After college in the late 1990’s I worked for a Seattle photographer, selling his work from a pop-up stand at the Pike Place Market.

Every morning the regular roster of pop-up vendors would attend roll call, at which point we would select our stand’s location that day according to each business’ seniority ranking.

My boss’ mandate: Always pick a location as close as possible to other photographers to ensure his work would be “in the mix,” as he used to say.

It was a strategy that seemed to work for selling tourist-oriented photographs, and it seems to be working for startups seeking venture capital as well.

A recently released study conducted by Richard Florida, co-founder and editor of The Atlantic Cities and director of the Martin Prosperity Institute, shows the U.S. population centers that receive the most venture capital funding.

Based on 2012 data, the study demonstrates how being “in the mix” of other business startups seems to increase a firm’s chances of securing venture funding.

Not surprisingly, the Bay Area leads the pack, with a combined $10.881 billion invested in companies operating in the San Francisco-Oakland and San Jose-Sunnyvale metro areas.

The study lists the following top 20:

  1. San Francisco-Oakland — $6.896 billion
  2. San Jose-Sunnyvale, Calif. — $3.985 billion
  3. Boston, Mass. — $3.1 billion
  4. New York — $2.268 billion
  5. Los Angeles — $1.677 billion
  6. San Diego — $1.134 billion
  7. Seattle — $886 million
  8. Austin, Texas — $626 million
  9. Chicago — $547 million
  10. Washington D.C. — $484 million
  11. Philadelphia —$ 347 million
  12. Denver — $264 million
  13. Atlanta — $262 million
  14. Boulder, Colo. — $256 million
  15. Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minn. — $256 million
  16. Santa Barbara, Calif. — $251 million
  17. Phoenix — $214 million
  18. Raleigh-Cary, North Carolina — $184 million
  19. Pittsburgh, Penn. — $167 million
  20. Provo-Orem, Utah — $162 million