Innovation is everywhere, but Silicon Valley is still the undisputed hub of the venture capital and startup ecosystems--and few would dispute that Sand Hill Road is to venture capital what Wall Street is to the stock markets. NEA's founding West Coast office was in San Francisco, and while we're active up and down the west coast, Sand Hill Road has been home since the mid-80s.
Geographic diversity has long been a hallmark of NEA, founded on both U.S. coasts in 1977 and still deeply rooted in Silicon Valley and the Mid-Atlantic. Ask someone where NEA is headquartered, and you'll see how ingrained that dual citizenship is--they'll think about it for a minute, and then either admit they don't know or err on the side of their home office. It makes for some fierce sports rivalries, but it also makes us better investors. We have cross-functional, cross-country collaboration down to such a science it's bordering on art. We want to find and fund innovation at its source, and innovation is everywhere. That pursuit of innovation and great partnerships has led us to spend a lot more time in certain hubs, and over the last few years NEA has established small offices in New York and Chicago.
NEA's East Coast roots are spread across the metropolitan DC region, with a founding office in Baltimore and a second location in Virginia. Our dual residency came to an end in 2007, when our East Coast investing staff moved into our current Friendship Heights location. Our operations team has stayed close to the firm's Baltimore roots with an office in nearby Timonium.
In recent years, we've been spending more and more time in New York. The region's vibrant startup ecosystem, coupled with top tech and design talent, has made it a hub for digital media and consumer internet companies. We occupied office space in 2011, and earlier this year we launched NEA Studio to support entrepreneurial designers as they make the leap to company formation and funding.
Our portfolio spans six continents, but we have invested more capital in Chicago than in any other municipality outside of Silicon Valley. We like Chicago's unique entrepreneurial spirit--the blend of midwest sensibilities and leading edge tech that has transformed legacy industries like printing and logistics. To better serve our local portfolio, we opened a small office here in 2012.