News & Rankings

Raleigh - Municipal Highlight

During the last 30 years, growth in Raleigh, and the surrounding Research Triangle Region, has consistently and significantly outpaced the nation. Fueled by an impressive mix of education, ingenuity and collaboration, North Carolina’s capital city has become an internationally recognized leader in life science and technology innovation. It also happens to be a really nice place to live. 

People are drawn to Raleigh for many reasons – lower cost of living, higher quality of life, arts and culture, education, proximity to the beach and mountains. The list goes on and on. However, when deciding where to start or expand a business, there are many other factors to take into consideration.

Over the past several years, Raleigh’s innovation and startup ecosystem has seen tremendous growth. The City’s Business Assistance Program and a vast network of incubators and accelerators provide resources and connections for area startups and innovators. Raleigh has all the resources needed to help entrepreneurs reach their full potential.

“We are able to operate with equal or greater talent supply at a fraction of the cost” – Justin Miller, CEO & Co-Founder of WedPics, explains why his photo-sharing business is thriving in Raleigh. Justin shares his story of why Raleigh is an efficient place to conduct his business, and adds that Raleigh cares about the small companies just as much as the larger ones. He also credits Raleigh’s low cost of living and abundance of things to do with keeping talented people in the area.

Raleigh is betting big on its Startup + Innovation companies. Recent success are proof that the City is a top contender in the country for startups.

The Raleigh startup community has grown substantially over the last 36 months.

-HQ Raleigh was founded in November 2012 and has since grown from a 3,000 SF shared space to over 18,000 SF today and they recently announced an expansion of up to 50,000 SF of additional space. They currently have over 100 companies that operate from the space and upwards of another 20 companies currently on the waitlist
-American Underground expanded to Downtown Raleigh in January 2014 and their 4,200 SF of space was filled to capacity on Day 1. They currently have close to 10 companies on the waitlist and several companies have grown out of the space and are now occupying larger offices in other parts of Downtown Raleigh
-ThinkHouse, a 9 month living/learning lean accelerator for post-graduate entrepreneurs, launched in December 2013 and is currently on the second semester of fellows.
-The NC State Technology Incubator, with a mixture of lab space and traditional office/co-working, moved to a brand new facility in 2013 and they are now completely full with a growing waitlist
-In addition to physical spaces for entrepreneurs and growing startups, there has been robust growth in other core infrastructure that will continue to grow the local startup community. That infrastructure includes talent development initiatives like Tech Talent South; Corporate Engagement and Funding initiatives like Seventh Generation Ventures, Citrix Startup Accelerator, and Verizon Innovation Program; NC State led initiatives such as the PCM Entrepreneurship Clinic, the EI Garage/Living Learning Village, the NSF ASSIST Program, and the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Institute; and Maker specific initiatives like DXLab Design Incubator and Raleigh Maker Square.
-We have seen growth of companies in a variety of different technology sectors including internet, gaming, software, hardware, mobile, Internet of Things (IoT), green technologies, as well as growth in traditional sectors like life sciences and biotechnologies. We have also seen the emergence of a variety of consumer product companies in the fields of clothing, apparel, and footwear; food & beverage (breweries, chocolatiers, coffee, shelf stable sauces, etc); and office products.
-The City also recently launched a new online map to showcase the product-based startups and growth companies within Raleigh ( which now houses over 500 companies. This map also includes a job component, which can help push top talent to our startup and early stage companies.

 Fast Facts:

  • State Capital of North Carolina
  • Population: 435,000
  • Median Resident Age:  32
  • 47% of residents have a bachelor’s degree or higher
  • 15% of residents have a graduate or professional degree

Talent, talent, talent…

The City of Raleigh is home to six (6) colleges and universities. With a student enrollment of over 43,000 the City is a leader in the Triangle for top talent.

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, N.C. State University conferred over 2,000 engineering degrees (bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees combined) in 2012. This includes degrees in bioengineering, computer engineering, environmental engineering, aerospace engineering, and mechanical engineering among others.


#1 Hot City for IT Pros in 2015
(Raleigh, NC)
Information Weekly | February 2015

#4 Fastest-Growing City
(Raleigh, NC)
Forbes | January 2015

#3 Best Metro for STEM Professionals
(Raleigh, NC)
WalletHub | January 2015

2015 City to Watch
(Raleigh, NC)
Urbanful | January 2015


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