Startup survival is one key to R.I.’s future economic success

Every week Providence Business News profiles a business that is less than 1 year old, an attempt to capture the energy that a growing startup culture is infusing the Ocean State with.

Still, we know a significant number of these new businesses are not going to be long-term successes. It’s just a fact, even if one that is a bummer.

This week’s cover story went back to the beginning of the Something New feature, early 2015, and looked at the first 12 months of companies profiled. Of the 51 that were identified, 37 responded to our queries, which leads to the conclusion that the 14 that did not respond are no longer in business. Of the companies that did respond, eight said that they are no longer in business.

Thus, of the 51 that started out in that one-year period roughly three years ago, 29 are still in operation. That number is not a bad survival rate. A recent study placed the two-year survival rate for startups in the Ocean State at 76 percent, the highest percentage of any state in the nation.

- Advertisement -

What conclusions should we draw from this study and from PBN’s story for Rhode Island?

Whatever role that government should play in economic development – and there is not agreement across the political spectrum on that score – at the very least it should do its best to support new enterprises taking shape in the state.

New companies spring up for many reasons, but the end result is more people employed, more economic activity and a stronger state.

Who knows, maybe a company that starts here will eventually become the next Apple.