Center for American Entrepreneurship Startup Revolution

America’s long-held singular dominance of startup and venture capital activity is being challenged by the rapid ascent of cities in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. While the United States remains the clear global leader, the rest of the world is gaining ground at an accelerating rate.

See where the global startup revolution is taking place

Skip the Map Download Report

Take a guided tour of the data by clicking on a question box.

    Share the Data

    2. Introduction

    The United States is the birthplace of modern, high-tech startups, and the funding model that helps support them. What we think of today as venture capital originated in Boston in the mid-1940s, and later came of age alongside Silicon Valley’s young high-tech companies in the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.

    For decades, venture capital was an almost exclusively American phenomenon—as late as the mid-1990s, nearly all global venture capital investments went to U.S. companies. However, things have changed significantly in recent years, as the geography of startup activity and venture capital investment is undergoing a rapid and profound period of globalization. Today, U.S. companies capture just over half of venture capital investments worldwide.

    To assess the changing global map of startups and venture capital investment, we analyze more than 100,000 venture capital deals across more than 300 metropolitan areas between the years 2005 and 2017, which includes the period before the economic crisis, the Great Recession, and the subsequent recovery.

    3. Main Findings

    The Global Expansion of Startup Activity

    Since 2009, the world has seen a massive expansion of startup and venture capital activity. As many nations pulled themselves out of a deep global recession, a new era of technological innovation came into force. Global venture capital investment surged from $52 billion in 2010 to $171 billion in 2017—an increase of more than 200 percent. Venture deals grew from around 8,600 deals in 2010 to more than 14,800 in 2017, for an increase of nearly 75 percent.

    Share the Data

    Datamoji by LGND

    The New Global Players and the Relative Decline of the U.S.

    While the U.S. continues to generate the largest amount of startup and venture capital activity, its share of the global total has fallen significantly, from more than 95 percent in the mid-1990s to more than two-thirds in 2012 to a little more than half today.

    Share the Data

    Datamoji by LGND

    Startup Globalization Is Spiky

    The globalization of startup cities and venture capital is geographically uneven. Just 24 cities account for three-quarters of global venture capital investment, despite housing just four percent of the world’s population. The top six cities alone attract more than half of all global venture capital investment, despite housing just one percent of the global population—these include San Francisco, Beijing, New York, San Jose, Boston, and Shanghai.

    Share the Data

    Datamoji by LGND

    The New Global Startup Cities

    The recent expansion of global venture capital investments has been driven by a relatively small number of places—just four cities accounted for half of the global increase in venture capital investment in the last half-decade, and the top thirteen were responsible for three-quarters. Although the San Francisco Bay Area, which spans the San Francisco and San Jose metropolitan areas, remains the world’s dominant location for startup activity, a growing list of global cities are rapidly gaining ground—many of them outside the United States.

    Share the Data

    Datamoji by LGND

    4. Data

    Unpack the Data

    Select a measure to view startup activity across the world map. Measures can either be a level of activity (such as the amount of capital invested) or a change over time (such as percentage change in capital invested). The round of investment and time period can also be selected. But first, you must select one of either venture deals or capital invested. Deals has been pre-selected for you.

    Global City Comparisons

    Select a measure to compare venture activity for up to 5 cities across different rounds of investment and time periods. To add a city, enter its name in the search box below. To delete a currently-selected city, click on the 'X' next to its name. But first, you must select one of either venture deals or capital invested. Deals has been pre-selected for you.

    Capital Invested ($M) — Total VC

    5. Conclusion

    Overall, our findings identify a substantial globalization of startup activity and venture capital. America’s once-singular dominance is now being challenged by the rapid ascent of potent startup cities in Europe, China, India, and elsewhere. While the U.S. remains the clear global leader, the notion that successful startups must launch and scale in Silicon Valley or another leading American city no longer holds true. Increasingly, the world’s high-tech entrepreneurs are able to stay in their home city or nation and raise venture capital—a pattern that may accelerate if the U.S. government fails to create an entrepreneur visa or attempts to limit the immigration of highly-skilled individuals.

    Our analysis identifies four tiers of 62 Established Global Startup Hubs that account for nearly three-quarters of total venture deals globally and almost 90 percent of venture capital investments worldwide, while housing just seven percent of the global population. American cities comprise fewer than half of these hubs, while cities in Asia and Europe account for about another quarter each.

    The phrase “the rise of the rest” is commonly used in the United States to refer to the emergence of startup hubs outside of established leaders like Silicon Valley, San Francisco, New York, and Boston. While our analysis confirms this phenomenon in the United States, the broader reality is that the rise of the rest is occurring to a much larger degree outside. Indeed, the real rise of the rest is global.

    6. Authors

    Richard Florida is University Professor at University of Toronto’s School of Cities and Rotman School of Management, Distinguished Fellow at NYU’s Schack Institute of Real Estate, and co-founder and editor-at-large of The Atlantic’s CityLab. He is the author of The Rise of the Creative Class and most recently of The New Urban Crisis.

    Ian Hathaway is Research Director at the Center for American Entrepreneurship and a Senior Fellow at the Brookings Institution.

