Phoenix in Top 10 on Inc.’s 2020 Surge City List

City of Phoenix | December 13, 2019

Phoenix climbed two slots into the top 10 on the Inc. 2020 Surge Cities list released Dec. 12. The city moved up to number 9 on the 2020 list from 11 in 2019.

The prestigious ranking for the 50 best cities for startups ranked the city second in the nation for net business creation and ninth for job creation. Inc. credited Arizona’s startup-friendly business environment and the robust talent pool from area universities.

“In the two years that Inc. magazine has ranked its Surge Cities, Phoenix has been among the top markets for startups, entrepreneurs, and tech companies,” said Mayor Kate Gallego. “The city has been a strong supporter of startups across industry sectors. We’re proud that this robust partnership with incubators, accelerators, and the startup ecosystem is nationally recognized.”

The Inc. market analysis for Phoenix included a quote from Startup AZ Foundation co-founder Brandon Clarke. “Geography doesn’t have a monopoly on great ideas or people,” said Clarke. “We see a lot of serial entrepreneurs here by choice. They’re at their third or fourth-time at-bat.”Citing other Phoenix assets, Inc., noted the city’s accessibility to other markets via Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Phoenix and the metro area have consistently ranked as strong contenders for startups, technology companies and manufacturing. BBC News recently featured Phoenix, citing its nation-topping hiring in the financial services market.

“Companies looking at the market are consistently impressed with the Phoenix startup ecosystem,” said Christine Mackay, director, Phoenix Community and Economic Development. “The city’s pioneering spirit is visible today in the way our legacy companies are helping new businesses form and grow.”

In determining the list of 50, Inc. partner, Startup Genome, looked at publicly-available data to assess seven essential indicators. Phoenix scored well in areas like early-stage funding and ranked second for job creation. These strengths helped boost the city into the top tier for Inc.’s 2020 list. Startup Genome developed its scoring system based on three traits that determine a surge city: growth, opportunity, and innovation.

About Phoenix

Phoenix is the fifth-largest American city, home to 1.7 million people. For the third year in a row, it is America’s fastest-growing city. Phoenix was named the 2017 “Highest Performing City” by Governing Magazine. Key industries include advanced business and financial services, technology, health and life sciences, hospitality, and advanced manufacturing. At 517 square miles, with world-renowned mountain trails and opportunity for diverse lifestyles, Phoenix is nearly one half the size of Rhode Island. An average of around 100 people every day choose Phoenix to be their new home. Founded in 1868, Phoenix’s wild-west roots grew to host major events in a dynamic downtown for the Super Bowl, NCAA championships and music festivals. For more information, visit For economic development information, visit

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