Milwaukee ranked 29th best place to start a business

Among 50 metros on Inc. and Startup Genome Surge Cities Index

Luke Repetti and Lisa Caesar of No Studios.

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:07 am

Milwaukee has been ranked 29th on the Surge Cities Index, an Inc. and Startup Genome report which rates the 50 best U.S. metro areas to start a business.

The index considers equally weighted composite scores of seven indicators: early-stage fundraising deals: the number of early-stage funding deals per 100,000 adults in the 12 months ending in October; job creation: the percentage change in the number of jobs in the year ending in March; rate of entrepreneurship: the percentage of entrepreneurs, whatever their employment status, from 2017 to 2018; high-growth company density: the number of high-growth companies per 100,000 adults, including only Inc. 5000 firms with $2 million in annual revenue and 20 percent year-over-year growth for three years in 2017 and 2018; population growth: percentage growth in the year ending in July 2017; net business creation: the percentage change in the number of business establishments in the year ending in March; and wage growth: the percentage change in average weekly earnings in the year ending in March.

Milwaukee scored at 5.8 percent for net business creation, 4.9 percent for rate of entrepreneurship, 4.7 percent wage growth, 1.3 percent high-growth company density (per 100,000 people), 0.8 percent job creation and 0 percent population growth.

No. 1 on the list is Austin, Texas, with a 6.7 percent rate of entrepreneurship, a 5.1 percent high-growth company density (per 100,000 people, 4.1 percent wage growth, 3.6 percent net business creation and 2.7 percent population growth.

The Surge Cities index includes the 50 largest metropolitan statistical areas in the U.S.

In its story on Milwaukee, Inc. notes Milwaukee’s recent construction renaissance, including the Fiserv Forum and the redevelopment of the Pabst Brewery Complex to include co-working hub No Studios. It also notes the dearth of angel and venture capital available to local startups.

“Funding has been tough to come by here, but companies like Northwestern Mutual, which has its own venture fund, are helping turn it around,” Kate Rockwood writes in Inc. “The latest challenge? Stemming the millennial brain drain.”

See the full list at Inc.com.

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Molly Dill
Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.