    7. Appendix

    Top 50 Cities for Venture Capital Deals
    Rank Geography Deals (2015-2017) Share of Global Total Cumulative Share of Global Total
    1 San Francisco, USA 4,900 9.7% 9.7%
    2 New York, USA 3,287 6.5% 16.1%
    3 London, UK 2,557 5.0% 21.2%
    4 San Jose, USA 1,931 3.8% 25.0%
    5 Boston, USA 1,870 3.7% 28.7%
    6 Los Angeles, USA 1,864 3.7% 32.4%
    7 Seattle, USA 927 1.8% 34.2%
    8 Delhi, India 851 1.7% 35.9%
    9 Paris, France 822 1.6% 37.5%
    10 Bangalore, India 792 1.6% 39.1%
    11 Beijing, China 781 1.5% 40.6%
    12 Chicago, USA 721 1.4% 42.0%
    13 Austin, USA 714 1.4% 43.4%
    14 San Diego, USA 699 1.4% 44.8%
    15 Tel Aviv, Israel 665 1.3% 46.1%
    16 Washington, USA 660 1.3% 47.4%
    17 Berlin, Germany 629 1.2% 48.7%
    18 Philadelphia, USA 538 1.1% 49.7%
    19 Mumbai, India 516 1.0% 50.7%
    20 Toronto, Canada 482 1.0% 51.7%
    21 Denver, USA 475 0.9% 52.6%
    22 Shanghai, China 472 0.9% 53.6%
    23 Stockholm, Sweden 460 0.9% 54.5%
    24 Singapore, Singapore 458 0.9% 55.4%
    25 Dallas, USA 394 0.8% 56.1%
    26 Atlanta, USA 393 0.8% 56.9%
    27 Tokyo, Japan 381 0.8% 57.7%
    28 Miami, USA 354 0.7% 58.4%
    29 Houston, USA 300 0.6% 59.0%
    30 Helsinki, Finland 299 0.6% 59.5%
    31 Moscow, Russia 294 0.6% 60.1%
    32 Sydney, Australia 287 0.6% 60.7%
    33 Barcelona, Spain 286 0.6% 61.3%
    34 Boulder, USA 284 0.6% 61.8%
    35 Vancouver, Canada 282 0.6% 62.4%
    36 Minneapolis, USA 279 0.6% 62.9%
    37 Dublin, Ireland 274 0.5% 63.5%
    38 Phoenix, USA 268 0.5% 64.0%
    39 Portland (OR), USA 262 0.5% 64.5%
    40 Seoul, South Korea 244 0.5% 65.0%
    41 Copenhagen, Denmark 235 0.5% 65.5%
    42 Baltimore, USA 229 0.5% 65.9%
    43 Pittsburgh, USA 229 0.5% 66.4%
    44 Munich, Germany 215 0.4% 66.8%
    45 Amsterdam, Netherlands 212 0.4% 67.2%
    46 Nashville, USA 200 0.4% 67.6%
    47 Montreal, Canada 192 0.4% 68.0%
    48 Cambridge, UK 181 0.4% 68.3%
    49 Salt Lake City, USA 178 0.4% 68.7%
    50 Raleigh, USA 166 0.3% 69.0%
    Top 50 Cities by Growth in Venture Capital Deals
    RankGeographyDeals (2010-12)Deals (2015-17)% Change
    1 Bangkok, Thailand 9 65 622%
    2 Ahmedabad, India 7 49 600%
    3 Jakarta, Indonesia 24 161 571%
    4 Delhi, India 168 851 407%
    5 Bangalore, India 195 792 306%
    6 Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam 8 32 300%
    7 Mumbai, India 133 516 288%
    8 Calcutta, India 8 31 288%
    9 Dubai, UAE 23 86 274%
    10 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 28 103 268%
    11 Pune, India 26 91 250%
    12 Hangzhou, China 38 132 247%
    13 Mexico City, Mexico 29 92 217%
    14 Bozeman, USA 7 22 214%
    15 Milan, Italy 41 127 210%
    16 Des Moines, USA 11 34 209%
    17 Manila, Philippines 14 43 207%
    18 Sofia, Bulgaria 7 21 200%
    19 Basel, Switzerland 9 27 200%
    20 Lagos, Nigeria 13 39 200%
    21 Johannesburg, South Africa 9 26 189%
    22 Stockholm, Sweden 163 460 182%
    23 Lille, France 19 52 174%
    24 Sydney, Australia 106 287 171%
    25 Nanjing, China 17 45 165%
    26 Lisbon, Portugal 11 29 164%
    27 Singapore, Singapore 174 458 163%
    28 Nairobi, Kenya 21 55 162%
    29 Rome, Italy 21 55 162%
    30 Hyderabad, India 40 104 160%
    31 Brisbane, Australia 20 51 155%
    32 East Kent, UK 6 15 150%
    33 Riga, Latvia 16 40 150%
    34 The Hague, Netherlands 18 45 150%
    35 Beirut, Lebanon 11 27 145%
    36 Porto, Portugal 9 22 144%
    37 Rotterdam, Netherlands 12 29 142%
    38 Lincoln, USA 12 29 142%
    39 London, UK 1,061 2,557 141%
    40 Chennai, India 42 101 140%
    41 Santa Cruz, USA 20 48 140%
    42 Bratislava, Slovakia 8 19 138%
    43 Hong Kong, Hong Kong 57 134 135%
    44 Krakow, Poland 12 28 133%
    45 Antwerp, Belgium 12 28 133%
    46 Cape Town, South Africa 31 72 132%
    47 Melbourne, Australia 65 150 131%
    48 Helsinki, Finland 130 299 130%
    49 Utrecht, Netherlands 20 46 130%
    50 Little Rock, USA 11 25 127%
    Top 50 Cities for Contribution to Global Venture Capital Deal Growth
