US Startup City Ranking

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Publicly-available reports include:

Data Set(s)

When using this data, please reference them as:

Egan, Edward J. (YYYYQX), "YYYY U.S. Startup City Rankings", Available from


Egan, Edward J. (YYYYQX), "YYYY U.S. Startup State Rankings", Available from

Substituting YYYY for the year and QX for the quarter.

All datasets are available as tab-delimited text files, with UTF-8 encoding, header lines, and PC/UNIX line-endings.

Current datasets

For 2020:

All years (1980-2020) in a single file:

These datasets were produced using the third rebuild of the ranking code. See Ranking US Cities by Venture Capital.

Previous Releases

In the second rebuild of the ranking code, updates to the data were done for 2017 and Q1/2 of 2018, and the list was expanded beyond the top 100 cities to include all U.S. cities that have received venture capital from 1980 to the draw date. State rankings were likewise added.

The following files are available:

2016 Top 20

The Top 20 cities for 2016 were as follows:



These reports use data from Thomson–Reuters VentureXpert to examine growth venture capital (VC) investment in the United States for each year (or part of a year) and generate a ranking for U.S. startup cities. The overall ranking is based on equally weighting cities’ ranks for there measures:

  1. Growth venture capital dollars invested,
  2. The number of new growth venture capital deals (i.e., first growth VC investments into startups),
  3. The number of startups actively funded with growth venture capital (see below).

The difference between growth and transactional VC is described in Egan and Carranza (2018). Essentially, growth VC is seed, early, or later-stage investments into nascent, privately-held, predominantly high-growth high-tech startups.

We follow the academic convention and define a firm as an active recipient of venture capital if not more than five years have elapsed since the last round of investment and the firm has not experienced an IPO or an acquisition. This definition overstates reality -- perhaps as many as half of all "active" firms will be either dead or living-dead in a given municipality.

A full description of the data processing is available on the Ranking US Cities by Venture Capital project page.


Egan, Edward J. and Diana Carranza. 2018. "Growth vs. Transactional Venture Capital in Houston, Texas." Issue brief no. 03.05.18. Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Houston, Texas.

Egan, Edward J., Anne Dayton, and Diana Carranza. 2017. "The Top 100 U.S. Startup Cities in 2016". Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy, Houston, Texas.