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The Best & Worst Cities for Startup Investors, Job Seekers, & More

Which US cities are the best for startups? Are the best cities for investors the best cities for job seekers? What about the worst cities? We’ve got the data.

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Startups by the Numbers

Around the United States and the world, there are new companies starting up each day. Some businesses serve basic human needs, such as a restaurant, while others are entirely new and aim to innovate an industry. Either way, starting a business can be difficult. Plus, the location that a founder chooses can have a significant impact. With this in mind, we decided to look further into how the startup market varies across U.S. cities by digging into the numbers behind it. In which cities should entrepreneurs consider starting their business?


We looked at AngelList, a leading listing site for startups and angel investors, in order to collect data specifically related to the startup market. We compiled data on the number of companies, number of jobs, average company valuation, and number of investors for each city. The United States metropolitan areas included in our analysis are those with a population of 1 million or more.

The Cities with the Most and Least Startups

Graphic: “The Cities with the Most & Least Local Startups”

First and foremost, we wanted to see which cities have the most startup companies relative to their population. San FranciscoCA is the city with the most per 100,000 people (815.8) as it turns out, which probably won’t come as a surprise. Interestingly, San Jose, CA ranks 6th on our list and is “beat” by Austin TX (202.0), New York NY (131.9), Boston MA (121.2), and Los Angeles, CA (112.3). The cities in the U.S. with relatively few startups are Riversid CA (2.0), Kansas City MO (4.3), and Hartford CT (7.2).

The Best and Worst Cities for Startup Jobs

Graphic: “The Best & Worst Cities for Startup Jobs”

Next, we took a look at the number of startup jobs available by city. San Francisco CA again earns the top spot, with 324.3 jobs per 100,000 people. This city is followed by New York NY (44.4) and Boston MA (34.8). The cities with the fewest startup jobs are Riverside CA (0.1), Memphis TN (0.1), Louisville KY (0.4), and Hartford CT (0.4).

The Cities with the Highest and Lowest Valued Startups

Graphic: “The Cities with the Highest & Lowest Valued Startups”

We also wanted to see what the local landscape is for startups by looking at their average valuation in each city. We found pretty marked differences among cities. San Francisco CA ranks, again, at the top with an average valuation of $5.1 million, followed by San Diego CA ($4.8 mil) and Raleigh NC ($4.8 mil). The cities with the lowest figures are Louisville KY ($2.6 mil), Memphis TN ($2.7 mil), and Cleveland OH ($2.8 mil).

The Cities with the Most and Least Available Investors

Graphic: “The Cities with the Most & Least Available Investors”

Finally, we wanted to see which cities have the best opportunities for entrepreneurs looking for an investor, so we looked at the number of them available relative to the number of local startups. Riverside CA ranks as the best city by this metric, with 68.7 investors per startup, followed closely behind by Hartford CT (57.6) and Kansas City MO (53.8). San Francisco CA is actually the worst city when looking at this measure (0.2), followed by New York NY (0.3) and Los Angeles CA (0.6).

All Results by City

Graphic: “Startups by the Numbers: How Does Each US City Compare?”

Even if a city doesn’t rank “best” or “worst,” it’s valuable to have the numbers on it. Look through our analysis and see how your city compares. How did it stack up compared to others on the list?

Alfredo Salkeld
Alfredo Salkeld

Alfredo is SimpleTexting's brand manager. He's passionate about using his 10+ years of marketing experience to help small businesses grow.

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