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Which city will be the next Silicon Valley? The National Venture Capital Association weighs in.

Los Angeles (JulieandSteve/Flickr)

Which city will be the next Silicon Valley? To Nate Redmond, managing partner at the early-stage venture firm Rustic Canyon Partners, the answer is Los Angeles.

"Over the last three years," Redmond wrote in Forbes Tuesday, "the Los Angeles region has quietly built momentum, establishing the foundation to become the next hub for technology entrepreneurship."

Redmond makes a strong case, yet when it comes to deciding the next Silicon Valley, the jury is still out -- simply because so many other urban centers are jockeying for the title.

On July 9, for example, National Public Radio posited that the next Silicon Valley might be Berlin. Later that month, The Economist made the case for Skolkovo, Russia. Last week, marketing and PR director Joan L. Witte detailed in The Huffington Post why Detroit is next in line.

Hoping to sort out this kind of confusion, USA Today enlisted the National Venture Capital Association with the task of sorting out the best cities for entrepreneurs. Their snapshot ranks the top urban centers based on the total amount invested in 2011 alone.

Top 10 U.S. cities based on total investment:

  1. The Bay Area --  $11.8 billion invested in 2011 for 430 companies.
  2. Boston -- $2.77 billion invested in 2011 for 285 companies.
  3. New York -- $2.73 billion invested in 2011 for 332 companies.
  4. Los Angeles -- $2 billion invested in 2011 for 129 companies.
  5. Washington, D.C. -- $979 million invested in 2011 for 146 companies.
  6. San Diego -- $915 million invested in 2011 for 89 companies.
  7. Chicago -- $750 million invested in 2011 for 79 companies.
  8. Austin -- $646 million invested in 2011 for 70 companies.
  9. The Denver Area -- $584.6 million invested in 2011 for 85 companies.
  10. Seattle -- $580 million invested in 2011 for 96 companies.

Based on this evaluation, Boston comes in just behind the Bay Area as a leader in tech investment. When shifted slightly to determine the average investment per start-up, however, a different top ten list begins to take shape -- one that looks decidedly similar to Redmond's assessment.

Top 10 U.S. cities based on average investment per start-up in 2011:

  1. The Bay Area --  $27.4 million
  2. Los Angeles -- $11.7 million
  3. San Diego -- $10.3 million
  4. Boston -- $9.7 million
  5. Chicago -- $9.5 million
  6. Austin -- $9.2 million
  7. Denver -- $6.9 million
  8. Washington, D.C. -- $5.7 million
  9. Seattle -- $6.0 million
  10. New York -- $5.6 million

Though challenging news for innovators in New York City, this list offers promising insight for fledgeling companies getting started in the Golden State.

[USA Today]

Which U.S. city do you think will become the next Silicon Valley? Join the conversation below.

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Claire Lambrecht

Contributing Writer

Claire Lambrecht has written for the New York Times, Slate, Salon, The Nation, and CBS MoneyWatch. Previously, she taught English as a Teach for America Corps Member and Fulbright English Teaching Assistant. She holds degrees from Cornell University, the University of Hawaii, and the Arthur M. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure