So you’re thinking of starting your own business. There are many things that go into a great entrepreneur - your passion, your drive, your work ethic, and your location. This may not seem as important, but where you start your business is crucial to its success.
You need to start your company in a place that has the resources for you to succeed and overcome obstacles but is also the right town for you. To help you find the perfect place, we’ve compiled a list of the best cities to be an entrepreneur in the US.
Get all the perks of the capital city without all the hassle of DC. Alexandria is so close to Washington that it’s on the DC metro line but is still its own independent city. The proximity to DC gives you and your startup easy access to all the agencies, investors, and companies of the city while being able to avoid the large expenses of maintaining an office or paying rent within district limits.
Alexandria itself has a charming historic sector along the Potomac River and is becoming a bigger hotspot for young professionals. The city is home to a diverse and bustling community, with a low unemployment rate, and many fellow entrepreneurs.
A city with a cold climate, but warm people, Boulder is the place to be for entrepreneurs. In fact, the city has more tech-startups per capita than even the famed Silicon Valley. Amongst the vegan cafes and bike repair shops, you are sure to find many like-minded, tech-savvy people to give you support and help in your entrepreneurial adventures.
Boulder’s close-knit and supportive community make it ideal for you to network, gain help and advice, and spread news of your company through the community. Plus, Boulder is one of the most productive cities in the United States and boasts an impressive unemployment rate of 5.4%, a full point below the national goal.
Home to the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor is more than just a cute college town. Entrepreneurs are now calling for others wishing to start a new company to do so in Ann Arbor, largely due to the talent pool available there.
With thousands of top graduates coming out of the school every year, the town is filled with creative, tech-savvy young professionals and aspiring entrepreneurs, and the university’s Center for Entrepreneurship is responsible for many alumni staying to build their careers in the town.
Arm your company with the best and brightest talent, all in Ann Arbor, plus you get the support of over 20 venture capital firms, two angel groups, and dozens of networking groups for young entrepreneurs.
Known for: Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, Bernie Sanders, and having more cows than people, Vermont is also home to Burlington, with high wage job growth and an ever-growing startup scene. In fact, the famous and best ice cream company, Ben and Jerry’s started in the city in 1978.
The city’s small-town atmosphere welcomes you into the community, where you can find support from your neighbors and fellow business owners alike. In October 2015, the Kauffman Foundation even partnered with city offices, such as the Community and Economic Development Office (CEDO) to provide support and assistance to the entrepreneur community.
Burlington itself is a hip city. With a fun outdoor market space on Church Street, Lake Champlain, and all the best skiing of Vermont right outside your door, Burlington is perfect for the outdoorsman in you.
With a large number of small businesses and a booming tech sector, Columbia is regularly at the top of the list of cities entrepreneurs love. The city’s new Innovation Hub, run through Regional Economic Development, Inc., Missouri Innovation Center, and Life Science Business Center all serve as a support system for aspiring business owners to begin their business.
The smaller size of the city means easier access to all that is available, as well as a closer-knit support system from the community.
The city is also home to the University of Missouri, giving you access to a team of young graduates, or current students to help you build your company. Columbia is an up and coming small city with much more to offer than meets the eye.
This hip city has been called the “rockstar of small business cities” by Fortune Magazine. Part of the city’s charm is its hospitality. Many entrepreneurs in the city are eager to help their fellow entrepreneurs in their business endeavors.
Those in the city cite the ecosystem of the city as being particularly helpful to the aspiring small business owner, with entrepreneurs, investors, an emphasis on networking and community building, and good business schools.
Aside from its spot as a top city for entrepreneurs, Austin is a growing city with many young professionals moving for the jobs and the welcoming and creative atmosphere. The city often called the next Silicon Valley, is home to great food, live music any day of the week, and a vibrant culture.