    RankGeographyChange in Deals (2010-12 to 2015-17)Contribution to Global Change in DealsCumulative Share of Global Total
    1 San Francisco, USA 1,511 8.3% 8.3%
    2 London, UK 1,496 8.2% 16.5%
    3 New York, USA 1,172 6.4% 23.0%
    4 Delhi, India 683 3.8% 26.8%
    5 Los Angeles, USA 648 3.6% 30.3%
    6 Bangalore, India 597 3.3% 33.6%
    7 Mumbai, India 383 2.1% 35.7%
    8 Beijing, China 366 2.0% 37.7%
    9 Boston, USA 340 1.9% 39.6%
    10 Berlin, Germany 303 1.7% 41.3%
    11 Stockholm, Sweden 297 1.6% 42.9%
    12 Tel Aviv, Israel 285 1.6% 44.5%
    13 Singapore, Singapore 284 1.6% 46.0%
    14 Paris, France 280 1.5% 47.6%
    15 Seattle, USA 279 1.5% 49.1%
    16 Austin, USA 237 1.3% 50.4%
    17 Chicago, USA 230 1.3% 51.7%
    18 Shanghai, China 223 1.2% 52.9%
    19 Tokyo, Japan 207 1.1% 54.0%
    20 San Jose, USA 207 1.1% 55.2%
    21 San Diego, USA 201 1.1% 56.3%
    22 Toronto, Canada 191 1.1% 57.3%
    23 Sydney, Australia 181 1.0% 58.3%
    24 Denver, USA 175 1.0% 59.3%
    25 Helsinki, Finland 169 0.9% 60.2%
    26 Barcelona, Spain 140 0.8% 61.0%
    27 Miami, USA 139 0.8% 61.8%
    28 Washington, USA 138 0.8% 62.5%
    29 Jakarta, Indonesia 137 0.8% 63.3%
    30 Houston, USA 130 0.7% 64.0%
    31 Philadelphia, USA 126 0.7% 64.7%
    32 Seoul, South Korea 119 0.7% 65.3%
    33 Dallas, USA 118 0.6% 66.0%
    34 Phoenix, USA 115 0.6% 66.6%
    35 Amsterdam, Netherlands 111 0.6% 67.2%
    36 Copenhagen, Denmark 103 0.6% 67.8%
    37 Dublin, Ireland 102 0.6% 68.4%
    38 Hangzhou, China 94 0.5% 68.9%
    39 Portland (OR), USA 90 0.5% 69.4%
    40 Vancouver, Canada 87 0.5% 69.9%
    41 Milan, Italy 86 0.5% 70.3%
    42 Melbourne, Australia 85 0.5% 70.8%
    43 Shenzhen, China 81 0.4% 71.2%
    44 Hong Kong, Hong Kong 77 0.4% 71.7%
    45 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 75 0.4% 72.1%
    46 Munich, Germany 72 0.4% 72.5%
    47 Baltimore, USA 72 0.4% 72.9%
    48 Boulder, USA 71 0.4% 73.3%
    49 Pune, India 65 0.4% 73.6%
    50 Durham, USA 65 0.4% 74.0%
    Top 50 Global Cities for Venture Capital Investment
    RankCityCapital Invested ($M) (2015-17)Share of Global TotalCumulative Share of Global Total
    1 San Francisco, USA $81,808 16.0% 16.0%
    2 Beijing, China $72,819 14.2% 30.2%
    3 New York, USA $33,763 6.6% 36.8%
    4 San Jose, USA $24,857 4.9% 41.6%
    5 Boston, USA $24,567 4.8% 46.4%
    6 Shanghai, China $23,839 4.7% 51.1%
    7 Los Angeles, USA $17,391 3.4% 54.5%
    8 London, UK $15,650 3.1% 57.5%
    9 Hangzhou, China $11,390 2.2% 59.8%
    10 Bangalore, India $10,568 2.1% 61.8%
    11 Delhi, India $8,749 1.7% 63.5%
    12 Berlin, Germany $7,291 1.4% 65.0%
    13 San Diego, USA $6,030 1.2% 66.1%
    14 Seattle, USA $5,710 1.1% 67.3%
    15 Tel Aviv, Israel $5,280 1.0% 68.3%
    16 Chicago, USA $5,148 1.0% 69.3%
    17 Singapore, Singapore $4,720 0.9% 70.2%
    18 Paris, France $4,578 0.9% 71.1%
    19 Washington, USA $4,359 0.9% 72.0%
    20 Shenzhen, China $4,286 0.8% 72.8%
    21 Austin, USA $3,635 0.7% 73.5%
    22 Tokyo, Japan $3,066 0.6% 74.1%
    23 Atlanta, USA $3,036 0.6% 74.7%
    24 Toronto, Canada $2,986 0.6% 75.3%
    25 Philadelphia, USA $2,985 0.6% 75.9%
    26 Seoul, South Korea $2,848 0.6% 76.4%
    27 Jakarta, Indonesia $2,828 0.6% 77.0%
    28 Mumbai, India $2,757 0.5% 77.5%
    29 Stockholm, Sweden $2,641 0.5% 78.0%
    30 Denver, USA $2,581 0.5% 78.5%
    31 Miami, USA $2,540 0.5% 79.0%
    32 Hong Kong, Hong Kong $2,241 0.4% 79.5%
    33 Oxford, UK $1,806 0.4% 79.8%
    34 Sao Paulo, Brazil $1,804 0.4% 80.2%
    35 Montreal, Canada $1,771 0.3% 80.5%
    36 Minneapolis, USA $1,757 0.3% 80.9%
    37 Dubai, UAE $1,745 0.3% 81.2%
    38 Dallas, USA $1,701 0.3% 81.5%
    39 Guangzhou, China $1,590 0.3% 81.8%
    40 Houston, USA $1,571 0.3% 82.2%
    41 Tianjin, China $1,543 0.3% 82.5%
    42 Munich, Germany $1,506 0.3% 82.7%
    43 Dublin, Ireland $1,388 0.3% 83.0%
    44 Cambridge, UK $1,371 0.3% 83.3%
    45 Durham, USA $1,353 0.3% 83.5%
    46 Provo, USA $1,352 0.3% 83.8%
