We all know Silicon Valley is the worldwide hub for venture capital; just having an address on Sand Hill Road is practically synonymous with being in the field. But did you ever think of Durham, North Carolina as being a venture capital powerhouse? How about Jacksonville, Florida?

It might be time you did. A new report from the Martin Prosperity Institute crunches the numbers on venture capital by taking into account the population of different metro areas and some other factors. This time around, the think tank came up with some surprising rankings.

Mind you, pretty much no analysis is going to unseat Silicon Valley or the greater Bay Area from the top of the venture capital charts.

There's still an argument for looking at venture capital as it relates to the population of a given city. Sure, San Diego might not have the same size venture community, or as many dollars invested, as say, New York. But since the population of San Diego is so much smaller, it stands to reason that there aren't as many entrepreneurs in San Diego competing for each deal as there would be in New York. For that reason, you might actually have a better chance of getting venture capital in San Diego than you would in New York.

Here's a list of the top 10 cities for venture capital, adjusted for the population of each metro area:

  1. San Jose
  2. San Francisco
  3. Boston
  4. Durham, North Carolina
  5. San Diego
  6. Austin
  7. Seattle
  8. Washington, D.C.
  9. Jacksonville
  10. Los Angeles

This is not designed to be a U.S.-only list. By this methodology, the highest-ranked city that is not located in the U.S. is Toronto, at number 12. London, which ranks seventh in overall venture capital investment worldwide, comes in 39th place when population is taken into account. Beijing, which is ranked ninth overall, falls to 55th place after adjusting for population. Mumbai, in 15th place, drops to 70th.

The European rankings also have a few surprises. Berlin has a reputation for a thriving startup scene, but in terms of the actual dollars invested, it's outranked not just by London, Paris, and Moscow (in that order), but by Copenhagen-Malmö.

Accounting for population, Copenhagen-Malmö comes in first in the European venture capital rankings, followed by Geneva and Edinburgh. Berlin comes in 10th. Time to move?

Published on: Jan 27, 2016