Austin lands spot among the world’s top startup ecosystems

by Andreas Rekdal
May 15, 2019
austin skyline
image via shutterstock.

Austin scored big in a recent ranking of global startup ecosystems, landing in 16th place out of 150 cities measured.

The city’s strength in sub-sectors like cleantech and cybersecurity helped Austin land its coveted top-tier spot on the list.


The report

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, Chicago (17), D.C. (19), San Diego (20), Denver-Boulder (21), Atlanta and Miami (tied for 26).


Cybersecurity sets Austin apart from the crowd

The report names Austin among the top 10 cybersecurity ecosystems in the world. That ranking is helped by rising startups like ClearDATA, which raised $26 million in funding last year, and SparkCognition, which raised $56.5 million. Being home to SailPoint — which went public earlier this year with a billion-plus valuation — certainly doesn’t hurt either, nor does Austin’s status as a second home to industry powerhouse Duo Security.

Oh, and then there’s the upcoming U.S. Army Futures Command Center slated to bring 500 uniformed and civilian tech jobs to Austin. The Army Futures Command Task Force, which will help the Army integrate cutting-edge tech into its operations, cited access to technical talent and a vibrant, diverse community as drivers in the decision to bring its operations to Austin.

The report also named Austin as a top 20 ecosystem for cleantech, thanks to the University of Texas Clean Energy Incubator and tech companies like water management software provider Banyan Water; Energy Curb, which makes home energy monitoring technology; and data waste sorting startup Smarter Sorting.

Austin’s rapid population growth and flourishing VC ecosystem also helped bolster Austin’s spot in the ranking. A recent report named Austin as the fastest-growing city in the country, and it ranked third and sixth in density of high-growth companies and job creation, respectively.

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