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.
Local colleges and universities can make significant impacts in their regions – both by providing high-quality programs that prepare students for job markets and by incentivizing entrepreneurship on campus. For our education score, we chose to look at the gaps between population growth for 18-24-year-olds enrolled at colleges or universities and 25-34-year-olds with bachelor’s degrees.
In doing so, we can see whether or not cities are able to attract, the young, educated graduates who are already living in their vicinities.