Monday, July 1, 2013

Richard Florida: New Geography of Venture Capital

In our first Columbia Regional Competitiveness Workshop Series, Dirk Brown mentioned access to venture capital was both a major opportunity and obstacle to the Midlands' entrepreneurial growth. In this week's post, EngenuitySC takes a look at some interesting findings from Richard Florida and Columbia's unique position in the venture capital world.

Economist Richard Florida has conducted a study on the movement and trend of venture capital investment towards urban centers. 

Venture capital has been, and remains, a catalyst and launching pad for innovation. High-tech startups and ventures are undoubtedly a vital aspect that jumpstarts the economy. Take, for example, Facebook, Intel, and Google. All of these have revolutionized their respective industries and contributed greatly to the daily life for society. 

In the past, these startups have traditionally called suburban industrial parks like Silicon Valley, Research Triangle Park, and the Boston suburbs home. However, in recent years, these startups are moving more and more towards urban centers, where there is a much larger concentration of business, life, and capital. 

In the map below, you see the concentrations of venture capital deals that have taken place in 2012. A large amount of these deals have occurred in urban centers and metro areas rather than outside in industrial parks, as they have in the past. Therefore cities must collaborate to foster growth and success. Looking at the map, you can see that Columbia does show up as a spot of interest related to number of venture deals taking place. 

Number of Venture Capital Deals Taking Place

However, the following map now shows the dollar amount of the capital ventures taking place. As you can see, Columbia does not show up on this map. Why is this? What can be done in the business environment in Columbia to create financially larger venture capital deals? 

These are the kinds of issues we aim to address and conquer with the Columbia Regional Competitiveness Initiative. Are you surprised Columbia doesn't even register for dollar value of venture capital investment? How do you or your organization help to solve this problem? Let us know in the comments, @EngenuitySC #CRCIWorkshop, on #CompetitivenessWorkshop, or drop us an email at!

Dollar value of venture capital deals taking place

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