What is the innovation index?
The most innovative cities in the United States may not all have Silicon Valley's venture firms or Boston's higher education institutions. Unique strengths, established industries and ambitious entrepreneur communities can all play roles defining a city's future, however, and Streetwise Media has assembled a scoring system to spotlight where the most promising growth stories are happening across the country.
The Streetwise City Innovation Index collects data on each metropolitan area's technology sector, venture funding, higher ed enrollment, livability and economy to assess the climates for technology startups in 50 of the most promising American cities.
In addition to ranking this year top urban climates for startup growth, we have also devised a tool for spotlighting key strengths in metro areas from Honolulu to New York City and everywhere in between. Below, you'll see the numbers that matter for cities working to establish themselves as leaders in the 21st century world economy, as well as how they stack up against each other.
Cities needs people in order to grow, but the state of each local economy can show how well business communities are doing, as well as how well local governments are performing and how ambitious they can be in tackling new challenges. For the state of each metro area’s economy, we looked at median household income growth. For city governments, we considered municipal bond ratings as a measure of responsible performance and ability to commit to new initiatives.