RALEIGH – The Triangle is the 41st best global startup ecosystem and 16th in the United States, according to a new report. And Charlotte, with a similar sized population, ranks 73rd globally.
But Wilmington, North Carolina is a city with a startup ecosystem that is “punching above their weight,” according to the report, with a global ranking of 79th. And the coastal startup ecosystem is faring even better when it comes to similarly-sized cities, ranking second in the world among cities with populations between 100,000 and 300,000.
The annual analysis from StartupBlink notes that the Triangle fell to 41st from its ranking of 40th in last year’s report.
Still, the Triangle ranked 18th best regionally in North America, and 5th globally for regions with a population size between 1 and 3 million, according to the report. For similarly-sized cities, Denver and Salt Lake City each outranked the Triangle, as did Stockholm and Amsterdam.
But there are three bright spots in the Triangle’s startup economy, where there is forward momentum, according to the report. That’s because the region’s startup ecosystem pertaining to food technology jumped 27 spots from last year and is now ranked among the top 10 this year, at 8th globally. A different report from earlier in the year ranked the region 10th.
And, in healthtech, the Triangle’s startup ecosystem now ranks 13th globally.
For social and leisure technology, the Triangle ranks 19th globally.
Last year, a new benchmarking study from NC TECH ranked Raleigh 7th and Durham 6th in the nation when it came to technology innovation. And both Raleigh and Durham ranked in the top 10 cities in the United States in an analysis that sought to identify the best cities in the nation in which to start a business, with Charlotte not too far behind.
In the StartupBlink analysis, Charlotte ranked 73rd overall, 33rd in North America, and 30th in the United States. But the Queen City ranked 40th globally in the category of Hardware and IoT and 43rd worldwide for marketing and sales startups, according to the analysis.
Wilmington on the rise
According to the StartupBlink Global Ecosystem Map, Wilmington’s startup ecosystem ranks 79th globally, with positive momentum following an increase of 16 spots since last year’s rankings were released.
But when compared to other similar sized cities, Wilmington ranks second among all global cities with populations between 100,000 and 300,000, tracking a total of 110 startups in the city. The only global city to outpace Wilmington is Cambridge, in the United Kingdom.
“This segmentation helps identify cities that are punching above their weight, with relatively small populations and outstanding global rankings, whose achievement might otherwise be overlooked,” the report reads. “Without adjustments to population size, it’s obvious that larger cities will generally outshine the smaller ones.”
But Wilmington is shining bright.
While 79th overall, Wilmington ranks 30th in the United States, and first among cities of similar size in North America.
Wilmington is one of only two U.S. cities with a population size between 100,000 and 300,000 to appear in the top 100 rankings of global cities, with Louisville, Kentucky, ranked 98th globally. The only two other cities of similar size to appear in the top 100 global rankings, overall, were Cambridge (63rd) and Oxford (95th) in the United Kingdom.