When asked to envision a startup community, the majority of Americans probably think of San Francisco, New York City, or maybe Cambridge, with flocks of engineers in hoodies drinking cold brew coffee. This is an unsurprising perception—78 percent of venture capital investments go to just three states: California, New York, and Massachusetts. Entrepreneurs and technology talent are often forced to move to where the funding is, creating a money-talent cycle that has contributed to heavily concentrated startup hubs on the two coasts.
Fortunately, that cycle is changing and a new trend is emerging. In recent years, fledgling startup ecosystems have been taking root in every corner of the country, presenting new opportunities for cities to capitalize on the creativity of their citizens, spurring job creation, economic growth, and cultural revitalization. Around the U.S., cities are increasingly recognizing that a strong economic development strategy cannot simply rely on investing heavily in public infrastructure projects or recruiting businesses from other regions. Startups are responsible for almost all net new job growth, and building a thriving entrepreneurial ecosystem is key to long-term economic success.
#StartupsEverywhere is designed to celebrate these diverse, vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystems that are growing across the U.S. The project will showcase exciting developments in a variety of rising communities through weekly interviews with startup ecosystem leaders. The profiles will look at issues ranging from the challenges faced by these communities to the unique qualities that set them apart from traditional technology hubs.
As an organization that supports the growth of entrepreneurship through policy, we recognize how critical it is for startups and policymakers to proactively engage with each other on issues that impact the entrepreneurial ecosystem. Our hope is that this project will communicate that startup hubs are not a regional or industry-specific phenomenon, and that in building connections between the ecosystems and their elected officials, we will help build a lasting dialogue between entrepreneurs and government leaders to address the unique challenges different startup communities face.
Stay tuned each week for a new profile, and if you are interested in having your ecosystem featured, shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.