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Chicago. Highest returns of any startup city.


Not really...

> Chicago had just 31 total exits during the period, equal to Raleigh. Austin, Texas, had 86; Washington, D.C., saw 87; New York posted 98; and the San Francisco Bay Area recorded 613. While Chicago had 14 deals that produced returns of more than 10-fold, San Francisco had 153 such deals.

If your goal is to start an enduring & profitable business, number of exits is the wrong metric. I get annoyed when total number of exits is assumed to be the only metric that counts. It's clearly a metric VCs care about, though.

If you're a founder, not a VC, you would probably want another metric for the rate of return on your sweat from founding to exit.

There's a TVM calculation in there, to normalize the dollars you got paid on exit to the years that you did the work. And there's an opportunity cost for not being a salaried employee of an existing business while your were building your new business.

In the end, you probably want to reduce it to $X/week, run the calculation for all founders, and then aggregate by metropolitan area to see which city is best.

If your business becomes self-sustaining without a buyout, merger, or IPO, you can probably run the calculation using a TVM for a presumed perpetuity after the day you finally start paying regular dividends, along with your equity value as a lump sum. And if it goes bankrupt, you could end up with a negative value if you chose to pay yourself a salary lower than you could have earned elsewhere.

I dunno. Maybe if you're already around there. Remember the Superfan sketched on Saturday Night Live? There's a reason those guys were big. It gets cold in the winter.

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