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DC the strongest local economy, Des Moines, Seattle, Nashville follow

Thursday, May 31st, 2012
Capitol building

DC is number one on the Norton list of the riskiest online U.S. cities.

For the second year in a row, the Washington DC metropolitan area ranked as the strongest local economy in the United States in POLICOM’s annual “economic strength” rankings. With an expanding federal government as its economic anchor, the metropolitan area has been virtually immune to the national recession.

The Des Moines, IA metropolitan area placed 2nd in the rankings driven by the expansion of the Finance and Insurance sector.

POLICOM annually ranks the 366 Metropolitan Statistical Areas and 576 Micropolitan Statistical Areas in the United States for “economic strength” to enable POLICOM to study the characteristics of strong and weak economies in the country.

For the economic strength rankings for all areas, go to http://www.policom.com.

Concord, the capital of New Hampshire, is top among the 576 “Micropolitan” areas. Micropolitan areas are smaller economies and do not have a city with a population greater than 50,000 people.

The Huntsville, AL MSA improved significantly, jumping from 52nd to 16th place as a result of rapid growth in the high-wage Professional and Scientific Services sector.

“The top-rated areas have had rapid, consistent growth in both size and quality for an extended period of time,” William H. Fruth, President of POLICOM. POLICOM, located in Palm City, FL, specializes in analyzing local and state economies.

“The rankings do not reflect the latest ‘hotspot’ or boom town, but the areas which have the best economic foundation,” Fruth continued.

The study measures 23 different economic factors over a 20-year period to create the rankings. The formulas determine how an economy has behaved over an extended period of time. Data stretching from 1991 to 2010 was used for this study.

POLICOM has created this study each year since 1997.

The following are the 10 strongest Metropolitan and Micropolitan areas.

2012 Ten Strongest Metropolitan Areas

1 Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA
2 Des Moines-West Des Moines, IA
3 Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, WA
4 Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, TN
5 Austin-Round Rock-San Marcos, TX
6 Salt Lake City, UT
7 Madison, WI
8 Kansas City, MO-KS
9 Sioux Falls, SD
10 San Antonio-New Braunfels, TX

2012 Ten Strongest Micropolitan Areas

1 Concord, NH
2 Helena, MT
3 Lexington Park, MD
4 Gillette, WY
5 Sheridan, WY
6 Durango, CO
7 Watertown-Fort Drum, NY
8 Lebanon, NH-VT
9 Bozeman, MT
10 Grand Island, NE

Best schools to study video game design from California to the New York Highlands

Thursday, March 1st, 2012

The Princeton ReviewThe University of Southern California at Los Angeles and M.I.T. are the top two schools for studying video game design.

So says The Princeton Review (www.princetonreview.com) — one of the nation’s best-known education services companies, which today reported its third annual list naming the schools with the best programs to study video game design.

The new list, “Top Schools to Study Video Game Design for 2012,” recommends 50 schools in all.  It names 10 undergraduate and 10 graduate schools in rank order to its respective “top 10″ lists and 22 undergraduate and 8 graduate schools as Honorable Mentions.  The Company’s full report on the 2012 list is accessible now at http://www.princetonreview.com/game-design.aspx.

The Princeton Review chose the schools based on a comprehensive survey it conducted in the 2011-2012 academic year of administrators at 150 institutions offering video game design coursework and/or degrees in the United States and Canada.

The survey, which included more than 50 questions, covered a wide range of topics from academics and faculty credentials to graduates’ employment and career achievements.

Criteria for The Princeton Review’s school selections covered the quality of the curriculum, faculty, facilities and infrastructure.  The Company also factored in data it collected from the schools on their scholarships, financial aid and career opportunities.

