Startup Ecosystem Report : Boston vs rest of the world



The good folks at Startup Genome continue to produce data where none existed.  After their first effort (the phenomenally useful Startup Genome Data) they are back with a systematic analysis of startup ecosystems around the globe.

You can download the report here

The new report ranks Boston ranks 6th overall, behind SV, Tel Aviv, LA (oddly), Seattle (oddly) & New York but also highlights its breadth and depth and concludes it is a “real alternative to Silicon Valley”.  

Let’s dive in.

Unsurprisingly perhaps the findings on Boston point towards an earnest attitude to building real businesses with real revenues :

  • Boston startups review metrics more often than SV.

  • Boston startups are 24% more likely to monetize directly than SV startups.

Secondly, the motivation of entrepreneurs in Boston is significantly different to entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.  

  • Boston entrepreneurs are half as likely to create a quick flip, 87% less likely to want to get rich, 16% less likely to want to change the world, and 37% more likely to be motivated by building a great product.

Why so serious ?

Logically given the power and excellence of local universities, Boston also over-indexes (to a fault) on education:

  1. Boston entrepreneurs are more educated than SV entrepreneurs (50% Master and PhD vs. 42% in SV)
  2. Boston entrepreneurs are almost 3x more likely to have a PhD than entrepreneurs in SV.

As you might expect, the funding ecosystem is one of the region’s strength:

  • Boston’s funding ecosystem as no major funding gaps.  Rank 1.

The region scores low on two counts: differentiation from Silicon Valley and startup output (controlled for population growth etc).  Lack of differentiation is not a concern in my mind.  The report does justice to the region in highlighting that we have a strong a diverse ecosystem often underestimated from the outside.

In fact the authors righly conclude that Boston offers a “serious alternative to Silicon Valley”.  

Whilst no one comes close, we have depth, breadth, talent and capital here to build just about anything.  Now about that “changing the world” idea … 

Screen Shot 2012 11 21 at 8 09 16 AM
Screen Shot 2012 11 21 at 8 09 16 AM

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