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The U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation recently released their report, "Innovation that Matters", that examines and ranks 25 cities’ readiness to for the inevitable shift to a digital economy. Rank was determined by evaluating each city in the following categories:
- Industry Specialization
While the Bay Area was the clear leader in the majority of the categories because of it's thriving startup activity, the city fell into 2nd place because of it's "lack of a collaborative community and a declining quality of life". Local entrepreneurs say things are becoming too cutthroat and suggest there is a disconnect between the city's startups and their universities, institutions and citizens. This along with an ever increasing cost of living, left the city with poor ranks in terms of quality of life.
Boston ranks #1!
Boston ranked #1 in overall preparedness for the inevitable emerging digital economy thanks to it's strong connections and high quality of life. This emphasizes the importance of startups integrating with the city's "key actors", students and citizens alike, and creating a culture that attracts entrepreneurs. Boston couldn't top the San Francisco Bay Area on the startup front this year but Boston along with New York and LA are catching up, so watch out San Francisco!
Take aways for local leaders:
Based on the report findings, the following are key steps local leaders should consider when prepping for the digital economy and a prosperous future for their citizens:
1. Understand the inevitable trajectory of the digital economy
2. Imagine a new future that includes history; where technological possibility intersects with legacy assets and unique strengths
3. Focus beyond startups to include corporations, universities, nonprofits and local government
4. Work proactively toward a new governing framework that marries technological possibility and regulation
Download the full report here: 2016 Innovations that Matter