Mar 30, 2017

The next start-up hubs

A growing number of startups are being created across the country — and they're cropping up outside of the top innovation hub cities. That's according to new data released today by TechNet and the Progressive Policy Institute.

Why it matters: Political and economic dynamics are forcing companies and investors to pay more attention to business activity in middle America, where many workers feel left out of the booming economies of the coastal cities (think San Francisco, San Jose, Seattle, New York and Boston.) Following the recession, start-up formation stalled outside of the big tech hubs like Silicon Valley. But activity has picked up over the past two years, with midwestern cities gaining momentum.

Data: TechNet / Progressive Policy Institute Report; Map: Lazaro Gamio / Axios

The findings:

  • Almost half (48%) of new start-up growth is happening outside of the 35 largest metro areas.
  • Top 10 emerging start-up hubs: Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Denver, Salt Lake City, Portland, Dallas, Raleigh-Durham, Worcester and Philadelphia.
  • Cities to watch include Nashville, Cleveland, New Orleans, Minneapolis, Detroit.
  • In 2014, companies in their first 5 years created 2.2 million jobs, while firms older than 5 years created 450,000 jobs.
  • New startups could create one million new jobs per year nationwide.

"Start-up activity has burst out of the tech hubs and is really spreading across the entire economy," PPI's Michael Mandel, who conducted the study, told Axios. "You're starting to see the new green shoots come up in a lot of areas."

What to watch: Local and state level officials are looking for ways to encourage more start-up growth in midwestern regions, including tax incentives for homegrown companies and helping boost access to capital.

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