We've Come a Long Way, Baby.
We are thrilled to share with you the first incarnation of the Providence Startup Map, produced by the Founders League earlier this fall*. The map shows the great progress Providence has made building density in our startup community. (Click Thumbnail to View Large Format Version)
Just a few years ago, the landscape looked much different, with far fewer companies and entrepreneurs calling Rhode Island home. Several entrepreneurship support programs have also emerged, showing a growing optimism that our progress is sustainable and that we are just at the beginning of our startup revolution.
No one person or organization is responsible for the growth reflected on this map. The startup community is building momentum because many among us are rowing in the same direction and contributing in important ways.
Why Startups Matter
Since 1977, virtually all net job gain in the U.S. has come from startups. The role startups play in job creation was detailed by a 2010 Kauffman Foundation report analyzing three decades of jobs data to show that without startups, there would be no net job growth in the U.S. economy.
The Kauffman findings confirmed that, in aggregate, firms do not bulk up as they age and that growth comes from new ventures. Does this hold true in Rhode Island? Yes. Think about times when jobs were created in large numbers. From GTech and APC to Alex and Ani, these juggernauts all began as fast-growing startups.
How can you help? Hometown heroes matter. Established organizations are often first customers, providing early traction and credibility for the most promising ventures. Experienced entrepreneurs and executives serve as mentors and advisors. Community leaders make support for startups a clear priority, catalyzing innovative projects, and supporting collaborations and experiments to help our startup community grow.
So whether you are an entrepreneur, a leader in the business community, an investor, a mentor, or one of the many people who have helped over the years, we hope you look at this map and feel the same excitement and enthusiasm for the future that we do.
*This map is a “first version” because we know that the map will change frequently over time. If you notice anything awry or think we’ve missed anyone, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org
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