It is a good time to raise money in Massachusetts. Start-ups in the Bay State attracted some $5.8 billion in venture capital last year, according to the National Venture Capital Association and research firm PitchBook. That is the best fundraising year in the state since 2007, and it helps Massachusetts to a three-way tie with Pennsylvania and Connecticut for most improved state in the Top States for Business 2017 ranking. Each state rises 10 spots this year, yet it is Massachusetts' foray into the top 10, from No. 20 last year, that is most impressive: It is the state's first top 10 finish since 2011.
Massachusetts has always dominated our Education and Technology & Innovation categories, and this year is no exception — the state takes first place in both. But the big change this year is in Access to Capital, where the state moves to No. 7 from No. 19 last year. We measure a variety of financing methods, but where Massachusetts really shines is in venture capital, where it trails only California and New York.