In Houston, we have many, many institutions and associations to support entrepreneurship, and many leaders in Houston see innovation as synonymous with entrepreneurship. For creatives like myself, this climate can be extremely challenging. VISA's Innovation Index demonstrates the problem.
In its highest category score, Houston ranked No. 4 with a score of 90 in the entrepreneur category behind Austin; San Diego; and West Palm Beach, Fla. The score for entrepreneurialism was based on data such as the average number of new businesses, expansions, new divisions and the number of new patents issued by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office through 2003 for each MSA.
Houston ranked No. 27 in the area of creativity with a score of 69, and ranked No. 41 in the area of community support with a score of 24. Creativity was based on research to determine the percentage of adults employed in occupations that are classified as creative, such as artists, musicians, architects, designers and writers.
Living in Houston is fun, and it's so economical that many opportunities are available to creatives that are beyond our reach in the economy of a New York or San Francisco. But creatives are widely misunderstood and scarcely valued in Houston. It's cheap and lonely.