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America's Leading High-Tech, Venture Capital Centers

America's Leading High-Tech, Venture Capital Centers
Robert Galbraith / Reuters

The geography of high-tech startups and venture capital appears to be changing, according to new data from the National Venture Capital Association reported yesterday in USA Today. The data charts the total number of high-tech startups, the number receiving venture capital investment and the dollar value of that investment for the ten largest high-tech regions in 2011.

 My Martin Prosperity Institute colleague Zara Matheson mapped these leading centers based on the USA Today report.


Map by MPI's Zara Matheson, data courtesy of USA Today and National Venture Capital Association

San Francisco, which includes Silicon Valley, remains the nation's leading high-tech venture capital center with 3,442 total start-ups and $11.8 billion in venture-capital investment going to 430 companies.

New York is next in start-ups with 1,844, though it lags Boston slightly in VC investment with $2.7 billion compared to $2.8 billion for Boston. New York's rise is a recent occurrence: Though it has long been a source of venture funds, until recently it was a relatively minor player in high-tech start-ups. Its recent, rapid rise as a high-tech center appears to be powered both by the size and diversity of its industries and markets and also by the growing preference of younger techies for more urban locations. 

L.A. is fourth with 1,507 total start-ups and $2.0 billion in VC investment to 129 companies. Washington, D.C., takes fifth with 261 total start-ups and nearly $1 billion in venture capital investment.

Taken as a whole, the Bos-Wash corridor has become a serious player in high-tech venture capital with a total $6.5 billion in VC investment between New York, Boston and D.C., more than half that of the Bay Area.

San Diego, Chicago, Austin, Boulder-Denver, and Seattle round out the top ten.

The USA Today report notes that: "High rents in San Francisco and New York are making other parts of the country, where living expenses are lower, more attractive."

Here on Cities, I've noted the shift of high-tech and venture capital from the older suburban "nerdistan" model to an emerging model I call "urban tech" - in New York, San Francisco even London.

We will continue to track these evolving trends in the geography of high-tech venture capital.

Top image: Robert Galbraith / Reuters

Richard Florida is Co-Founder and Editor at Large at The Atlantic Cities. He's also a Senior Editor at The Atlantic, Director of the Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management, and Global Research Professor at New York University. He is a frequent speaker to communities, business and professional organizations, and founder of the Creative Class Group, whose current client list can be found here. All posts »

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