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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.

Expand chart

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.

Go deeper

Updated 3 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

  1. Health: It's very difficult to get access to antiviral COVID treatments — Axios-Ipsos poll: Omicron's big numbersAnother wave of death — FDA limits use of Regeneron and Lilly antibody treatments.
  2. Vaccines: Pfizer begins clinical trial for Omicron-specific vaccine — The shifting definition of fully vaccinated.
  3. Politics: New York Supreme Court grants stay for indoor mask mandate — Neil Young demands Spotify take down music over vaccine misinformation — Biden admin withdraws temporary vaccine-or-test mandate for large employers.
  4. World: U.K. to lift travel testing requirement for fully vaccinated — Beijing Olympic Committee lowers testing threshold ahead of Games.
  5. Variant tracker

Scoop: Airbnb policy vet goes crypto

Photo illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios. Photo: Mujahid Safodien/AFP via Getty Images

Chris Lehane, a top Airbnb exec and former Clinton administration official, tells Axios Pro Fintech Deals he plans to join the leadership team of a crypto venture-capital fund next month.

Why it matters: The move by Lehane is a sign of the growing allure the crypto world holds for tech pioneers who have already amassed power and wealth but still want to scratch the "disruption" itch.

School principals are not OK

Principal Alice Hom (purple jacket) of New York's Yung Wing School P.S. 124 near a vaccination van in November. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

The overwhelming majority of secondary school principals experienced frequent stress last school year, according to a RAND Corporation report out Wednesday.

The big picture: The stress levels among female principals and principals of color were especially stark, with nearly 40% in these groups reporting constant job-related stress, compared to about 24% of male principals and 26% of white principals.