The Top 10 Largest Startup Ecosystems in the U.S.

Conor Cawley

For years, the Bay Area has been considered one of the most prolific and innovative startup ecosystems in the world. With new companies sprouting up like dandelions and innovative technologies coming out of the California city like hot cakes, San Francisco and it's surrounding areas have made starting up look easy. And according to a recent study by 1776 and the US Chamber of Commerce, nothing has changed.

The report evaluated the number of startups based in 10 US cities. While the Bay Area reigns supreme with double the next closest competitor, cities like New York, Boston and Washington DC are making a push to compete with the startup haven. And with a weak score among some connectivity factors on the part of the California area, these cities could be higher up the list before you know it.

If you are wondering if your city is ripe for another startup, check out the list below to begin your entrepreneurial journey.

San Francisco – Our list wouldn’t be complete without this famed city. Yes, it’s insanely expensive, but San Francisco does offer benefits to counterbalance that. The city acts as a lodestone to venture capital, ambitious young talent, and risk-takers willing to bet on expensive longshots. As Silicon Valley became the tech Mecca, numerous resources for businesses in San Francisco opened their doors, from incubators to mentorship networks to competitions. Entrepreneurs can find all the tools they need for success in the famous home of startups.

New York – Startup exit count: 884

Los Angeles – Startup exit count: 452

Seattle – Home to success stories like Amazon and Microsoft, and, of course, Starbucks, Seattle is full of tech-savvy entrepreneurs, many of whom gain experience at these larger companies before breaking off to start their own companies. To aid them, Seattle boasts a strong infrastructure to support entrepreneurship, and from 2009 to 2014, Seattle received over $4 billion in investments to create the startup culture it has today.

Washington DC – Startup exit count: 224

Chicago – Startup exit count: 277

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Conor is the Senior Writer for For the last five years, he’s written about everything from Kickstarter campaigns and budding startups to tech titans and innovative technologies. His extensive background in stand-up comedy made him the perfect person to host tech-centric events like Startup Night at SXSW and the Timmy Awards for Tech in Motion. You can email Conor at

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