As I noted last month, Seattle appears to be losing a bit of momentum when it comes to venture capital financing deals. (Especially as it relates to other regions of the country like New York and Massachusetts).
But it’s not all about the money, and great companies can get started on a shoestring or with very little outside capital. (For example, two of the biggest successes in Seattle in the past year — Double Down Interactive and PopCap Games — pretty much bootstrapped themselves to success).
A new set of charts compiled by Feefighters puts the nation’s startup hubs in some perspective. And the picture isn’t all that bad for Seattle, depending upon how you slice it.
Using data from Startup Data Trends, the researchers determined that Seattle has the fourth most startups in the country per 100,000 residents. (Behind Silicon Valley, Boston and Atlanta).
But what really caught my eye was average valuation of those startups, which in Seattle was second to Silicon Valley. Now, that could be a good or a bad thing.
After all, it could signal that things are a bit frothy around these parts. But, on the other hand, it could indicate that investors here are bankrolling companies with very big ideas. (As Zillow co-founder Rich Barton noted yesterday, fishing in a “big pond.”)
Seattle startup guru Joshua Maher (of TechCafe fame) was lamenting in a Tweet about another aspect of the survey in which Seattle ranked 7th in terms of raw numbers of startups. (Just behind Boston and Chicago).
That, to me, wasn’t as problematic as those are much bigger cities. Granted, having more startup companies in the mix is a good thing, as you never really know who will become the next super star or dud.
But the numbers in the charts do tell a bit more of the story when it comes to various startup hubs. The authors write that the data is a bit inconsistent, since it doesn’t show that having more startups in a city leads to more startup success. They conclude:
“So before you pack up your bags and join the flock down the yellow brick road to Silicon Valley, take a minute to consider whether or not you actually need to surround yourself with other startups, because the data seems to suggest your startup success doesn’t necessarily depend on your proximity to other like-minded individuals.”
Feefighters made the entire data set available here.