When assessing the vitality of an entrepreneurial ecosystem, an important factor to consider is the Total Venture Funds Raised by the startups within that city or region. This metric provides an unbiased reflection of how the market values each of the companies within an ecosystem. This “market value” is particularly impartial for Midwestern startups that look outside of their hometown to raise capital from results-driven venture capital firms.
This is arguably a better measure than the more subjective variables often used by media companies and nonprofits that rank cities’ startup ecosystems.
From 2015 to 2016, venture funding declined – both in terms of number of deals and total capital invested. Nationwide, venture funding was down 15%. Although the Midwest mirrored this nationwide trend, with a 21% decrease in venture funding, a few cities in the central corridor saw increases in total funds raised last year.