The 25 Best U.S. Cities for Tech Startups

These U.S. metro regions have the highest ratio of tech startups compared to the national average.

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By Catherine Clifford

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Move over, Silicon Valley. Colorado is building some serious startup swagger.

Four of the top 10 metro regions in the U.S. with the most tech startups are in Colorado: Boulder, Fort Collins-Loveland, Denver and Colorado Springs. That's according to a report released today by technology policy coalition Engine and entrepreneurship research association the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The research focuses on high-tech startups specifically, defining them as new businesses with a concentration of employees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.

Related: The 5 Rules for Silicon Valley Success That Can Work Anywhere

Here is a rundown of the U.S. metro regions with the highest ratio of tech startups compared to the national average:

  1. Boulder, Colo.
  2. Fort Collins-Loveland, Colo.
  3. San Jose-Sunnyvale-Santa Clara, Calif.
  4. Cambridge-Newton-Framingham, Mass.
  5. Seattle
  6. Denver
  7. San Francisco
  8. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md.
  9. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  10. Cheyenne, Wyo.
  11. Salt Lake City
  12. Corvallis, Ore.
  13. Raleigh-Cary, N.C.
  14. Huntsville, Ala.
  15. Provo-Orem, Utah
  16. Bend, Ore.
  17. Austin-Round Rock, Texas
  18. Missoula, Mont.
  19. Grand Junction, Colo.
  20. Sioux Falls, S.D.
  21. Bethesda-Frederick-Rockville, Md.
  22. Durham-Chapel Hill, N.C.
  23. Portland-Vancouver-Beaverton, Ore.-Wash.
  24. Wilmington, Del.
  25. Ames, Iowa

As an entrepreneur looking for a startup community to launch your business, knowing where other entrepreneurs have planted their seeds may prove fruitful. And for local leaders, encouraging high-tech startup growth in your community could generate jobs. While high-tech startups have an undeniably high failure rate, those that do succeed take off quickly. On the whole, high-tech startups are good for the local job market, according to the research.

Related: Entrepreneurs Take Lead in Building Vibrant Startup Communities

A thriving startup community that's creating jobs typically attracts vitality -- and cash -- to a region. "In the case of Boulder, a startup community whose evolution I've observed and participated in closely over the past many years, the cultural and economic transformation has been extraordinary," says Brad Feld, co-founder of the Boulder-based Foundry Group and author of numerous books about startup ecosystems, in a statement. "While there isn't one, definitive blueprint to building a technology industry, this research can hopefully inspire communities and policymakers to work together to ensure that the spread of high-tech entrepreneurship isn't just a trend, but a long-term phenomenon."

Catherine Clifford

Senior Entrepreneurship Writer at CNBC

Catherine Clifford is senior entrepreneurship writer at CNBC. She was formerly a senior writer at Entrepreneur.com, the small business reporter at CNNMoney and an assistant in the New York bureau for CNN. Clifford attended Columbia University where she earned a bachelor's degree. She lives in Brooklyn, N.Y. You can follow her on Twitter at @CatClifford.

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