Press Release

Orlando Named in Top 20 of Inc.’s 2020 Surge Cities List

Orlando ranks No. 19 on the second annual list of the 50 best places in America for starting a business

Orlando, Fla. – Inc. today announced its second annual Surge Cities list, a guide to the best 50 cities in America for starting a business, with Orlando coming in at No. 19. Inc. cited Orlando’s transformation from a destination best known for tourism into a rising high-tech hub with more than 200 aerospace and aviation companies, a multi-billion-dollar modeling, simulation and training industry and support for early-stage startups as the main drivers of the ranking.

“Today’s announcement is further evidence that the Orlando region is expanding its reputation as a global leader in entrepreneurship and innovation,” said Orlando Economic Partnership President and CEO Tim Giuliani. “Our strength in innovative technologies and software development, as well as the ease of access to graduate talent pools from local universities, provides a rich ecosystem for growing companies and startups to connect, collaborate, innovate and scale.”

Inc.’s Surge Cities partner, innovation policy firm Startup Genome, used public data as well as insights from the Inc. 5000 list of thefastest-growing private companies in America to compile the city rankings. Startup Genome developed its scoring system based on three traits that determine a surge city: growth, opportunity, and innovation. 

Inc. has long believed in the alchemy of entrepreneurial innovation and community,” Inc. acting editor-in-chief Jon Fine said in a statement. “We’re excited to see, for the second year in a row, how well some smaller cities are competing with—indeed, even besting—the likes of San Francisco, New York, and Boston.” 

Out of 50 cities, Orlando ranked No. 8 in job creation, No. 4 in population growth and No. 16 in net business creation. The opening of the Canvs co-working space and seed funds and accelerator programs such as the Venture ScaleUp accelerator and healthcare focused GuideWell Innovation Center all worked to support Orlando’s rank. AOL Co-Founder Steve Case’s Rise of the Rest road trip stop in Orlando was also recognized as raising Orlando’s profile as an entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“The Surge Cities list shows that the proliferation of new businesses is not limited to the largest cities in the U.S.,” said Arnobio Morelix, chief innovation officer at Startup Genome. “For startup founders, local connectedness—the quality and number of relationships you have with other founders, investors, and experts—is what really jumpstarts a young business’s revenue growth. Matter of fact, highly connected founders grow their revenue twice as fast as those with few connections.”

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Inc. is the world’s leading multimedia brand dedicated to the most dynamic players in business: entrepreneurs. Inc.’s award-winning work reaches more than 50 million people across a variety of channels, including print, digital, video, podcasts, newsletters, and social media. Its proprietary Inc. 5000 list, which Inc. has produced every year since 1982, analyzes company data to recognize the fastest-growing privately held businesses in the United States. The global recognition that comes with inclusion on this prestigious list gives the founders of top businesses the opportunity to engage with an exclusive community of their peers, and credibility that helps them drive sales and recruit talent. The associated Inc. 5000 Conference is part of a highly acclaimed portfolio of bespoke events produced by Inc. For more information, visit


With more than 100 clients across five continents in 38 countries to date, Startup Genome is the top research and policy advisory organization for governments committed to accelerating the success of their startup ecosystem. Read more at