What’s in the numbers behind Cincy’s startup rankings?

This week, two separate reports analyzing startup activity in the Midwest ranked Cincinnati in top-five slots, but also provided deep insights how cities are placed on such reports.

Crunchbase, a leading online platform used to discover innovative companies, released its first report on Aug. 1 to determine the “best startup cities” that call the Midwest home. A day later, M25 Group, an early-stage VC that targets a wide variety of early-stage startups, released its first annual “Best of the Midwest” tech scene rankings. Both ranked Cincinnati as No. 5.

With so much data to digest in both of the reports here’s where we found StartupCincy’s high marks, low marks and areas where we’re meeting the status quo.

High marks
  • Overall ranking — Top 5 for Cincinnati in both lists. In addition, both rankings placed Cincinnati as No. 1 in Ohio.
  • Company count (since ‘15) — With 44 new companies founded in StartupCincy since 2015, that’s good enough to rank fourth in the Midwest.
  • Ohio leads the way — Ohio’s three Cs — Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland — all ranked in the top seven cities across both reports. Ohio, by a long shot, was the best-represented state in the top 15 of both reports as the only with three cities in the top 15. The only state that come close is Wisconsin with Madison and Milwaukee ranking in the top 12 on both studies.
Take it or leave it
  • Round counts — While 114 rounds raised since 2015 is good enough for sixth in the Midwest, we’re a bit behind Columbus’ 132. A lot of work needs to be done to catch up to Minneapolis’ 210 or Chicago’s massive 651.
  • VC funding — $426M for Cincinnati since 2015 puts us at number five in the Midwest, a favorable placement. However, take a look at Chicago’s $4.5B since 2015 and you realize there is plenty of room to grow.
  • Institutional startup investors count — Despite nationally recognized regional accelerators, Cincinnati’s overall tally of VC, seed, angel investor networks, accelerators and incubator programs is only 32. This is good enough for a ranking of 6th, but we’re not quite in reach of Chicago’s 245, Detroit’s 75 or Minneapolis’ 65.
Needs improvement
  • Economics & demographics — In the M25 Group report, this section reflects the measure of how conducive the city’s economic environment is to attract and scale a business. It includes factors such as the cost of living, population, and GDP per capita. Here, Cincinnati is behind — ranking 19th out of the list of 50 studied cities. The silver lining here is that no cities in the top 10 overall rankings ranked in the top 10 of ‘Economics & Demographics.’

So what do you think? Do you feel that these reports encapsulate what’s happening on the ground floor? If you’d like to share an opinion, please reach out to us by emailing Henry Molski.

Read more: TechCrunch: Here are the best startup cities in the Midwest

Read more: M25: Announcing the Best of the Midwest

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