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April 2018

Report: Houston among the world's most connected cities for startup activity

Houston Innovation Corridor Downtown Houston

Innovation District

Houston is one of the top 10 startup ecosystems in the world for local connectedness, according to a new report from Startup Genome.

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report shows Houston is among the 30 largest ecosystems in the world in number of tech startups and received approximately $250 million in venture capital investment in 2016. The innovation landscape is further enhanced by NASA's Johnson Space Center and the fourth-largest concentration of corporate headquarters in the U.S.

According to the report, health startups have the biggest share of VC investment in Houston, bringing in nearly 25% of the funding in the ecosystem from 2012 to 2017 — twice as much the concentration of health investments globally. The city's startups are aided by one of the largest healthcare clusters in the world to build on. The industry employs over 325,000 people in the region, and is the second biggest employment sector. Rice University is ranked as a top 10 university globally for biomedical engineering. In addition, Houston is home the Texas Medical Center (TMC) — the world's largest medical center.

Incorporating data from Crunchbase and Orb Intelligence, as well as the voices of over 10,000 founders from 24 countries worldwide - including some of Houston’s top startups like Arundo Analytics and MacroFab - GSER 2018 presents a look at over 60 ecosystems. The report identifies the industries where each ecosystem has the most potential.

Houston ranked among the startup ecosystems to watch in life sciences, artificial intelligence, advanced manufacturing and robotics.

Houston's innovation landscape is evolving quickly. The nonprofit Houston Exponential launched late last year with the goal of making the city a top-10 innovation ecosystem, generating $2 billion in venture capital annually and creating 10,000 new technology jobs a year by 2022. In April, Rice University announced plans to transform the historic Sears building in Midtown into a hub for the city's emerging innovation district over the next two years.

Other top 10 cities cited for their connectedness in the GSER report include Silicon Valley, Tel Aviv, London, Atlanta, Los Angeles and Singapore.

Click here to read the full report.

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