselves in a closed digital network. Human psychology encourages us to surround ourselves with like-minded people. Our political affiliation, place of residence, and financial status will vastly determine our digital tribes and identity. Let’s keep an open mind. Beyond the psychology of ecosystems, there are some economic elements which currently challenge the growth of tech ecosystems around the world. Inflation, tech sector wage increases, company devaluations, and increasing interest rates will all challenge short term economic growth and make it harder to raise capital. For founders, it could mean a return to beautiful origins; the self funded bootstrapped path may become a necessity again.