University of Vermont

University Communications

Kauffman Index of Startup Activity: Vermont #5 in the Nation for Start-Ups

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In the just released Kauffman Index of  Startup Activity, the Kauffman Foundation has ranked the University of Vermont’s home state of Vermont #5 in the country for business start-ups. 

The index evaluates states across three measures: 

• The rate of new entrepreneurs in the economy, calculated as the percentage of the adult population in the state who became entrepreneurs in a given month. Vermont scored .40 percent in the category, third in the nation.  

• The opportunity share of new entrepreneurs, calculated as the percentage of adults who started new businesses because they saw opportunity, not out of necessity. 79.4 percent of the state’s new entrepreneurs were inspired by opportunity, placing Vermont at about the midpoint among the states.

• Start-up density, the number of start-up firms per 100,000 state residents. The state’s score of 157.4 start-ups per 100,000 Vermonters placed it eighth in the nation. 

The new accolade comes on the heels of Burlington’s #9 ranking in a Feb. 2015 Forbes list of the country’s top ten most innovative tech hubs. A recent story in Atlantic Monthly on the city’s growing technology sector called Burlington a “Silicon Valley in Vermont.”

The University of Vermont is both a driver and a beneficiary of Vermont’s and Burlington’s growing reputation for entrepreneurship and technology innovation, said UVM provost David Rosowsky.

“Our efforts to create an innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem between UVM, Burlington and the state at large have gained considerable momentum in recent years,” said Rosowsky. “Working in partnership with the city and the state, we’ve invested significant intellectual and financial resources to build this ecosystem. Examples include the recent groundbreaking on the new STEM complex, the work of our Office of Technology Commercialization, our new MBA program in sustainable entrepreneurship, new programs to help faculty bring promising research to market, and the launch of highly successful new co-working and business accelerator spaces. We are excited about the opportunities this ecosystem will provide to UVM students and faculty, but we are also excited about what it can contribute to the state’s economy.”

“Vermont has a long tradition of innovation and entrepreneurship,” said Richard Galbraith, UVM’s vice president for research. “A new generation of technology innovators is now emerging in Vermont and Burlington, drawn by that tradition and by our quality of life, our leading edge technology infrastructure and the resources of a top research university in UVM. We look forward to playing an important role in helping accelerate innovation and entrepreneurship in the city and state.” 

In 2014 UVM’s strategic partner, the Vermont Center for Emerging Technology (VCET), was ranked the eleventh best university and college-oriented business incubator globally, and the fifth best in the U.S., by the University Business Indicator Index. Last year UVM’s and VCET’s impact expanded further with the opening of  VCET@BTV, an 11,000 square foot co-working and start-up accelerator space in downtown Burlington, several blocks from campus.

The Kansas City-based Kauffman Foundation is among the largest private foundations in the United States with an asset base of approximately $2 billion. The Kauffman Index of Startup Activity is a new report from the foundation bringing together the latest data available on entrepreneurial trends nationally, at the state level and for the 40 largest metropolitan areas of the United States.