    47 Nanjing, China $1,297 0.3% 84.1%
    48 Baltimore, USA $1,292 0.3% 84.3%
    49 Vancouver, Canada $1,256 0.2% 84.6%
    50 Salt Lake City, USA $1,242 0.2% 84.8%
    Top 50 Cities by Growth in Venture Capital Investment
    RankGeographyCapital Invested ($M) (2010-12)Capital Invested ($M) (2015-17)% Change
    1 Bangkok, Thailand $4 $336 7775%
    2 Hangzhou, China $533 $11,390 2035%
    3 Jakarta, Indonesia $175 $2,828 1513%
    4 Sofia, Bulgaria $4 $45 1076%
    5 Dubai, UAE $149 $1,745 1075%
    6 Tianjin, China $134 $1,543 1049%
    7 Nairobi, Kenya $30 $323 990%
    8 Luxembourg, Luxembourg $69 $738 969%
    9 Palma de Mallorca, Spain $5 $54 927%
    10 Manila, Philippines $9 $95 918%
    11 Beijing, China $7,205 $72,819 911%
    12 Wilmington (DE), USA $6 $55 860%
    13 Delhi, India $932 $8,749 839%
    14 Bozeman, USA $10 $94 832%
    15 Shanghai, China $2,665 $23,839 794%
    16 Leeds, UK $25 $217 777%
    17 Prague, Czech Republic $12 $104 773%
    18 Ahmedabad, India $17 $150 755%
    19 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia $45 $382 744%
    20 Bratislava, Slovakia $10 $82 700%
    21 Lincoln, USA $22 $172 676%
    22 Bangalore, India $1,426 $10,568 641%
    23 Beirut, Lebanon $11 $83 641%
    24 Iowa City, USA $13 $95 616%
    25 Seoul, South Korea $401 $2,848 611%
    26 Calcutta, India $23 $159 606%
    27 Rotterdam, Netherlands $14 $92 559%
    28 Hong Kong, Hong Kong $353 $2,241 536%
    29 Karlsruhe, Germany $19 $118 519%
    30 Riga, Latvia $17 $102 512%
    31 Basel, Switzerland $77 $470 506%
    32 Singapore, Singapore $794 $4,720 494%
    33 Florianopolis, Brazil $10 $56 476%
    34 Sunderland, UK $5 $27 455%
    35 Bogota, Colombia $23 $129 451%
    36 Auckland, New Zealand $73 $387 433%
    37 Boise, USA $36 $190 431%
    38 Chattanooga, USA $17 $88 406%
    39 Berlin, Germany $1,458 $7,291 400%
    40 Las Vegas, USA $60 $297 397%
    41 Santa Cruz, USA $79 $393 395%
    42 Warsaw, Poland $90 $439 390%
    43 Mumbai, India $567 $2,757 387%
    44 Guangzhou, China $328 $1,590 384%
    45 Lima, Peru $8 $39 382%
    46 Exeter, UK $8 $36 358%
    47 Charlotte, USA $221 $980 343%
    48 Lille, France $34 $149 337%
    49 Nanjing, China $302 $1,297 330%
    50 Lisbon, Portugal $22 $90 317%
    Top 50 Cities for Contribution to Global Venture Capital Investment Growth
    RankGeographyChange in Capital Invested ($M) (2010-12 to 2015-17)Contribution to Global Change in Capital InvestedCumulative Share of Global Total
    1 Beijing, China $65,614 20.5% 20.5%
    2 San Francisco, USA $52,018 16.2% 36.7%
    3 New York, USA $23,613 7.4% 44.0%
    4 Shanghai, China $21,174 6.6% 50.6%
    5 Boston, USA $12,676 4.0% 54.6%
    6 London, UK $11,554 3.6% 58.2%
    7 Hangzhou, China $10,856 3.4% 61.6%
    8 Los Angeles, USA $9,778 3.0% 64.6%
    9 Bangalore, India $9,142 2.8% 67.5%
    10 San Jose, USA $8,950 2.8% 70.3%
    11 Delhi, India $7,817 2.4% 72.7%
    12 Berlin, Germany $5,833 1.8% 74.5%
    13 Singapore, Singapore $3,926 1.2% 75.7%
    14 Shenzhen, China $3,249 1.0% 76.8%
    15 Seattle, USA $2,691 0.8% 77.6%
    16 Jakarta, Indonesia $2,653 0.8% 78.4%
    17 Tel Aviv, Israel $2,501 0.8% 79.2%
    18 Seoul, South Korea $2,447 0.8% 80.0%
    19 Paris, France $2,412 0.8% 80.7%
    20 Mumbai, India $2,190 0.7% 81.4%
    21 Tokyo, Japan $1,949 0.6% 82.0%
    22 San Diego, USA $1,898 0.6% 82.6%
    23 Hong Kong, Hong Kong $1,889 0.6% 83.2%
    24 Dubai, UAE $1,597 0.5% 83.7%
    25 Miami, USA $1,547 0.5% 84.2%
    26 Stockholm, Sweden $1,540 0.5% 84.6%
    27 Atlanta, USA $1,494 0.5% 85.1%
    28 Toronto, Canada $1,487 0.5% 85.6%
    29 Denver, USA $1,414 0.4% 86.0%
    30 Tianjin, China $1,409 0.4% 86.5%
    31 Guangzhou, China $1,262 0.4% 86.8%
    32 Philadelphia, USA $1,201 0.4% 87.2%
    33 Chicago, USA $1,164 0.4% 87.6%
    34 Oxford, UK $1,130 0.4% 87.9%
    35 Austin, USA $1,113 0.3% 88.3%
    36 Sao Paulo, Brazil $1,015 0.3% 88.6%
    37 Provo, USA $1,009 0.3% 88.9%
    38 Nanjing, China $995 0.3% 89.2%
