For many brand-new entrepreneurs, launching a business can be a game of following the money. Silicon Valley certainly has the money. So does New York.
But companies in all corners of the country have been able to secure venture-capital funding. In 2014, businesses in 160 cities across the U.S. saw VC investment deals close, according to a recent report from the National Venture Capital Association, the industry’s leading trade group. That’s up from 148 cities last year, and represents the largest number of cities in five years. (The peak was back in 2000, at the height of dotcom mania, when businesses in 179 metro areas had VC dollars flowing through them.)
There were a dozen small-ish cities on this year’s list that hadn’t had any action in five years. They were: Bryan-College Station, Texas; Bismarck, N.D.; Terre Haute, Ind.; South Bend, Ind.; Elkhart-Goshen, Ind.; Bellingham, Wash.; Johnson City-Kingsport-Bristol, Tenn.-Va.; Lafayette, La.; Newburgh, N.Y.; Greenville, N.C.; Springfield, Mass.; Janesville-Beloit, Wis.
While the usual Silicon Valley strongholds came out on top, there were some notable shifts in second tier cities. For example, Washington, D.C., fell from fifth place to ninth, replaced by Los Angeles.
Have a look at the top 100 metropolitan regions, as defined by federal census boundaries, ranked by the VC money invested in businesses in that region last year. (Note: The total VC invested is listed in millions of dollars.)