Is Your City Ready for the Digital Economy?


Good quality of life and strong digital health sector put Boston first in the 2016 Innovation That Matters ranking.

Our nation's economy continues to evolve, and the health of cities is dependent on their ability to take advantage of these changes. That's why the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation has partnered again with Free Enterprise and 1776 on a report examining the cities that are best poised to take advantage of the digital economy.

The 2016 Innovation That Matters report offers a ranking of 25 top startup hubs and provides insight into the steps cities can take to turn capital into successful tech industries. 

Boston earned the top spot in our index, based on dozens of key indicators including total number of startups, quality of life, and the number of educated young people. 

The San Francisco Bay Area, Denver, Austin, and San Diego rounded out the top 5. 

The Innovation That Matters report includes insights from roundtable discussions held in eight cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Salt Lake City, Denver, Phoenix, Atlanta, Raleigh-Durham, and Philadelphia. 

The full report is worth your time, but here are a few highlights: 

  • The San Francisco Bay Area is well-poised to take advantage of the digital economy, but a high cost of living and lack of strong connections in some areas are eroding its competitiveness. 
  • Denver is emerging as a startup hotbed, in part due to the great quality of life the city offers. Quality of life was also a key factor in the high ranking of Raleigh-Durham, Austin, Nashville, and Boston. 
  • Some cities including Baltimore, Pittsburgh, and New Orleans emerged as sleepers as they've laid down the right cultural foundations and are building the right connections. 
  • Those cities with a strong health sector are best poised for growth in the digital economy. Cities with a strong digital health component include New York, the Bay Area, San Diego, Washington, D.C. and Boston. 

Read the report at or download it here.