The Princeton Review’s top 10 undergraduate schools to study video game design for 2012 are:

  1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  3. University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)
  4. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  5. The Art Institute of Vancouver (Vancouver, BC)
  6. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  7. Shawnee State University (Portsmouth, OH)
  8. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
  9. University of New Mexico (Albuquerque, NM)
  10. Becker College (Worcester, MA)

The Princeton Review’s top 10 graduate schools to study video game design for 2012 are:

  1. University of Southern California (Los Angeles, CA)
  2. Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY)
  3. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA)
  4. University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL)
  5. Southern Methodist University (SMU) (Plano, TX)
  6. Carnegie Mellon University (Pittsburgh, PA)
  7. Savannah College of Art and Design (Savannah, GA)
  8. DigiPen Institute of Technology (Redmond, WA)
  9. Univ. of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
  10. Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)

Honorable Mentions– Undergraduate Schools (alpha order):

Bradley University (Peoria, IL)
Champlain College (Burlington, VT)
Columbia College Chicago (Chicago, IL)
DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
Drexel University (Philadelphia, PA)
Ferris State University (Grand Rapids, MI)
Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL)
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
Miami University (Oxford, OH)
Michigan State University (East Lansing, MI)
New Jersey Institute of Technology (Newark, NJ)
New York University/NYU POLY (New York, NY)
North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)
Northeastern University (Boston, MA)
Ohio University (Athens, OH)
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (Troy, NY)
University of Advancing Technology (Tempe, AZ)
University of California, Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz, CA)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County (Baltimore, MD)
The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
Vancouver Film School (Vancouver, BC)
Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA)

Honorable Mentions – Graduate Schools (alpha order):

DePaul University (Chicago, IL)
Full Sail University (Winter Park, FL)
Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA)
New York University/NYU Poly (New York, NY)
Parsons - The New School for Design (New York, NY)
Sacred Heart University (Fairfield, CT)
The University of Texas at Dallas (Richardson, TX)
University of Utah (Salt Lake City, UT)

Visitors to the Princeton Review website area on this list http://www.princetonreview.com/game-design.aspx can access additional information about the schools’ programs and click on links to the schools’ websites.

“Academic and professional programs in video game design studies – from very specialized college majors to highly concentrated graduate degrees – have evolved tremendously over the past 10 years,” said Robert Franek, Princeton Review’s Senior VP/Publisher.  “We salute the schools on our list this year for their commitment to this burgeoning field and the innovative programs they offer. For students aspiring to work in this more than $10.5 billion industry and for the companies that will need their creative talents and skills, we hope this project will serve as a catalyst for many rewarding connections.”

The Princeton Review is also known for its annual rankings of colleges, law schools and business schools in dozens of categories which it reports on its website and in its books including The Best 376 Colleges and the recently published book,The Best Value Colleges.

The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University and it is not a magazine.

Durham-based LaunchBox Digital 4th on ranking of US Startup accelerators

Wednesday, May 4th, 2011
American Underground

artist's rendering of the American Undergroun at the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, NC

DURHAM, NC – Durham’s LaunchBox Digital is the only Southeast firm, unless you count two in Texas, to make a list of the top 15 U.S. Startup Accelerators by Tech Cocktail.

The list, compiled as part of filed work for the Kauffman Fellows program by Aziz Gilani in partnership with Tech Cocktail and Kellogg School of Management, weighed financing events, the success of companies funded after completing the program, and program characteristics to establish the rankings.

TechStars Boulder edged out Y Combinator for the top position, while Chicago’s Excelerate Labs and LaunchBox Digital were very close as the third and fourth top programs.

Others, in order, are: TechStars Boston, Kicklabs, San Francisco, TechStars Seattle, Tech Wildcatter, Dallas, DreamIt Ventures, Philadelphia, The Brandery, Cincinnati, OH, Capital Factory, Austin, NYC SeedStart, Betaspring, Providence, RI, BoomStartup, Salt Lake City, UT, and AlphaLab, Pittsburgh, PA.

We recently reported on LaunchBox startup Spring Metrics, which landed seed funding and moved to larger offices in downtown Durham not long after joining the program. Spring Metrics CEO Doug Kaufman recently told us the accerlerator, located in the American Underground in the American Tobacco Campus in Durham, was essential to its quick start and ability to get seed funding.

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