In 2018, Fort Worth became the 13th largest city in the United States with a population of 895,008 people. Fort Worth will soon surpass Jacksonville to become the 12th largest city in America and yet when one looks at entrepreneurial indicators, such as early stage funding, Fort Worth ranks 40th out of the top 50 most populous US cities. I put together a few charts to show this analysis more clearly.
After running several different analyses and searches with PitchBook, a proprietary research tool that focuses on early stage investment data, the picture is crystal clear: Fort Worth is light years behind most of the largest cities in America in terms of early stage funding, and thus the greater entrepreneurial environment. For this analysis, early stage funding was defined as seed, angel, and Series A, B, and C rounds of venture capital investment. I calculated the data both by total and averages and the numbers speak for themselves: in every statistical entrepreneurial category, Fort Worth is outside the top 30, and outside the top 40 in all but 4 metrics (see ‘Angel Deal Count’ and ‘Angel Raised’).
The first chart ranks Fort Worth against other large cities in 8 different categories related to early stage startup funding over the last five years. We reviewed numerous categories in order to get a comprehensive snapshot of Fort Worth’s performance compared to other cities.
The second chart uses the same date range, the same cities, and the same categories, but uses averages rather than totals in order to eliminate any outliers within a given year.
So how far does Fort Worth have to go? If the city wants entrepreneurial output to match its population, we have a lot of ground to cover. Currently, Fort Worth would need to raise 16 times more capital, or a little over $1.3 billion, to attain the 13th spot for Combined Early Stage Capital Raised. If we wanted to move 13 spots up to move halfway to 13th, Fort Worth would need to raise an extra $224 million, or 3.5 times more.
Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the nation, and it is truly an exciting time to live here. The city should focus on accelerating growth in multiple arenas if we are going to create a dynamic, innovative, equitable, and lively place to live for our ever expanding population. If these numbers are any indicator, Cowtown has not even begun to scratch the surface. Just imagine Fort Worth’s economic and entrepreneurial landscape if the city comes together and makes a concerted effort to develop a strong, vibrant entrepreneurial ecosystem.
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