Companies backed by venture capital play an important role in economic growth. Estimates attribute 16.6 percent of national Gross Domestic Product and 9 percent of national private sector employment to them. Many technology-oriented startup firms will need venture capital in order to successfully grow and create significant numbers of new jobs. In addition to our traditional set of 14 benchmark regions, we also look at venture capital investment in “aspirational regions,” including Austin, Denver, and Raleigh-Durham. San Francisco, which is an outlier, like Boston, is also included. These five regions are not included in the benchmark average.