Recent studies by both Engine and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation take note of Iowa’s increased momentum in “start-up density.” The term “startup density” measured both high-tech and information-tech entrepreneurial activity and found major cities across the state making significant jumps over the last 10 years.
In fact, Des Moines metro cracked the top 10 – which is extremely tough to do as the usual suspects tend to show-up on the list from year to year. The Des Moines Business Record published a great write-up on the state’s start-up success this week.
- Des Moines ranked 4th in “high-tech startup density” in the mid-to-large metros (500,000 – 1 million pop.)
- Cedar Rapids ranked 10th in “information-tech startup density” in small-to-mid metros (250,000 – 500,000 pop.)
- Ames ranked 8th in “high-tech startup density” in small metros (pop. under 250,000)
This increase in entrepreneurial activity and national attention is by no means simply luck – it takes decades to create a startup hub. Through collaboration among business leaders and local governments and results-oriented financial support like the Demonstration Fund – Iowa has become a hotbed of startup activity.
The nation is taking notice and will continue to do so, as the Iowa Economic Development Authority + several of the state’s hottest startups are at SXSW this weekend hosting the #IowaHour. This event presents an opportunity to demonstrate the cutting-edge innovation and entrepreneurial activity that is spurring economic growth across Iowa to a massive audience. And who knows? Maybe we’ll make the right connections and see an influx of venture capital – or, we’ll inspire a young person to bring their next idea to Iowa.
Let’s keep the momentum going!
-Kathy A., IEDA Marketing Team