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Study Ranks Boston #1 for Digital Entrepreneurs

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Silicon Valley may get all the attention (and television and movie deals) about startups, but a new report ranks Boston #1 in the U.S. in terms of being ready for a digital startup economy.

The report, completed by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, ranked cities on a number of categories, including talent, capital, quality of life, culture, and how well the region connects startups with universities, businesses, and other groups.

Boston rode to the top spot based on its first-place rankings on the density of startups and talent in the city, as well as healthy ratings in every category measured. The city also benefits from the presence of MIT, Harvard and other universities.


“What other city has two of the top five schools in the country? It’s a big influence on the area, “says Connor Barnes, a Vice President at Cushman and Wakefield who works directly with startups in Cambridge and other areas. “And it’s not just the volume of students, it’s the quality of students which really makes a difference.”

Startups in Boston were seen across various market sectors, in terms of specific industries, digital healthcare – driven regionally from Cambridge and Kendall Square – was easily the largest on a national level.

While the Bay Area did rank first in the number of startups, as well as categories such as capital, it slipped to #2 on the list due to relatively poor rankings in connectivity and quality of life due to a high cost of living. The report also noted that the uber-competitive environment in Silicon Valley may hold back collaboration.

Barnes added that the Boston startup community thrives on cooperation, with people “looking to show why Boston is better.”

Boston’s strong startup culture has also resulted in strong capital investments.

Data collected by PwC noted more than $5.8 billion of VC investment across the state in 2015, a stat which – due to the recovering economy – is up more than 90% since 2013.

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