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An interesting report came out this week from the Center for American Entrepreneurship, detailing the progress that’s been made in American startup communities over the last three years. The report specifically looked at how the number of “first financings” — that is, the number of startups receiving their first round of venture capital financing — has changed between the beginning of 2009 and the end of 2017.

Many cities across the U.S. saw an increase in the number of “first financings” — including several I’ve written about frequently, like Pittsburgh, Detroit, and Cincinnati — between 2009 and 2013. But nearly as many saw the number of first financings fall between 2013 and 2017.

A few themes emerged in speaking with the report’s author, Ian Hathaway, but there’s one I’d like to focus on here. The progress made by startup communities isn’t always going to be linear, and it won’t look the same from city to city. Don’t be discouraged if an early stab at a startup accelerator fails or an early startup flames out.

Additionally, your community might be seeing a promising increase in the number of startups receiving venture capital financing while the total number of tech jobs remains stubbornly stagnant. Figure out what makes your startup community unique, and don’t lose sight of that as you try to recruit new entrepreneurs or tech companies or start a new educational program to solve your most persistent problems.

Thanks for reading, and send me an email with your commentary and feedback. You can also sign up here for VentureBeat’s Heartland Tech newsletter to get this column in your inbox weekly.

Anna Hensel
Heartland Tech Reporter

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