ssWith startup rates hitting record highs, the UK is fast becoming a nation of fledgling businesses and ambitious entrepreneurs. In 2014 a record-breaking 581,173 startups began trading in the UK. But how many of those businesses are thriving, how many have disappeared and what are the factors which will make or break these new enterprises?

According to a brand new interactive heatmap from cloud VoIP provider Vonage, where a startup chooses to start its life could play a key role in its success. So understanding what makes a startup thrive is important.

Vonage’s freshly made heatmap has been developed to offer insight into these crucial factors, with a focus on location. Working with data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and, the interactive map records the survival rates of new startups between January 2014 and January 2016, also examining factors like broadband speed, the graduate pool in the local area and property prices in each region.

Although not distinctly relevant to all start-up businesses, graduate rate and broadband speeds for UK top cities have been provided as notably influential operating factors to start-up businesses. Graduate workforce indicative of employment opportunity of educated employees based on working age population with NVQ4 or Above Qualification by City and average broadband speeds of the cities.

The results unveil Winchester as the UK’s number one hotspot when it comes to the best cities for startup survival. Meanwhile, the Welsh capital Cardiff is revealed to be the UK’s least promising city to launch a startup:

Top 5 “Startup Survival” Cities

1. Winchester (77.6% survival)
2. Portsmouth (76.9% survival)
3. St Albans (73.8% survival)
4. Carlisle (73.5% survival)
5. Chichester (73.4% survival)


Through the research, which compiles data from official sources including Ofcom and the UK Land Registry, Vonage explored even more fascinating insights into startup successes.

When examining startup survival by industry, the study found that health-oriented businesses were the most likely to succeed in today’s startup climate, while artistically inclined businesses struggled more. In startup boom city Winchester, the key industries were IT, scientific & technical engineering and business support services.

Most successful startup industries (UK-wide, 2014)

1. Nursing Homes (91.4% success)
2. Road Freight Services (90.9% success)
3. GP Services (90.1% success)
4. Dentistry (90.0% success)
5. Engineering Design Activities (89.7% success)

Least successful startup industries (UK-wide, 2014)

1. External Building Cleaning (77.9% survival)
2. Film Production (78.2% survival)
3. Recruitment Agency (78.3% survival)
4. Sports Activities (78.9% survival)
5. Art & Design (79.3% survival)

So what is it that makes Winchester the UK’s most successful startup city? The area ranks at #29 (of 50) for broadband speeds. When it comes to graduates, however, Winchester rates highly, ranking as the UK’s 4th best city for recruiting top graduates.

In close proximity to London, in the heart of the comparatively prosperous South with access to the nearby graduate pools of Oxford and Cambridge, Winchester is well placed for startups keen to stay connected, but also keen to avoid the sky high rents and costs of living found in London.