Here are your top 20 U.S. cities for venture capital investment

San Francisco and San Jose, sure. Boston, New York and Austin? Certainly. But technology startups shouldn't ignore Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia and Atlanta.


The market for venture capital, the very fuel that makes the U.S. technology startup scene thrive, has never been more distributed than it is today, according to urbanist Richard Florida.

Writing at The Atlantic Cities, Florida sizes up the American startup market and finds that Silicon Valley is less dominant than it was in its heyday — and that's a good thing.

Not that you can count the region out — not by a long stretch: companies in San Francisco and Oakland attracted more than 25 percent of all venture capital investment in the U.S. in 2012. Add in nearby San Jose and Sunnyvale, and you've topped 40 percent.

But other U.S. cities are gaining traction.

Florida's rankings, arranged by dollars invested in 2012 and based on data from the Martin Prosperity Institute:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland: $6.896 billion (25.6% of the top 100 cities)
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale: $3.985 billion (14.8%)
  3. Boston: $3.101 billion (11.5%)
  4. New York City: $2.269 billion (8.4%)
  5. Los Angeles: $1.677 billion (6.2%)
  6. San Diego: $1.134 billion (4.2%)
  7. Seattle: $886 million (3.3%)
  8. Austin: $626 million (2.3%)
  9. Chicago: $547 million (2.0%)
  10. Washington, D.C.: $484 million (1.8%)
  11. Philadelphia: $347 million (1.3%)
  12. Denver: $264 million (1.0%)
  13. Atlanta: $262 million (1.0%)
  14. Boulder, Colo.: $256 million (1.0%)
  15. Minneapolis-St. Paul: $256 million (0.9%)
  16. Santa Barbara, Calif.: $251 million (0.9%)
  17. Phoenix: $214 million (0.8%)
  18. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.: $184 million (0.7%)
  19. Pittsburgh: $167 million (0.6%)
  20. Provo-Orem, Utah: $162 million (0.6%)

You can see the relative size of their take in the map embedded at the top of this post; each circle corresponds to the percent share of that city's VC dollars.

But the big takeaway here isn't Silicon Valley's dominance. Florida points to the top of the rankings, where the San Francisco-Oakland metropolitan area has passed San Jose-Sunnyvale as No. 1. That's an important change.

"This supports the contention of a more general urban shift of venture capital back toward urban centers," he writes.

The era of the office park might just be on its way out. (Better notify Human Resources.)