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Founder Mobility: Analyzing Movements of Inc. 500 Founders Across Regions and Metropolitan Areas

Founder Mobility: Analyzing Movements of Inc. 500 Founders Across Regions and Metropolitan Areas

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Research has established that mobility of human capital is an important component of economic growth and change, but has yet to fully understand how and why talent chooses to locate within certain regions or cities. Using a survey of Inc. 500 founders from 2000–2008, we investigate the movement of founders of companies on the list from the location of their alma maters to where they founded their companies. Using this unique dataset, we are able to gain insight into the mobility of this important group—founders of high-growth companies.

The story that emerges is incomplete, but allows us to begin thinking about how founders move. We found that diverse metropolitan areas and universities were represented in the data, indicating that the traditional narrative of Ivy League founders starting up in Silicon Valley is entirely too narrow to encompass the movements and experiences of high-growth company founders.

The data confirm that founders are moving at relatively high rates from city to city and that regional networks are important to those movements. Ultimately, much more research is required to complete the picture of where founders actually start and end and why. Our analysis represents a first step in this process.
Research has established that mobility of human capital is an important component of economic growth and change, but has yet to fully understand how and why talent chooses to locate within certain regions or cities. Using a survey of Inc. 500 founders from 2000–2008, we investigate the movement of founders of companies on the list from the location of their alma maters to where they founded their companies. Using this unique dataset, we are able to gain insight into the mobility of this important group—founders of high-growth companies.

The story that emerges is incomplete, but allows us to begin thinking about how founders move. We found that diverse metropolitan areas and universities were represented in the data, indicating that the traditional narrative of Ivy League founders starting up in Silicon Valley is entirely too narrow to encompass the movements and experiences of high-growth company founders.

The data confirm that founders are moving at relatively high rates from city to city and that regional networks are important to those movements. Ultimately, much more research is required to complete the picture of where founders actually start and end and why. Our analysis represents a first step in this process.

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Published by: The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation on Sep 12, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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12/09/2012

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Fud Mblty
 Analyzing movementso Inc. 500 ounders acrossregions and metropolitan areas
The AscenToF AMericA’shigh-growThcoMpAnies
Kate Maxwell and Samuel Arbesman
September 2012
 
The ascenT o america’s high-growTh companies: insighTs rom examining ThirTY Years o inc. 500 irm daTa
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The ascenT of america’s high-growTh companies: foUnDer moBiLiTY
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T At f Ama’ h-gt cma:Fud Mblty
 Kate MaxwellAnalyst, Kauffman FoundationSamuel ArbesmanSenior Scholar, Kauffman Foundation
T At f Ama’ h-gt cma
Insights rom examining thirty years o Inc. 500 rm data

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