    39 Washington, USA $886 0.3% 89.5%
    40 Munich, Germany $837 0.3% 89.8%
    41 Sydney, Australia $828 0.3% 90.0%
    42 Cambridge, UK $823 0.3% 90.3%
    43 Amsterdam, Netherlands $793 0.2% 90.5%
    44 Lausanne, Switzerland $783 0.2% 90.8%
    45 Baltimore, USA $767 0.2% 91.0%
    46 Durham, USA $759 0.2% 91.2%
    47 Charlotte, USA $758 0.2% 91.5%
    48 Dublin, Ireland $712 0.2% 91.7%
    49 Houston, USA $694 0.2% 91.9%
    50 Luxembourg, Luxembourg $669 0.2% 92.1%
    Top 50 Cities for Pre-Venture Capital (Angel + Seed Stage) Deals
    RankCityPre-VC Deals (2015-17)Pre-VC Share of Deals (2015-17)Change in Rank v Total Deals Rank
    1 San Francisco, USA 1,998 41% 0
    2 New York, USA 1,634 50% 0
    3 London, UK 1,335 52% 0
    4 Los Angeles, USA 1,049 56% 2
    5 San Jose, USA 676 35% -1
    6 Boston, USA 669 36% -1
    7 Delhi, India 543 64% 1
    8 Seattle, USA 539 58% -1
    9 Bangalore, India 436 55% 1
    10 Chicago, USA 372 52% 2
    11 Austin, USA 368 52% 2
    12 San Diego, USA 347 50% 2
    13 Washington, USA 333 50% 3
    14 Paris, France 301 37% -5
    15 Mumbai, India 294 57% 4
    16 Dallas, USA 281 71% 9
    17 Denver, USA 274 58% 4
    18 Tel Aviv, Israel 262 39% -3
    19 Philadelphia, USA 249 46% -1
    20 Miami, USA 243 69% 8
    21 Singapore, Singapore 230 50% 3
    22 Toronto, Canada 224 46% -2
    23 Berlin, Germany 217 34% -6
    24 Stockholm, Sweden 193 42% -1
    25 Phoenix, USA 191 71% 13
    26 Houston, USA 190 63% 3
    27 Atlanta, USA 184 47% -1
    28 Vancouver, Canada 164 58% 7
    29 Minneapolis, USA 162 58% 7
    30 Moscow, Russia 161 55% 1
    31 Sydney, Australia 159 55% 1
    32 Boulder, USA 156 55% 2
    33 Helsinki, Finland 136 45% -3
    33 Portland (OR), USA 136 52% 6
    35 Barcelona, Spain 128 45% -2
    36 Pittsburgh, USA 124 54% 6
    37 Dublin, Ireland 122 45% 0
    38 Baltimore, USA 120 52% 4
    39 Copenhagen, Denmark 112 48% 2
    40 Beijing, China 106 14% -29
    41 Raleigh, USA 100 60% 9
    42 Amsterdam, Netherlands 96 45% 3
    42 Nashville, USA 96 48% 4
    42 Salt Lake City, USA 96 54% 7
    45 Indianapolis, USA 90 60% 11
    45 Melbourne, Australia 90 60% 11
    47 Columbus, USA 86 60% 14
    47 Las Vegas, USA 86 79% 26
    49 Jakarta, Indonesia 82 51% 3
    50 Munich, Germany 79 37% -6
    Mega Deals ($500M+) by Global City
    RankGeographyMega-Deals (2015-17)Share of Global TotalCumulative Share of Global Total
    1 Beijing, China 19 24% 24%
    2 San Francisco, USA 18 23% 46%
    3 Shanghai, China 11 14% 60%
    4 Delhi, India 4 5% 65%
    5 Bangalore, India 3 4% 69%
    6 Hangzhou, China 3 4% 73%
    7 New York, USA 3 4% 76%
    8 Berlin, Germany 2 3% 79%
    9 Jakarta, Indonesia 2 3% 81%
    10 Singapore, Singapore 2 3% 84%
    11 Tianjin, China 2 3% 86%
    12 Boston, USA 1 1% 88%
    13 Chicago, USA 1 1% 89%
    14 Dubai, UAE 1 1% 90%
    15 London, UK 1 1% 91%
    16 Los Angeles, USA 1 1% 93%
    17 Miami, USA 1 1% 94%
    18 San Jose, USA 1 1% 95%
    19 Seoul, South Korea 1 1% 96%
    20 Shenzhen, China 1 1% 98%
    21 Stockholm, Sweden 1 1% 99%
    Mega Deal ($500M+) Investment by Global City
    RankGeographyMega Deal Capital Invested ($M) (2015-17)Share of Global TotalCumulative Share of Global Total
    1 Beijing, China $46,592 43% 43%
    2 San Francisco, USA $20,083 18% 61%
    3 Shanghai, China $9,318 9% 69%
    4 Hangzhou, China $7,000 6% 76%
    5 Bangalore, India $5,200 5% 80%
    6 New York, USA $4,240 4% 84%
    7 Delhi, India $3,155 3% 87%
    8 Los Angeles, USA $1,809 2% 89%
    9 Jakarta, Indonesia $1,650 2% 90%
    10 Singapore, Singapore $1,300 1% 92%
    11 Tianjin, China $1,118 1% 93%
    12 Berlin, Germany $1,063 1% 94%
    13 Seoul, South Korea $1,000 1% 94%
    14 San Jose, USA $880 1% 95%
    15 Shenzhen, China $800 1% 96%
    16 Miami, USA $794 1% 97%
    17 Boston, USA $615 1% 97%
    18 Stockholm, Sweden $526 0% 98%
    19 Chicago, USA $510 0% 98%
    20 London, UK $506 0% 99%
    21 Dubai, UAE $500 0% 99%
    Top 50 Cities for Venture Capital Deals Per Capita
