"Bigger isn't always better when it comes to selecting a place to start a company. Where is the best location for your startup? While the answer obviously depends on the type of venture you're starting, a few universal qualities apply: affordability, availability of a talented labor pool, existence of a thriving business community, and quality of life.
With these factors in mind, BusinessWeek set out to find the best small cities for startups in each state, aiming primarily to profile places where high-growth companies could thrive. We asked San Francisco-based GIS Planning, a geographic data provider that helps companies select optimal sites through its ZoomProspector Web site (a 2009 Planetizen top 10 website), to identify the best small city to start a business in every state across the country, examining cities with populations between 20,000 and 200,000. The choices took into account 11 factors that shape a city's entrepreneurial climate, from the education level of the workforce to the amount of venture-capital investment to the number of startups.
We then asked entrepreneurs in each place to tell us about doing business there, to match an on-the-ground perspective to the data. "
Thanks to Eric Simundza