Report: Detroit is top 'emerging ecosystem' for startups


A new report names Detroit as the world’s No. 1 “emerging ecosystem” for technology startups, beating out global powerhouses including Hong Kong and Brussels.

The 2022 Global Startup Ecosystem Report, released this week by San Francisco-based Startup Genome, a policy advisory and research organization for the startup economy, ranked Detroit as the top locale branded as an “emerging ecosystem.”

The report defines those cities as “startup communities at earlier stages of growth, and our ranking methodology is adapted to reflect this, to showcase the strengths in these ecosystems that have high potential to be global top performers in the coming years.”

Detroit, the report says, ranks high on multiple fronts, with available capital standing as the sole area for improvement.

To rank the emerging startup ecosystems, the Startup Genome report looked at four different categories:

  • Performance, which the report’s methodologysays “captures the actual leading, current, and lagging indicators of ecosystem performance.” Within performance, the report looked at the total value of the ecosystem, exits and general success of startup companies in the region.
  • Funding, which looks primarily at access to available capital with a focus on early-stage capital. The report also puts minimal emphasis on the “quality and activity” of the ecosystem’s investor community.
  • Connectedness, which aims to measure “how connected the ecosystem is to the global fabric of knowledge within the ecosystem.”
  • Talent within the ecosystem.

Detroit received perfect 10 scores in three of the buckets, while receiving an 8 in the funding category.

Detroit’s standing in the report received kudos this week from various policy leaders on social media and those working in quasi-governmental roles.

“This latest ranking from Startup Genome highlights the tremendous growth for Detroit as a destination for startups and VC investment,” Fred Molnar, senior vice president of entrepreneurship and innovation at the Michigan Economic Development Corp., said in a statement. “As Michigan’s economy continues to thrive, we will continue to work on providing the most dynamic environment for startups across Michigan to find growth and success.”

Other top performing locales for startups around the globe include Hong Kong, Dublin, Minneapolis and Houston.

The world’s overall top performing ecosystems, according to the Startup Genome report, are Silicon Valley, New York City and London tied at No. 2, Boston and Beijing.

The naming of Detroit as the top emerging ecosystem comes amid a broader market chill that startup founders and venture capital investors say is starting to hit their sector of the economy.


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