    RankCountryDeals (2015-17)Deals per 1M residents (2015-17)Share of Global Deals
    1 San Francisco, USA 4,900 1,046 9.7%
    2 San Jose, USA 1,931 974 3.8%
    3 Boulder, USA 284 879 0.6%
    4 Boston, USA 1,870 390 3.7%
    5 Austin, USA 714 347 1.4%
    6 Durham, USA 160 286 0.3%
    7 Cambridge, UK 181 278 0.4%
    8 Ann Arbor, USA 92 253 0.2%
    9 Seattle, USA 927 244 1.8%
    10 Charlottesville, USA 54 235 0.1%
    11 Oxford, UK 157 231 0.3%
    12 Santa Barbara, USA 102 228 0.2%
    13 Provo, USA 136 226 0.3%
    14 Madison, USA 146 225 0.3%
    15 San Diego, USA 699 210 1.4%
    16 Bozeman, USA 22 210 0.0%
    17 Stockholm, Sweden 460 206 0.9%
    18 Oulu, Finland 48 195 0.1%
    19 Helsinki, Finland 299 184 0.6%
    20 London, UK 2,557 182 5.0%
    21 Galway, Ireland 21 176 0.0%
    22 Santa Cruz, USA 48 175 0.1%
    23 Tel Aviv, Israel 665 173 1.3%
    24 Denver, USA 475 166 0.9%
    25 Bend, USA 30 166 0.1%
    26 New York, USA 3,287 163 6.5%
    27 Burlington (VT), USA 35 161 0.1%
    28 Salt Lake City, USA 178 150 0.4%
    29 Edinburgh, UK 129 148 0.3%
    30 Dublin, Ireland 274 146 0.5%
    31 Reykjavik, Iceland 31 145 0.1%
    32 Ithaca, USA 15 143 0.0%
    33 Los Angeles, USA 1,864 140 3.7%
    34 Waterloo, Canada 73 139 0.1%
    35 Missoula, USA 15 129 0.0%
    36 Halifax, Canada 52 129 0.1%
    37 Raleigh, USA 166 127 0.3%
    38 Bridgeport, USA 116 123 0.2%
    39 Berlin, Germany 629 122 1.2%
    40 Umea, Sweden 15 122 0.0%
    41 Copenhagen, Denmark 235 118 0.5%
    42 Gainesville, USA 33 117 0.1%
    43 Urbana-Champaign, USA 28 117 0.1%
    44 Vancouver, Canada 282 114 0.6%
    45 Trenton, USA 42 113 0.1%
    46 Portland (OR), USA 262 108 0.5%
    47 Washington, USA 660 108 1.3%
    48 Nashville, USA 200 107 0.4%
    49 Iowa City, USA 18 107 0.0%
    50 Fort Collins, USA 35 103 0.1%
    Top 50 Cities for Venture Capital Investment Per Capita
    RankGeographyCapital Invested ($M) (2015-17)Capital Invested ($M) per 1M Residents (2015-17)Share of Global Capital Invested
    1 San Francisco, USA $81,808 $17,458 16.0%
    2 San Jose, USA $24,857 $12,535 4.9%
    3 Boston, USA $24,567 $5,120 4.8%
    4 Boulder, USA $1,187 $3,676 0.2%
    5 Beijing, China $72,819 $3,341 14.2%
    6 Oxford, UK $1,806 $2,656 0.4%
    7 Durham, USA $1,353 $2,415 0.3%
    8 Provo, USA $1,352 $2,246 0.3%
    9 Santa Barbara, USA $958 $2,144 0.2%
    10 Cambridge, UK $1,371 $2,110 0.3%
    11 San Diego, USA $6,030 $1,816 1.2%
    12 Austin, USA $3,635 $1,766 0.7%
    13 New York, USA $33,763 $1,674 6.6%
    14 Ann Arbor, USA $566 $1,555 0.1%
    15 Oulu, Finland $371 $1,508 0.1%
    16 Seattle, USA $5,710 $1,503 1.1%
    17 Santa Cruz, USA $393 $1,428 0.1%
    18 Berlin, Germany $7,291 $1,418 1.4%
    19 Tel Aviv, Israel $5,280 $1,370 1.0%
    20 Lausanne, Switzerland $1,035 $1,337 0.2%
    21 Los Angeles, USA $17,391 $1,305 3.4%
    22 Luxembourg, Luxembourg $738 $1,281 0.1%
    23 Galway, Ireland $152 $1,277 0.0%
    24 Hangzhou, China $11,390 $1,253 2.2%
    25 Stockholm, Sweden $2,641 $1,183 0.5%
    26 Waterloo, Canada $605 $1,155 0.1%
    27 London, UK $15,650 $1,115 3.1%
    28 Salt Lake City, USA $1,242 $1,047 0.2%
    29 Bangalore, India $10,568 $1,022 2.1%
    30 Shanghai, China $23,839 $980 4.7%
    31 Trenton, USA $343 $925 0.1%
    32 Denver, USA $2,581 $904 0.5%
    33 Bozeman, USA $94 $895 0.0%
    34 Singapore, Singapore $4,720 $845 0.9%
    35 Charlottesville, USA $190 $827 0.0%
    36 Limerick, Ireland $152 $781 0.0%
    37 Dublin, Ireland $1,388 $739 0.3%
    38 Helsinki, Finland $1,163 $718 0.2%
    39 Washington, USA $4,359 $710 0.9%
    40 Madison, USA $450 $693 0.1%
    41 New Haven, USA $591 $690 0.1%
    42 Basel, Switzerland $470 $669 0.1%
    43 Reykjavik, Iceland $142 $662 0.0%
    44 Portland (ME), USA $338 $639 0.1%
    45 Manchester, USA $253 $619 0.0%
    46 Dubai, UAE $1,745 $598 0.3%
    47 Bridgeport, USA $538 $569 0.1%
    48 Iowa City, USA $95 $561 0.0%
    49 Chicago, USA $5,148 $541 1.0%
    50 Santa Rosa, USA $270 $536 0.1%
    Methodology

