How the Startup Economy is Spreading Across the Country- And How It Can Be Accelerated

By / 3.29.2017

It is March 2017. Square, the small business payments startup founded in 2009, is hiring for its customer support operation in St. Louis. Fintech startup Greensky, founded in 2006, is expanding in Atlanta. Seattle-based Zulily, the ecommerce startup founded in 2009 and bought by QVC in 2015, is hiring for its fulfillment center in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, on the site of Bethlehem Steel’s former main plant. Venture-funded Thread International, based in Pittsburgh, is staffing up its
headquarters to help turn recycled plastics into fiber and yarn. Total Quality Logistics, a freight brokerage founded in Cincinnati in 1997, has 26 positions open in Ohio, 11 in Florida, and more elsewhere.

All across the country, entrepreneurs are founding and building new companies that use technology in innovative ways. The American startup ecosystem — the envy of the world — has spread outside of the coasts and high-profile tech hubs, such as San Francisco, Boston, and New York City, to other parts of the country. Startup activity is happening everywhere in cities and towns across America.
More than that, the startup culture of entrepreneurship, fueled by scalable technology, is spreading as well. Around the country, an increasing number of companies are describing themselves as “startups” when they advertise for workers.

In this paper, the Progressive Policy Institute (PPI) and TechNet explore the importance of the startup economy to job growth, not just in traditional technology hubs, but also in metro areas around the nation.

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