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Record 15 States are Innovation Champions in New CTA Innovation Scorecard


A record-breaking 15 states earned top honors as Innovation Champions – the nation’s best states to start and build technology businesses – in the Consumer Technology Association’s (CTA)® 2020 U.S. Innovation Scorecard.  
The biennial Scorecard, which ranks all 50 states on how well their policies support innovation, named Arizona, Colorado, Kansas, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, Utah, Virginia and Washington as repeat Champions from the 2018 Scorecard. Five states from the Heartland of America – Indiana, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri and Nebraska – joined this year’s Innovation Champion ranks. For the first time, the Scorecard’s 12 grading criteria include states’ efforts around workforce development and 5G deployment.
“This list proves that American innovation is not confined to the coasts. We’re proud to recognize those states doing the most to unleash innovation and fulfill the potential of technology—creating jobs, powering our economy and delivering life-changing benefits,” said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO, CTA. “Our Scorecard emphasizes forward-thinking policies proven to help today’s innovators create a better future. That’s why, this year, we began measuring how well states enable 5G connectivity – the platform for emerging technologies from smart cities to digital health – and what they’re doing develop the workforce of the future.”
These 15 states have done the most to foster innovation including educating their populations in critical scientific and engineering fields, maintaining friendly tax policies and giving innovators freedom from burdensome rules. Learn more about the U.S. Innovation Scorecard and see all state rankings here.  
Among the 2020 U.S. Innovation Scorecard’s other findings: 

  • States are giving out more advanced degrees. Since the 2018 U.S. Scorecard, the percentage of residents over the age 25 who hold advanced degrees has increased in 48 states and held steady in the remaining two. 
  • Indiana has most tech job growth among small firms. Indiana was the only 2020 Innovation Champion, and one of only three states overall, to see an increase in the number of jobs created by firms with fewer than 50 employees over a five-year period.  
  • Iowa was one of the only states to earn top marks in the Best & Brightest category. The state passed legislation that protects workers from discrimination based on both sexual orientation and gender identity.  
  • Per capita venture capital investment in Kansas-based companies nearly doubled. Since the 2018 U.S. Innovation Scorecard, per capita venture capital investment increased statewide by almost two-thirds, from $13.58 to $21.98. 
  • Massachusetts ranked first overall for tech jobs per capita. The commonwealth edged out second-place California with nearly 56 tech jobs per 1,000 residents.  

 Overview and Methodology:  
CTA evaluated all 50 states to determine which are doing the most to foster innovation. States are graded on 12 quantitative and qualitative categories including internet speed and cost, STEM education and support for disruptive technologies including self-driving vehicles, drones and e-scooters. 
The states are then ranked in one of four ascending tiers: Modest Innovators, Innovation Adopters, Innovation Leaders and the highest level, Innovation Champions. To explore the full report and read state-by-state profiles, visit

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