Read the Top U.S. Startup Cities For 2016 Report

The top seven cities in the U.S. for startups in 2016 were San Francisco, New York, Boston, Cambridge, Palo Alto, Austin, and Seattle. These cities each received $2 billion in investment, had 58 new deals, and had 479 active VC-backed startups on average in 2016. While these well-known startup cities continue to dominate the landscape, startup clusters are forming all over the U.S.  Policymakers in many cities that historically were not associated with high-growth, high-tech firms are now cle...
More

Read the Houston Growth vs. Transactional VC Report

Houston's high-tech ecosystem can only flourish if it attracts more growth venture capital investments, according to the latest McNair Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation issue brief, "Growth vs. Transactional Venture Capital in Houston, Texas." A realistic, but aggressive, goal for Houston would be around a 15 percent year-on-year increase in growth venture capital. This would allow Houston to reach roughly $170 million in growth venture capital by 2022. According to the report, "H...
More

Ranking Startup Activity in Cities

Are startup hubs exclusive to a handful of U.S. cities? Or is high-technology entrepreneurship spreading throughout the country? To answer these questions, the McNair Center recently published The Top 100 U.S. Startup Cities in 2016,  ranking startup activity by tracking venture capital deals in U.S. cities. The report found that roughly 70% of startup activity is concentrated in 50 American cities. While the top seven U.S. cities for entrepreneurship are San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Ca...
More

Manufacturing Incubators

In the past few decades, there has been a decline in manufacturing jobs in the United States. Companies have been able to produce goods abroad at a cheaper price due to lower labor costs in developing countries. Incubators are crucial to the revitalization of U.S. manufacturing. The Fulton-Carroll Center Incubator in Chicago is one of the largest and first manufacturing incubators in the nation. It was established in 1980 with $2.6 million in grants from the federal government. In 2015, the c...
More

Silicon Valley: A Powerhouse for Innovation

Silicon Valley's economy is a powerhouse. Representing 14% of U.S. Gross Domestic Product, if California were a country, it would have the sixth biggest economy in the world. Although it has remained successful for decades, California was not always the leader that it is today. What about California led it to become a high-tech phenomena? The Growth of Silicon Valley Semiconductor Expertise Although Silicon Valley is well-known among the American public today, this area was not always known f...
More

Capitalizing on Competencies: Augusta, GA’s Innovation Path

Cities around the country constantly aim to increase their innovative competitiveness. The city of Augusta, Georgia, continues to emphasize this goal to boost the local economy. After thorough research, the McNair Center generated suggestions to help Augusta’s leaders drive this growth. The Ideal Situation for Growth Although there are more than 28 million firms in the U.S., economic growth comes disproportionately from only a tiny fraction. More than half of growth in the American economy com...
More

Houston’s Next Step: The Role of Funds of Funds in Venture Capital

Recently, Houston Exponential announced plans to create a venture capital Fund of Funds (VC FOF) to support the local entrepreneurship ecosystem. This strategy has been used by other cities and regions, such as Michigan and Cincinnati, to spur local startup growth. Private firms also offer VC Fund of Funds. What does this type of fund look like, and how has it played out in other locations? The Basics FOFs are funds that invest in multiple smaller funds. The increased diversification that they...
More

The Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing

McNair Center Intern Shelby Bice attended the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing Conference along with 18,000 other computer scientists on October 4-6, 2017 in Orlando, Florida.  The Grace Hopper Celebration honors the legacy of Grace Hopper, a trailblazer in computer programming who led the team that developed the first programming language, a precursor to COBOL. The conference is organized by The Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology, a nonprofit organization founded in ...
More

Interview with Dr. Armen Orujyan

Dr. Armen Orujyan is the founder and chairman of Athgo, an entrepreneurship platform that is in consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council, U.N. Department of Public Information and the World Intellectual Property Organization. Athgo advances innovation ecosystems in Europe and Africa and has established recurring global innovation forums at the U.N. and World Bank. Orujyan earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2000 and hi...
More

Social Capital Wins over Financial and Human Capital

Entrepreneurship can spur economic growth and job creation. As a result, state and local governments are seeking ways to establish entrepreneurial ecosystems. One way to strengthen an ecosystem is to increase its social capital. Social capital is the networks of relationships among people who work in a particular field. Lack of social capital is among the top reasons that nine out of ten startups fail. Money and skills are not enough for success in entrepreneurship. Aspiring entrepreneurs als...
More