As a high-tech entrepreneur I’ve always thought about relocating to one of the top startup cities in the US. But which cities are these? Besides the Silicon Valley many cities have claimed at one point or another to be the “top startup city in the US”.
I tried to take a more quantitative approach to defining this list of cities using Crunchbase as a source of information on high-tech companies. I ran a search on Crunchbase to see how many companies were listed as having been founded since January 2009 in different cities around the US.
As these results were quite interesting, I decided to check the number of companies founded in each city since January 2008 to see if the results were consistent with my previous findings.
And then I checked the general number of Crunchbase companies in each city without any limitation on date of founding
As you can see the results are quite clear and are fairly consistent between the different tests.
Silicon Valley is the undisputed ruler of startup-land, with New York in second place. Following is a threesome with relatively similar figures: Boston, Seattle, and Los Angeles. The next tier is comprised of Austin, Chicago, and Washington D.C. And finally there is a group of cities that just barely made the list, but have some great potential: Boulder, Portland, Atlanta, and Philadelphia.
So there you have it – those are the top startup cities in the US according to the Crunchbase-Baror criteria.
* Methodology: Crunchbase was used to search for all companies listed as being founded from the given date and being located within a 10 mile radius of the selected city. For the Silicon Valley the search criteria was a 50 mile radius from San Francisco to make sure the whole valley was indeed accounted for.
Love it, very useful! Thanks!
Study of high tech clusters is becoming more popular as many cities are trying to find the right recipe to copy the success and attract high tech companies into their cities (latest notable examples are east London and Barcelona). There are many useful reports on this, with some counter-intuitive results, including: http://www.newgeography.com/content/00822-north-america%E2%80%99s-high-tech-economy-the-geography-knowledge-based-industries
Thanks for the link Rotem. I’ve seen several studies, some of them very impressive, that analyze many factors such as number of available jobs, cost of living, etc. Most of them focus on high-tech in general and not specifically on startups, and the results are never consistent (except a general agreement that Silicon Valley is number one).
I tried to find a simple way to define the top cities for high-tech startups. Of course this method is far from perfect and ignores many factors. However the results are clear and easy to reproduce and track over time.
The results are currently based only on US cities. It would be interesting to see how some of the worldwide startup hubs compare.
Thanks for the input!
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You mentioned you took a 10 mile radius for all the cities excepting the bay area. I am wondering if that skewed the results a bit in favor of the bay area. For example, Seattle and Bellevue are a little over 10 miles apart and the Bellevue has a vibrant startup scene too! Just a thought but nice work!!
Indeed taking a 10 mile radius for all cities except the bay area is a bit arbitrary and may skew the results. But I think the results aren’t skewed in a way that would substantially affect the ranking. Given the fact that Crunchbase contains only a sample of the companies in a given area (and that may also skew the results as perhaps bay area startups are more likely to register in Crunchbase), I think the numerical results aren’t completely reliable, but the ranking of the cities is fairly solid.
Thanks for the input!