The Draper Hero Institute, founded by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper, has conducted a study of innovation hubs in America and the world and found that California has fallen behind places like Texas, Florida, and Washington in innovation. The United States led the world overall. Angus Loten reports for The Wall Street Journal:
Washington, Texas and Florida are the best states to launch a technology startup, beating California’s Silicon Valley, according to a new index that ranks the vitality of national and global innovation hubs.
The U.S. remains a leader world-wide in promoting innovative technology, though Singapore, Hong Kong and Switzerland are closing the gap, according to the findings.
The effort was unveiled Thursday by the Draper Hero Institute, a research firm led by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Tim Draper. It features an index and an international map of emerging technology hot spots for entrepreneurs, investors and policy makers. The goal is to foster the development of advanced technology and economic growth, the firm said.
Chief information officers and other corporate tech leaders at more mature companies could leverage the rankings to identify areas in the U.S. and around the world where startups are developing innovative technology, which can be used as the basis for business decisions, such as investing and acquisition opportunities, the firm said.
“CIOs investing in the future must track innovation to avoid investing in yesterday’s technologies,” said Max Azaham, a senior research director at information-technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc.
The Draper Innovation Index grades U.S. states and countries world-wide based on a range of local factors that its developers say support a healthy startup ecosystem. They include regulatory, economic, investment and workforce trends, along with less common indicators, such as openness to cryptocurrencies. Sources of data include the World Bank, the United Nations, the Nasdaq Stock Market and dozens of other private- and public-sector organizations.
The grades are then distilled into three broad categories, each with a separate rank. They include trust and transparency in local governments, the potential for development opportunities, and an overall rank based on the balance of all factors combined.
China, for instance, ranks second for emerging opportunities, but drops to 51 for government quality, according to the index. Its overall rank is 13. The U.S. tops the rankings in all three categories.
The tool, which is free and accessible online, maps out the rankings using geographic information system software developed by Environmental Systems Research Institute Inc.
“Think of these countries and these states as places entrepreneurs can decide or not decide where to go to,” Mr. Draper said. That matters, he added, because the ability to work from anywhere and with anyone has never been stronger, especially in the wake of the pandemic.
Although California scores high for its thriving tech sector, the state’s overall grade is weighed down by red tape, high taxes and other state regulations, Mr. Draper said.
Texas ranks third overall among U.S. states, behind Washington and Florida, according to the index. It attracted $1.3 billion in venture capital in the first three months of the year, more than what was raised in each of the previous three quarters, according to data gathered by analytics firm PitchBook Data Inc. In December, Silicon Valley companies Oracle Corp. and Hewlett Packard Enterprise Co. both announced plans to relocate their corporate headquarters to Texas.
Explore the index here.
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