With a well-educated and highly skilled workforce, affordable green energy, and tremendous investment and business accelerator opportunities, Reykjavik is quickly gaining a reputation as a Startup City, an incubator for burgeoning and globally facing entrepreneurial ventures.

The IT startup scene is located all over the area. Reykjavik Capital Area offers startups great opportunities, affordable green energy, and centrally located office space near a good selection of eateries, cafés, and bars. Reykjavik has a significant amount of IT talent with an entrepreneurial mindset in a close knit creative society where most companies are positioned for globally facing business.

The Reykjavik startup ecosystem has a number of events such as Startup weekends, business plan competitions, and the Startup Weekend Reykjavik and various Entrepreneurial conference. Startups are further supported by innovation support companies such as Iceland StartupInnovation Center Iceland, and the Startup Reykjavik accelerator program.

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Aluminum Cluster

Over 30 companies and institutions in Iceland have established the Icelandic Aluminum Cluster. The founding companies work in or for the aluminum industry in Iceland in the areas of production, service, processing and development of aluminum production. The objective is to increase the competitiveness of the participating companies in the cluster through increased cooperation and exposure, research and innovation in the field. Among the founders are aluminum producers, engineering firms, mechanical shops, equipment suppliers, logistic firms, shipping companies, construction and financial firms, as well as research and educational institutions.

Aluminum Cluster

Health Cluster

Iceland has developed specialized knowledge in several fields of health throughout the past few years. This has happened through the combination of well-educated workforce with an international outlook, both in Europe and the US, an entrepreneurial environment and a sophisticated health-care system. Iceland’s health cluster is strongest in the fields of pharmaceuticals and medical equipment where it has world class companies. Around 1/3 of Icelandic R&D output goes to medical sciences and around half of all peer reviewed papers from Iceland concern the medical industry.
Medical Products

Iceland’s medical products industry has been growing rapidly with many interesting companies being established. The best known companies are Allergan pharmaceuticals,  Alvogen pharmaceuticals, and Össur prosthetics—all top companies worldwide in their fields. Several foreign companies have research divisions in Iceland, such as Amgen which has a genetics research department in the Vatnsmyri science park.

Health Tourism

The health cluster also includes companies focusing on public health such as Lazytown, which produces entertainment for children focused on healthy living. Iceland is also a well-known health tourism destination with one of the world’s best Spas, the Blue Lagoon.

Tourism Cluster

Iceland has unique landscapes and sites which draw tourists to the country. Lonely Planet has named Iceland and Reykjavik as its top destinations for 2015 and National Geographic has named Iceland’s Blue Lagoon Spa as one of the wonders of the world.

Tourism is one of the fastest growing sectors in Iceland with incoming tourists going from 300.000 in 2003 to almost 1.300.000 in 2015.  The increase between 2014 and 2015 was 30,2%. The biggest visiting nationalities are from USA,UK, Germany, France, Norway, Denmark and China. Tourism’s share of foreign exchange earnings has grown from 18.8% to 27.9% between 2010–2014 according to measurements on the export of goods and services. At present, tourism accounts for more foreign exchange income than the fisheries industry and aluminium production.  Reykjavik Capital Area offers investors several interesting investment possibilities in tourism.

Tourism Cluster

IT Cluster

The IT cluster of Iceland has a turnover of 650 million USD and around 2,500cmployees and growing. The key markets for Icelandic IT are UK, Scandinavia and North America. The current key sectors are gaming, web hosting, data storage and seafood related services. Iceland has a very tech savvy population, with very good access to broadband and good education. This makes Iceland an attractive place to build and test new technology before moving into larger markets.

The sector’s fastest-growing segment has been computer game sales, whose turnover jumped six-fold in 2005–2014. The same trend can be observed overseas, in line with increased computer and Internet use. Iceland’s video game turnover is nearly entirely export-driven.

Creative Cluster

The creative cluster consists of various enterprises, entrepreneurs and institutions in architecture, design, literature, arts, music, fashion, and film. The creative industries in Iceland have flourished and Reykjavik has become a melting pot of exciting new creative enterprises, with individuals seeking to expand their businesses overseas.

The creative cluster of the Reykjavik Capital area is one of the the largest business clusters in Iceland and often intersects with other clusters. Iceland’s creative industries generated a turnover of ISK 189 billion in 2009, accounting for 6.36% of the economy’s total VAT taxable turnover. Full-time equivalent jobs in the creative industries are almost 10,000. Export revenues for this sector in 2009 were about ISK 24 billion, or approximately 3% of Iceland’s total exports. Despite the general downturn in other sectors, turnover in the creative industries has remained fairly constant, with the number of full-time equivalent jobs rising.

The Icelandic creative cluster has two strong sub-clusters in design and film.

The Icelandic Film Industry

Iceland has become popular as a filming location in the last few years. Iceland has built a small but highly flexible and creative filming industry which has experience working with Hollywood’s top talent. The Film in Iceland agency is responsible for attracting foreign movies to Iceland.


Building on these large foreign projects and on the ongoing local development, Iceland has developed its own film industry. The largest company in the film industry is Turner Broadcasting, which owns Lazytown, a children’s TV show viewed by children in 170 countries. Other production companies include Saga Film which is one of the three major service companies to foreign film production crews along with True North and Pegasus.

Iceland Geothermal Cluster

Iceland is uniquely situated in terms of access to a quality resource. The high percentage of geothermal energy as proportion of Iceland’s total primary energy (85%) consumption is unique in the world. Most of the development of geothermal utilization in Iceland has occurred for the last one hundred years or so, especially in the latter half of the 20th century. Iceland is a strong player in the global geothermal market, enjoying the benefits of a powerful geothermal cluster. The cluster’s strength consists of a developed system for using geothermal energy in multiple ways, experienced specialists, and a strong international reputation and network. Icelandic geothermal companies are working on projects in over 50 countries around the world utilizing Iceland’s strenghts in the field. Onpower (Reykjavik Energy) is probably the largest geothermal company in the world based on power creation.

Iceland Geothermal Cluster