A Map of Venture Investments Around the U.S.

It’s no secret to those in the innovation community that venture-backed companies are central to America’s economic prosperity. But in its ongoing effort to help reinforce that message—perhaps particularly in light of its current efforts to fight President Obama’s idea of regulating venture capital firms as investment advisers—the National Venture Capital Association this morning released the fifth edition of its “Venture Impact” report, which you can find here. The report is based on research from Lexington, MA-based IHS Global Insight and holds lots of details about how many jobs venture-backed companies create, the revenues they produce, and more.

Among the highlights the NVCA flags in its press release:

— More than 12.1 million Americans were employed by venture-backed companies in 2008.

— These companies generated $2.9 trillion in revenues in 2008, roughly 21 percent of US GDP.

— Venture backed companies grew both jobs and revenues faster than non-venture-backed enterprises in the period 2006-2008.

Now, I don’t think there is anything you would call real surprising in the report. But what was most strikingly reinforced for me was the way venture-backed companies have spread around the country. Not so long ago, you could look to Silicon Valley and Boston and feel like you pretty much had covered the field. Now, you can find substantial venture funds invested in just about every region of the U.S. This is tremendously important, as innovation is spurred by competing centers of excellence—and the rise of venture-backed companies around the country diversifies the economies of those regions, increases competition, helps attract and retain people with technological skills and training, and a lot more.

A couple other highlights for Xconomy readers in Seattle and San Diego: The report includes short regional profiles of San Diego and Washington state. The highlights:

—Washington state attracted nearly $1 billion in venture capital in 2008, and its venture-backed companies “grew employment and revenue faster than those of any other state—including California.”

— “Twenty-five years ago, San Diego was little more than a sleepy navy and resort town,” reads the report. Last year, though, it attracted $1.2 billion in venture investment across biotechnology, software, and information technology, among other areas.

Here’s the map I mentioned that shows how far and wide venture investment has spread. Silicon Valley still dominates, and Boston is still clearly in the “Avis position.” But behind them come a host of other regions.

NVCA Venture Impact map

Bob is Xconomy's founder and editor in chief. You can e-mail him at bbuderi@xconomy.com, call him at 617.500.5926. Follow @bbuderi

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