2021 Best of The Midwest:

Startup City Rankings

Our goal is to provide an analytical, objective benchmark to help startup stakeholders from founders and VCs to community champions and elected officials understand how cities within the Midwest are performing relative to each other in their tech startup ecosystems

2020 - 2021 Highlights

Explore the Cities

1-10
11-25
< 25
Moved up in rank
Moved down in rank
Detailed Data double_arrow

How Rankings are Calculated

Data is through 6/30/21 with inclusion of large outcomes from July’21

Startup Activity

42% Weight

A measure of how active and vibrant the startup community in each city is. Factors included are how many active startups are in the MSA, the growth in startup formation over the last 5 years, the number of exits, and the scale of large outcomes in the last 10 years - exits and fundraises of $50M and higher.

Source: Pitchbook

Access To Resources

40.5% Weight

A measure of how supportive the city's ecosystem is and resources available to help startups grow. This includes how much each Metro has raised from VCs, the number of local investors, incubators/accelerators, universities, government support, and the quality, quantity and loyalty of the available talent.

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, and population and GDP per capita. As well as ‘connectivity’ indicators like nearness to an airport, number of non-stop flights, highway infrastructure, and quality of internet access.

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.

Annual Rankings