Ann Arbor Named One of the Most Innovative Cities in the U.S.

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Where do you go to be inspired by out-of-the-box thinkers, savvy startups, and forward-looking entrepreneurs? Ann Arbor, of course.

According to USA Today, the city was just named to 24/7 Wall St.’s list of the most innovative cities in America, snagging the sixth spot in the rankings.

The top 25 cities recognized were selected using U.S. Patent and Trademark Office data from 2015 (the most recent year with available data); metropolitan areas with the highest number of patents issued per 100,000 residents made the list. In 2015, there were 218.7 patents granted per 100,000 residents in Ann Arbor.

The high volume of products and services incubated in Ann Arbor comes as no surprise given the steady pace of startups taking root in the city. In 2016, there were 49 active venture-backed startups that called Ann Arbor home.

The University of Michigan, and the Ross School of Business have played a large role in making Ann Arbor a destination for entrepreneurship and innovation, having recently been named the #1 undergraduate program for entrepreneurship in the nation. For two decades, students have gained real-world entrepreneurial experience -- starting their own businesses and investing in others -- through the Zell Lurie Institute at Michigan Ross.

Additionally through U-M’s Innovate Blue program, students have access to more than 15 programs and centers in entrepreneurship and more than 30 entrepreneurial student organizations.

Since 2013, University of Michigan graduates have launched 807 startups, which have collectively raised more than $20 million in funding.

Fast-growing startups founded by Michigan Ross graduates include naturally-flavored organic coffee supplier Via Bom Dia, business e-newsletter Morning Brew, and online housing rental service Zhubaijia (considered the Chinese answer to Airbnb).

Learn More About ZLI at Michigan Ross