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May 29, 2020 | Tom Ballard

StartupBlink’s third annual “Global Rankings Report” sure to create debate

We’re back with a shortened Saturday edition of with a featured post that could stimulate conversation and debate among many of our readers and other leaders in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

It all relates to StartupBlink’s third annual “Global Rankings Report” that, among other things, uncovers the trends of innovation throughout 1,000 cities and 100 countries. Released in a series of global Zoom sessions earlier this week, the latest report is built on an algorithm developed over the last five years that draws on a geographic crowdsourced database of tens of thousands of start-ups, accelerators, and coworking spaces among other entities. The algorithm is supplemented by data received from global data partners such as CrunchBase, SEMrush, Meetup, and Coworker.

The organization that is based in the United Kingdom and Israel says the annual report is designed to “provide free quality information for start-up founders so they can make intelligent decisions about relocation and the right place to build their start-up.”

What is clear from the latest massive report is that the U.S. continues to lead the world in entrepreneurship with 10 of the top 25 cities for start-ups located in this country and 41 percent of the top 1000 entrepreneurial hotspots across the globe calling the U.S. home.

  • Not surprising are the top cities – San Francisco (#1), New York City (#2), Boston (#4). Los Angeles (#5), Seattle (#11), Chicago (#13), Austin (#17), Atlanta (#19), Dallas-Forth Worth (#23), and Miami (#25).
  • The next highest ranked cities in our region are Raleigh-Durham (#43); Charlotte (#69); Columbia, SC (#70), up 43 places from 2019; Nashville (#74); Tampa Bay (#76); and Orlando (#82).
  • Where do other major Tennessee cities rank? Chattanooga is #198, Memphis is just behind the Gig City at #206, and Knoxville is much further down the list at #266.
  • How about other cities in the Southeast or Midwest? They include Cincinnati (#123); New Orleans (#135); Lexington (#138), moving-up 49 spots compared to 2019; Louisville (#152); Richmond (#155); Charleston (#168); Birmingham (#261), a drop of 126 spots; Asheville (#280); Greenville (#347); and Huntsville (#442).

In the report’s introductory section, StartupBlink notes the following: “To ensure that the rankings are as accurate and objective as possible, we have based our algorithm on quantifiable data that can be comparatively measured across regions, countries, and cities. We refrained from using subjective tools such as surveys and interviews.”

The rankings also include three separate scores:

  • The quantity of start-ups and other supporting organizations in the entrepreneurial ecosystem that includes the actual number of start-ups, coworking spaces, accelerators, and start-up events;
  • The quality of the start-ups and other supporting organizations which includes the presence of Unicorns, global co-working brands and mass start-up events with thousands of participants as well as the overall critical mass of new companies; and
  • The business environment and critical mass, described as a weighted average that takes into account a broad range of elements such as ease of doing business, internet speed, internet freedom, and R&D investment.

Those who like to dig into the data can find the rankings here and request a copy of the extensive report here.