Data Catalyst - InnovationAngelList is a platform that connects startups to investors. Launched by Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi in Silicon Valley in 2010, AngelList has seen significant adoption by startups within North America and, increasingly, across the globe. With over 556 Ontario companies active on AngelList (as of September 28, 2012), Data Catalyst was interested in exploring the interest in and ‘reach’ of Ontario start-ups on this platform.

Using their open API, Data Catalyst created a list of Ontario-based startups and then mapped their followers. We created two maps: one for North America and one for a global view.

The North American map shows the largest number of followers based in California—perhaps not surprising given the history of AngelList and the concentration of investors in Silicon Valley within the state. Ontario startups are also generating significant interest in their own backyard, with the next highest number of followers coming from Ontario itself.

New York State is home to the third largest cluster of followers, followed by a substantially smaller follower total in Massachusetts. Small bases of followers can be found in Quebec and British Columbia and in the states of Washington, Florida, Illinois and Texas.

The global map shows us that the UK leads the pack in terms of followers of Ontario startups. China holds second place, with India ranking as the location of third largest group of followers.

So what do these maps tell us? Here are some of Data Catalyst’s initial thoughts:

Ontario startups appear to have visibility in the Silicon Valley market, based on the number of AngelList followers of these companies.

Will this visibility result in increased investment from the Valley?

New York appears to be interested in Ontario’s startups, again based on the number of followers.

Is this simply a result of proximity? The maturity of the NYC startup community, particularly on the investor side? Is something else going on here? Is this an opportunity that the Ontario startup community is missing?

The UK dominates international interest in Ontario startups, based on the number of followers.

Is this simply a result of historical ties between the UK and Canada? Or again, is the interest simply a reflection of the growth of the London startup community? And again, is this an opportunity worth exploring by Ontario startups?

China and India are demonstrating some interested in Ontario startups, based on the number of followers.

Given the significance of the immigrant communities from these two countries within Ontario, should we be seeing a greater amount of interest? Or is this just a reflection of AngelList’s limited penetration to date in these regions?

What are your thoughts? What other analyses or visualizations would you like to see, using the AngelList API? AngelList provides a unique window into the startup community and we are excited by the potential stories and insights we can generate with this data set.