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Today I have a major new study out for the Center for American Entrepreneurship, called Rise of the Global Startup City: The New Map of Entrepreneurship and Venture Capital. The report is the culmination of months of work that my co-author, Richard Florida, and I have been toiling away at, and we are really happy to be sharing it today.
What’s new here? We aggregated venture deals and capital invested across more than 300 metropolitan areas that span 60 countries, tabulating levels of activity and changes over time, beginning with the period before the financial crisis (2005-07), the period just after (2010-12), and ending with the most recent period (2015-17). We also break down activity by stages: Pre-VC (angel + seed), Early-Stage VC, Later-Stage VC, and something we call Mega Deals (those above $500M).
To our knowledge, our work on the distribution and dynamics of global venture capital activity at the level of metropolitan areas on such a scale is the first of its kind.
There are a number of key insights from the report, which I’ll summarize in a moment, and there is A LOT of data. We have organized this information in three key ways so that you can easily access our findings:
- We have produced a comprehensive, written report that lays out our findings and provides a lot of data charts and tables (with a nice foreword from Brad Feld);
- We have also produced a website, which tells the story of our findings and allows users to interact with the rich data set we constructed (both the print report and the site were beautifully designed by our friends at LGND).
- Richard and I have an OpEd in The Wall Street Journal, which is online today and will be in the print edition tomorrow (The Saturday Essay). It goes a bit further in describing the implications of our findings, and takes a particular tack on declining American competitiveness.
(I suppose there’s also a fourth. If you want a really short cut on the main findings and implications—particularly for the United States—I have summarized my thoughts in this Twitter thread.)
Overall, we document a significant expansion (massive growth), urbanization (driven by cities), globalization (driven by cities outside the United States), and concentration (driven by a relatively small number of global cities) of venture capital and startup activity in recent years. America’s long-held singular dominance of startup and venture capital activity is being challenged by the rapid ascent of cities in Asia, Europe, and elsewhere. While the United States remains the clear global leader, the rest of the world is gaining ground at an accelerating rate.
I encourage all of you to spend time with the assets we produced, as there is a wealth of information and lots of nuance around global venture capital and startup activity patterns. Plus, as I mentioned, we have a lot of cool data tools for your to play around with. However, here, I’ll provide a brief visual guide of our work.
This was my way of bringing together the local startups and entrepreneurs to say thank you for the work and hustle that they put into building their companies day in and day out. A way for me to say thank you for your sacrifices, thank you for your time and unrelenting energy, thank you for creating jobs and opportunities. And thank you for feeding our local economy and the mouths of our citizens.
Why? This was how I was raised – to take care of the people who take care of you. And why not do it over good food, good people, and few hungry startups and entrepreneurs?
This small act of bringing everyone together turned into FLF (Free Lunch Friday) where we would gather on the last Friday of every month.
What started out as just 25 people getting together eventually grew into monthly event with over 200 people in attendance. As FLF grew we added various content and programming elements such as: speakers, local bands, holiday events, and more.
People would look forward to FLF every month – it became the hub within the community for startups and entrepreneurs to gather.
Years later after watching so many lose jobs and people try to come up another plan to fix our economies, I figured let’s get back to the basics of people and community. Let’s take a small idea and turn it into a vision that will impact the world.
Welcome to FLF! Free Lunch Friday (FLF) is a non-profit built to provide community, content, connections and access to capital to the hungry startups and entrepreneurs who drive our global economies. We are here to inspire, educate, and empower.
Our vision at FLF is to create a global community of hungry startups and entrepreneurs working together to build incredible companies that drive our economies forward, provide jobs, and change the world.
Our mission is to feed the startups and entrepreneurs that feed our global economies.
When we say feed the startups and entrepreneurs that feed our global economies, we literally mean that we will feed them. At FLF locations around the world startups and entrepreneurs will gather on the last Friday of every month for free food, beer, and community. We will also produce FLF talks at each location that get edited and pushed out to www.thefreelunchfriday.com, for free – think TED on sterooids plus free food, beer, and entrepreneurs!
We are not just another event with a speaker charging you 30 dollars, we are not an advocacy campaign, and we are not another government agency with an agenda. We are serious entrepreneurs who are hungry to make things happen. By partnering with local startup ecosystems and global startup organizations, we feel we can help create a comprehensive support system for startups. We are on the ground, we are in the trenches, and we want to work with you to launch FLF locations around the world.
Our first FLF locations will launch on Jan 25th in LA, DC, and Detroit. To see a map of planned FLF locations for 2013 please go to www.thefreelunchfriday.com and click on a location to learn more. If you do not see a location please contact us to consider a location in your community.
You can also sign up to be an FLF leader, a speaker, or just be a part of the community. It really takes a variety of people and roles to make it all work.
How about you? Hungry? Thirsty? Seeking community? Join the FLF community of startups and entrepreneurs and help us change the world.
What do you say we get started.