In this year's State of the Union, President Obama addressed his continued support for innovation and the entrepreneurs that are leading the country in a new digital revolution. Citing policies toward an open and free Internet, and the provision of high-speed network connections, the President made sure to let Americans know that the work of startups are valuable for not only finding new and better solutions to everyday problems, but also are great contributors to the improvement of the American economy.
However, this wasn't the first time that the President brought up the topic of innovation or technology. According to analysis by the Washington Post, the President has actually mentioned the words “innovation” and “technology” every year since 2009 – with both terms getting more than 20 mentions each overall. Over that same period, tech hubs across America have appeared and developed into cities of innovation – replete with startups and the resources to help them succeed. Recently, NerdWallet looked at these startup ecosystems and determined the most innovative tech hubs in America.
While the rankings seem like every other ranking upon first look (considering that you'll find San Jose, CA and San Francisco, CA among the top three), they're actually a lot more surprising when you look at the rest of the cities on the list. You'll notice, for instance, that New York City doesn't even make it to the top 10; rather, it comes in at 48th place out of the 50 cities that were evaluated by NerdWallet – a huge surprise considering typical considerations of NYC's “Silicon Alley” is the East Coast equivalent to Silicon Valley.
To determine these most innovative tech hubs in America, NerdWallet looked at three different factors: 1) the number of patents per 1,000 residents from 2009 to 2013; 2) the amount of available venture capital per capita in 2014; and 3) economies of agglomoration – which looked at the overall startup density in each tech ecosystem. Using these measures, they found that most of America's most innovative tech hubs were on the West Coast (with only two East Coast cities making it into the top 10 spots). They also found that being located near a major university can be closely linked to a highly innovative ecosystem.
Check out the top 10 most innovative tech hubs in America. For the full list of 50 cities, head over to NerdWallet.