What happens when you combine fast-growing companies, innovative activity, and an entrepreneurial environment in a specific geographic area? Inc. and Startup Genome, an innovation policy company, think you get what you might call "Surge Cities."

Using government data and across seven metrics--job growth, population growth, net business creation, rate of entrepreneurship, wage growth, and high-growth company density--the leaders quickly emerge. 

Today is the premier of Inc's Surge Cities Index, listing the 50 top metro areas for startups. Choosing to launch a business in the right one could easily be the difference between success and failure.

Here are the top five cities. Check out the rest of them here.

1.    Austin, Texas
2.    Salt Lake City, Utah
3.    Raleigh, North Carolina
4.    Nashville, Tennessee
5.    San Francisco, California

Here's what else I'm reading today:

Les gets zero

Les Moonves, the former head of CBS who was among the most powerful people in media, will not get any of the $120 million in severance he expected, the company's board decided, after he stepped down in the wake of misconduct allegations. Next stop (almost certainly): the U.S. District Court in New York.
--Dominic Patten and Dawn C. Chmielewski and Dade Hayes, Deadline

Another day, another big HQ reveal

Now it's Google's turn to make a big announcement about a splashy, billion-dollar new campus. Following Amazon's much-hyped H2Q decision and then Apple's comparatively quieter announcement about investing in new offices in Texas (and other cities), Google said it's planning a new base in Manhattan that will double its 7,000-person workforce there. Cue the backlash from New Yorkers already none too pleased about Amazon's coming invasion.
--Bill Chappell, NPR

It could soon be cheaper to get an H-1B visa

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's newly proposed application process for H-1B visas--which allow American companies to employ highly skilled foreign workers--includes free online registration. That could be a huge money saver for businesses that currently pay upwards of $2,400 in filing fees. If you don't like the idea, you have until January 2 to submit a public comment before it's finalized.

France wants to tax big U.S. tech companies more. Here's how

On January 1, France will institute a tax on Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon that's expected to earn the country €500 million ($567.6 million) in 2019. Traditionally, those companies have housed their European profits in low-tax jurisdictions, meaning they take from local economies but hardly give back. France is moving ahead with this tax after a similar European Union-wide proposal fell through.
--Rob Davies, The Guardian

J.K. Rowling doesn't care about your genius morning routine

The Harry Potter author came across a column on Twitter on Monday by Inc. columnist Marcel Schwantes. The theme: rituals successful people have to jumpstart their workdays. Although Schwantes was not, in fact, suggesting you must rise at 4 a.m. like some top minds in business, Rowling nonetheless had some choice words for those early risers.
--Corinne Purtill, Quartz

Published on: Dec 18, 2018
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