What are the odds of startup success by US metro area?

District of Columbia leads with 1 in 326 odds of starting a High-Growth Company. Providence is the city with the worst odds—1 in 3,297.

1 in how many companies achieves High-Growth status by metro area. Washington DC leads the way with 1 in 326.

A High-Growth Company is defined as achieving $2M+ in revenue with 20% annualized growth over a 3-year period. This definition comes from page 10 of the 2017 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.

The data table below shows the odds of starting a High-Growth Company in each major city in America. This data serves as a baseline for the fund I’m modeling based on the book, Grays Sports Almanac for Venture Capital. I am sharing my research notes here so that you can incorporate this data into your angel investing or venture capital models.

United States Metro Area1 in X companies High-Growth; X=
Washington-Arlington-Alexandria326
Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos420
Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Marietta523
Columbus631
Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin645
San Diego-Carlsbad-San Marcos674
Denver-Aurora-Broomfield696
Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale727
Boston-Cambridge-Quincy738
Cincinnati-Middletown780
Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue792
San Francisco-Oakland-Fremont797
Orlando-Kissimmee-Sanford821
Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington828
Cleveland-Elyria-Mentor840
Indianapolis-Carmel853
Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater862
Portland-Vancouver-Hillsboro871
Baltimore-Towson890
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington929
Kansas City978
Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington980
Charlotte-Gastonia-Rock Hill995
Chicago-Joliet-Naperville1,053
San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara1,059
Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana1,104
Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown1,158
Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach1,241
United States (total country average)1,265
Jacksonville1,283
New York-Northern New Jersey-Long Island1,327
Virginia Beach-Norfolk-Newport News1,399
Detroit-Warren-Livonia1,480
Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis1,591
Sacramento-Arden-Arcade-Roseville1,815
Las Vegas-Paradise2,024
St. Louis2,101
Riverside-San Bernardino-Ontario2,283
San Antonio-New Braunfels2,452
Providence-New Bedford-Fall River3,297

The underlying data for this analysis comes from the field on the Kauffman Index called “High-Growth Company Density.” This field is a measure of how many High-Growth Companies out of every 100,000 companies exist in a metro area. I divided 100,000 by the High-Growth Company Density field to obtain the above values. My research can be found in this Google sheet. I used this research to answer the following questions on Quora:

Sources: Morelix, Arnobio, and Josh Russell-Fritch. 2017 Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship. Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, pp. 10 www.kauffman.org/kauffman-index/reporting/-/media/e37f4200462347dbb0d385e01e656be2.ashx. “Metropolitan Area Rankings.” The Kauffman Index, Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, Oct. 2017, www.kauffman.org/kauffman-index/rankings?report=growth&indicator=growth-rate&type=metro