2020 Best of The Midwest:

Startup City Rankings

Our goal is to provide an analytical, objective benchmark to help companies and individuals alike understand how micro-environments within the Midwest are performing relative to each other.

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Detailed Data double_arrow

How Rankings are Calculated

Startup Activity

41% Weight

A measure of how active the tech community in the city is, and the size and quality of the network available to a new startup. Factors included are the number of startups present, the number of exits, the growth in startup formation and the scale of large outcomes (both large exits and large fundraises).

Source: Pitchbook

Access To Resources

41.5% Weight

A measure of how supportive the city's environment is, and the value-add it can provide to help a startup grow. It considers factors such as the quality, quantity and loyalty of the available talent, investor activity, accelerators, universities and government support.

Source: the US Census, US Patent & Trademark Office, HumanPredictions, Fortune.com, Pitchbook, US News & World Report, the Seed Accelerator Rankings Project, The Global Accelerator Network, US Small Business Administration and individual state websites.

Business Climate

17.5% Weight

A measure of how conducive the city's economic environment is to attract and scale a business. It includes demographic and economic factors such as the cost of living, labor costs, business tax friendliness, population and GDP per capita, as well as ‘connectivity’ indicators like the quality of internet access, airport and highway infrastructure.

Source: the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the Bureau of Economic Analysis, the US Census, the Tax Foundation, the National Digital Inclusion Alliance and Google Flights.

2019 - 2020 Highlights

Annual Rankings