Roofstock, an Oakland, CA-based fintech company, has released a report that ranks start-up rates of cities in three population categories – large metros (1,000,000 or more people), midsize metros (350,000 to 999,999), and small metros (100,000 to 349,999).
Not surprising, Tennessee’s highest ranked city in any of the categories is Nashville at #27 in the large metro grouping. Memphis comes in at #45 in the same category.
“What about midsize communities,” you ask? Again, the highest ranked metro is not surprising. It’s Chattanooga at #46. Knoxville comes in at #67, ironically just ahead of another college -town – Ann Arbor at #68. In the small metro rankings, Clarksville holds the #43 spot, while Cookeville comes in at #96, Johnson City at #127, Cleveland at #135, Kingsport-Bristol at #179, Tullahoma-Manchester at #182, and Jackson at #185.
For comparative purposes, we looked more closely at the midsize cities ahead of Chattanooga and Knoxville. Charleston, SC was the highest ranked at #8 followed by Asheville (#17), Durham-Chapel Hill (#21), Greenville, SC (#35), and Columbia, SC (#40).
According to Roofstock, “The data used in this analysis is from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2018 Business Dynamics Statistics, which includes all U.S. businesses with paid employees. To identify locations with the most start-ups, researchers calculated the trailing five-year (2014–2018) average start-up formation rate – defined as the number of new firms in a given year divided by the total number of firms. Researchers also calculated the average annual number (and proportion) of new jobs created by start-up firms between 2014 and 2018. To improve relevance, only metropolitan areas with at least 100,000 residents were included.”