Boston ranks 5th among the world’s best tech cities

by Andreas Rekdal
May 10, 2019
boston tech skyline
image via shutterstock.

Boston ranks fifth among the world’s tech ecosystems, according to a new report published this week.

A healthy flow of venture capital helped the city score one of the top spots, along with its accelerators and Massachusetts research-friendly tax policies.


The report

The Global Startup Ecosystem Ranking is created by evaluating 150 tech ecosystems based on factors that tend to correlate with startup success on a global scale. These factors range from available funding and the success of existing companies, on the one hand, the creation of new intellectual property, talent availability, and an ecosystem’s market reach on the other.

The report also attempts to capture the impact of harder-to-measure factors like government policy, incubators and universities.

The ranking was published by Startup Genome and the Global Entrepreneurship Network, which both work to promote innovation in cities around the world. Startup Genome’s board includes industry and government representatives from North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

Unsurprisingly, the United States made its mark on the rankings with a whopping 12 ecosystems on the list. Silicon Valley maintained its spot on the top, followed by New York City in second. Boston and Los Angeles placed fifth and sixth, respectively, followed by Seattle (12), Austin (16), Chicago (17), D.C. (19), San Diego (20), Denver-Boulder (21), Atlanta and Miami (tied for 26).


Funding and universities help Boston make its mark

The report calls out New York City and Boston, in particular, as ecosystems with venture capital bases that parallel that of Silicon Valley’s at the time of Google’s founding in 1998.

Boston ranks second among the 150 cities in both life sciences and advanced manufacturing and robotics, thanks in large part to the talent pipeline coming from global research powerhouses like MIT and Harvard University. The robotics industry employs more than 4,700 Bostonites, according to the organization.

The city’s momentum in this category shows no sign of slowing down, either. Digital manufacturing startup Desktop Metal raised $160 million in funding this January, and Locus Robotics raised $26 million just a few weeks ago. Humatics, whose sensors locate objects in 3D spaces with precision down to the millimeter, raised a $28 million Series A this year, too.

Other strengths highlighted in the report include the ecosystem’s more than 50 accelerators and incubators, as well as a state-level tax credit for research and development that helps the city attract technology businesses from other states.

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