The 10 Regions with the Most-Improved Startup Funding

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Today, the Seed Accelerator Ranking Project released a ranking of the top 10 cities with the most growth in startup funding.

Since their focus is on accelerators, they set out to answer this question: which accelerators have had the biggest impact on their ecosystems? One of the first ways to measure this is by looking at how funding activity has changed.

Here is a ranking of those regions; scroll down for more information on how it was compiled, and a deep-dive report into four ecosystems: Austin, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis.

regions with most improved startup funding


Specifically, the researchers took the average number of seed and Series A investments in the three years prior to an accelerator’s arrival and compared it to the average number of investments in the three years after.

Boston and Silicon Valley were excluded from the ranking because their startup scenes were robust even before an accelerator arrived – so the change in venture activity probably doesn’t have much to do with the accelerator. To be included, a city had to have an accelerator arrive in 2012 or earlier and the accelerator had to last more than one cohort.

For the purpose of this ranking, an accelerator is defined as a “fixed-term, cohort-based program with an educational and mentorship component that culminates in a public pitch event or demo day.”

Data on venture deals from 2003-2013 were pulled from the public database VentureXpert (now Thomson One), an industry standard that is reliable for venture capital deals but less so for angel investments.


The Seed Accelerator Ranking Project has ranked the top US accelerators in 20112012, and 2014. It’s now run by Professor Yael Hochberg of MIT, Professor Susan Cohen of the University of Richmond, and Daniel Fehder of MIT.

Report – How Accelerators Kickstart Startup Scenes: A Look at Austin, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis

Of course, funding isn’t the only way to measure the impact of an accelerator on a startup scene. This 40-page report sponsored by .CO looks in depth at how Austin, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and St. Louis have evolved since their first accelerators launched. Inside you’ll find:

  • A brief history of these four startup cities.
  • Helpful lists of the current startup organizations there.
  • Quotes and stories from locals about how the startup scene has grown.
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Written by:
Kira M. Newman is a Tech Cocktail writer interested in the harsh reality of entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and psychology. She is the founder of The Year of Happy and has been traveling around the world interviewing entrepreneurs in Asia, Europe, and North America since 2011. Follow her @kiramnewman or contact
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