Orange County: Where Entrepreneurs Thrive
One of OC’s greatest attributes is its vibrant entrepreneurial economic climate which is considered among the best in the nation. The ingenuity of Orange County’s entrepreneurs is reflected in the growth of patents granted to Orange County businesses and residents. 3,520 U.S. patents were granted to Orange County companies in 2014, marking a 12% increase over 2013. Orange County’s increase also outpaced the U.S. average of 8%.
Supporting Orange County’s entrepreneurial spirit is its strong network of small businesses (0-4 employees) which make up 61% of the businesses in Orange County. In 2012, only 16% of Orange County residents worked in large firms of 500+ employees, which is fewer than the statewide average of 21%. As reported by the Orange County Business Journal, there are over 68,000 small businesses in Orange County employing over 543,000 people.
Venture Capital Support
Helping to fuel Orange County’s small business growth is the strength in venture capital investments in local companies. As reported by the Orange County Business Journal, according to data from Dow Jones Venture Source, Orange County companies received $702.3 million in venture capital funding in 2014, marking a 1% increase from 2013. Funding was provided across a total of 65 individual deals, which is the highest in at least five years.
Orange County’s reputation for having a positive economic atmosphere is reflected by Bloomberg Businessweek naming the City of Irvine as one of the top five cities in the nation for startups