NYC ranks 2nd among world’s best tech cities

by Andreas Rekdal
May 10, 2019
NYC tech skyline
Image via Shutterstock

New York City came out swinging in a new ranking of global startup ecosystems, second only to Silicon Valley.

The strength of the city’s venture capital scene helped NYC snag a top spot, as did its diversity and wealth of unicorns and incubators.

New York City has occupied that second-only-to-San-Francisco spot in various rankings of cities’ tech scenes in recent years, but over the past year it's also been speculated to be on pace to catch up to Silicon Valley.


The ranking

The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is created by evaluating 150 tech ecosystems based on factors that tend to correlate with startup success on a global scale. These factors range from available funding and the success of existing companies, on the one hand, the creation of new intellectual property, talent availability, and an ecosystem’s market reach on the other.

The report also attempts to capture the impact of harder-to-measure factors like government policy, incubators and universities.

The ranking was published by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, which both work to promote innovation in cities around the world. Startup Genome’s board includes industry and government representatives from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Unsurprisingly, the United States made its mark on the rankings with a whopping 12 ecosystems on the list. Silicon Valley maintained its spot on the top, followed by New York City in second. Boston and Los Angeles placed fifth and sixth, respectively, followed by Seattle (12), Austin (16), Chicago (17), D.C. (19), San Diego (20), Denver-Boulder (21), Atlanta and Miami (tied for 26).


NYC’s funding environment packs a punch

The report calls out New York City and Boston, in particular, as ecosystems with venture capital bases that parallel that of Silicon Valley’s at the time of Google’s founding in 1998.

NYC placed second in the world on the funding front, and Startup Genome highlighted the city’s more than 9,000 startups, including several unicorns, as well as the more than 100 co-working spaces, accelerators and incubators as factors in the ranking. The report also points to the city’s diversity — nearly half of NYC’s tech workers are born outside the United States.

According to the report, AI, cybersecurity and life sciences are particular areas of strength for the city — NYC has a higher percentage of AI and machine learning jobs than any other U.S. metro area, according to the organization.

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