OnStartups

Massachusetts Ranked #1: Perhaps Entrepreneurs Can Stay East After All

Posted by Dharmesh Shah on March 1, 2007 in startups startup boston 13 Comments


A little while I ago, I wrote an article on this blog titled “Go West, Young Entrepreneur!  Is The Valley Better For Software Startups?”. 

 

Now, I’ve come across some new information that causes me to reconsider this point of view.  Business Week posted an article recently titled “Ranking The States For The New Economy”, which cites a recent study by the Kauffman Foundation, a well-known private foundation that promotes entrepreneurship.  The study provides detailed rankings on how states in the U.S. are adapting to the challenges of a global, entrepreneurial, and knowledge-based economy.  The study was previously conducted in 1999 and 2002.

 

I’ll jump to my punch-line first:  In both 1999 and 2002, Massachusetts topped the list.  This year, not only did Massachusetts top the list, but increased its lead over the other states.  

 

A few things from the article and the study that I found interesting:

 

  1. MA ranked #1 overall, and also ranked #1 in “workforce education”, a weighted measure of educational attainment of the workforce. 

 

  1. MA also ranked #1 in the “Hi-Tech Jobs” indicator defined as the jobs in electronics manufacturing, software, computer-related services, telecommunications and biomedical industries as a share of total employment.  

 

  1. MA had the fourth-highest increase in per-capita income.

 

  1. Another surprise:  #2 and #3 were New Jersey and Maryland.  In case you’re wondering, California came in at #5.

 

  1. California ranked #1 in “Inventor Patents”, defined as the number of independent inventory patents per 1,000 people.

 

  1. The bottom two states that “didn’t adapt well to the new economy” were West Virginia and Mississippi.

 

  1. Vermont (yes, Vermont!) ranked #1 in entrepreneurial activity.  I found this surprising.  The study states that this may be due to fewer traditional employment opportunities in rural areas.  MA came in at #43 and CA at #9.

 

  1. MA ranked #1 for the “Venture Capital” indicator (which I found surprising too).  

 

So, what do you think?  Do any of these results surprise you?  If you are an entrepreneur, does data like this influence your thinking at all as to where you might kick-off your startup?  Would love to hear your thoughts.