Editor’s note: Thom Ruhe is chief executive officer of NC IDEA Foundation.

DURHAM – Startup Genome, a policy advisory and research organization committed to accelerating the success of startup ecosystems, today released the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2020. The GSER 2020 ranks metro areas around the world that are supporting ecosystems that promote startups and the economic benefits from doing so.

Within the category of mature ecosystems, top contenders are the usual suspects one would expect; Silicon Valley and NYC for example. Rather promising for North Carolina however, is that multiple ecosystems ranked in the top 100 Emerging Ecosystems category.

Making the top 10 is the Triangle. Speaking of which, we owe a debt of gratitude to Startup Genome for recognizing that Durham/Raleigh is a region and not isolated communities fighting for independent rankings. When measured by Ecosystem Value (economic output), the Triangle ranks 6th and 4th by Unicorn ($1B) ranking – globally!

WRAL TechWire photo

Thom Ruhe (WRAL TechWire photo by Rick Smith)

For those of us working day to day in the ecosystem, this is affirmation of what we already suspected; namely, the Triangle is a great place to start and grow companies.

But the entrepreneurial opportunity isn’t limited to the Triangle. Also making the top 100 were Charlotte (tied 31-40) and Wilmington (tied 91-100). This reflects years of effort by our ECOSYSTEM partners at elevating their regions and building networks, resources and community support for startups.

With three ranked ecosystems, and what we also know about entrepreneurship in the Triad, Asheville, Boone, Greenville and other parts of the state, we are collectively living up to the notion that North Carolina genuinely is the best state in the nation for people to realize their entrepreneurial potential. Now we must keep up the focus and energy so that next year we have even more communities make the rankings.

Speaking of ecosystem rankings, in our next edition (two weeks hence) we will be making an exciting announcement specific to our ECOSYSTEM program; hint, think bigger and more inclusive. If you want to help rebuild the economy while engaging diverse groups in the economic potential of entrepreneurship, you will want to stay tuned for more to come.