    To document the world’s leading startup hubs, we used data from PitchBook Data, Inc., which captures the geographic location of companies that received venture capital investment. We grouped the metro-level data into three three-year periods—2005-2007, 2010-2012, and 2015-2017—to reduce noisiness from year to year, especially in smaller geographies. These figures were broken down by country, state or province, city, and postal code for each company’s headquarters. The data was then cleaned for any spellings or identification errors.

    Once the raw data was cleaned and tabulated, we grouped these data into broader metropolitan areas based on their country-state-city-postal code combination. While most of these places are metropolitan areas, a few are non-metropolitan areas. Startup activity in the U.S. was mapped to metropolitan or micropolitan areas using Census Bureau data. Startup activity in the European Union was mapped onto metropolitan, intermediate, or rural areas (at the level of NUTS 3) using Eurostat data. The rest of the world’s aggregations were made only by metropolitan area, using a combination of files from national statistical authorities (e.g., Canada, Israel) or international sources (e.g., Brookings Institution, World Bank, Oxford Economics, ESRI, Google Maps). This produced a list of relevant geographic areas for each deal in the PitchBook database (or confirmed blanks where no corresponding area existed). Deals that occurred in another area of a country were grouped into an “other” category.

    Next, these data were fed back to PitchBook for the aggregation of deal counts according to our specified geographic areas for each of the three-year periods and across one of four round types: angel and seed-stage, early-stage venture, later-stage venture, and mega deals of more than $500 million. The nearly 100,000 venture deals in the PitchBook database, which cover nine years of collected data that span a period of 17 years, collectively produced more than 5,000 combinations (cells) of deal activity along our aggregations of geography, time period, and round type.

