Meetups as a Metric for Top Tech Cities

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A new ranking of top start-up cities was released today by RJMetrics, which reveals the expansion of the tech industry nationwide and indicates some new potential leaders in the tech space, with Portland, Minneapolis, Houston, Baltimore and Pittsburgh seeing extensive growth in their start-up scenes over the last year.

To build the ranking, RJMetrics analyzed tech Meetup activity across the world. The single biggest input that determines the success of a start-up is the quality of its human capital, and Meetups are human capital factories; they are how people in tech get together to network, talk shop and learn from each other.

While other rankings have measured the number of tech start-ups per capita, number of total start-ups or amount of venture dollars, these focus on counting corporations and dollars and are results, not inputs.


Below are a few key highlights from the study:

  • Globally, there are 16,155 technology Meetups, claiming a membership of 3,734,033; 67% are in the U.S.
  • London, Toronto and Tel-Aviv topped the international cities list
  • New York is the top city in the U.S. by Meetup membership, which isn’t surprising given the NYC population is 8x larger by population than San Francisco, the only other city that comes close
  • Palo Alto is the only city in the country to have more memberships than citizens
  • Portland more than doubled its number of Meetup groups in a year

To see the full ranking and methodology, click here.


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