    In addition to the number of deals, PitchBook extracted two other measures: the amount of capital invested in these deals (where the amount invested was reported) and the number of deals in which the amount of invested capital was reported. As a result, the amount of capital invested for 17 percent of the nearly 100,000 deals was not reported. Since our aim is to analyze both deals and capital invested (dollars), we conservatively interpolated values for these approximately 17,000 deals. To do this, we first tabulated global average deal sizes for each of the 12 round-period combinations. We then assigned geographic areas into quartiles for global deal volume in each period and round type. Each of the four groups in each period was assigned an adjustment factor of 40 percent, 50 percent, 60 percent, or 70 percent (from the lowest deal activity group to the highest).

    For each geographic area with a deal reported, but a missing value for the capital investment, we assume that the deal size is the global average for that period-round, reduced by the relevant adjustment factor. In other words, the places with the fewest deals are assumed to have relatively smaller deal sizes compared to the global average, while the most active places are assumed to have relatively larger deal sizes. In all cases, missing deals are assumed to be smaller in general, as each adjustment factor value is far less than 100 percent (an adjustment factor of 100 percent would indicate an equivalent of the global average). These new adjusted figures have the effect of raising the level of capital invested by 10 percent globally over the three periods compared to capital invested when missing deal size values were not interpolated.

    Next, we mapped each geographic area onto its population estimate for the most recent period, 2015-2017. To make this process manageable, we filtered out all but 500 of the most active regions for venture deals in the most recent period. From there, we applied population figures from a variety of sources. For the U.S., Canada, and Israel, figures came directly from national sources. Europe’s figures came primarily from the Eurostat, though there were a few exceptions for smaller areas in Ireland, Finland, Sweden, and the United Kingdom, which came directly from national sources. Aside from these, population data for the rest of the world came from Oxford Economics (via the Brookings Institution) or the United Nations.

    With a nearly complete dataset in hand, we applied two final filters. The remaining geographic areas needed to satisfy two conditions: (1) a population of at least 100,000 residents in the most recent period (2015-2017), and (2) a minimum of six venture capital deals in the two most recent periods (2010-2012 and 2015-2017), or an average of two deals per year within each of the three-year periods.

    This resulted in a final list of 314 geographic areas—primarily metropolitan areas, but also a small number of micropolitan (U.S.), intermediate (EU), and rural areas (EU). These 314 startup hubs cover 92 percent of total venture deals and 96 percent of total venture capital investment in 2015-2017. For each of these 314 hubs, we tabulated figures for venture deals, venture capital invested (adjusted), and a measure that caps deal sizes at $500 million to control for the effect of very large mega deals. Each of these three measures is available by round (pre, early, late, mega) and period.

    Our typology of startup hubs is based on the level of venture capital deals, the volume of venture capital investment, and the change in both. We used our capped figures for venture capital investment (which limits all deals to $500 million in size) to reduce the influence of cities that have total activity driven to a very large extent by these massive outliers.

    We next benchmarked each metropolitan area against the within-measure maximum (i.e. the leading city received a score of 1 for each category) and created a composite score across all measures for each city. The scores were then assessed to look for statistically meaningful breaks in the data and to discern natural groupings. These were also crosschecked with several iterations of statistical clustering analyses through the k-means method.

    Based on this, we identified two main types and seven individual categories of Global Startup Hubs. The first type is comprised of large Established Global Startup Hubs, which span 64 individual metropolitan areas. For this exercise, we combined the San Francisco and San Jose metros into the San Francisco Bay Area and the Raleigh and Durham metros into the Research Triangle, to produce 62 Established Startup Hubs.

    The second type is comprised of smaller Emerging Global Startup Hubs. The Global Next are cities within the top 100 for total venture deals and a strong presence (relative activity) and growth of angel and seed-stage investment. Each is among the top 60 for such deals. We simply selected the top 10 from the list, as we did for all Emerging Startup Hubs. For the Little Giants, we took the remaining metros with the highest per capita measures for venture deals and venture capital investment by calculating a composite relative metric across both. For the Global Gazelles, we calculated a composite metric for relative growth rates in venture capital deals and venture capital investment and took the remaining ten cities with the highest scores.