The fastest way to start-up success is innovation. It's something that has to be adopted as an attitude even more than just a set of practices.

But the practicalities don't go away. You need access to resources, office space prices that won't ignite a scary burn rate of your capital, and realistic costs of living to keep salaries under control.

WalletHub analyzed 150 cities over a number of criteria, put into two groups:

Resource access

  • accessibility of financing
  • median annual incomes
  • employee availability
  • office space prices

Business environment

  • corporate taxes
  • cost of living
  • length of average workday
  • workforce education level
  • entrepreneurial activity
  • five-year establishment survival rate
  • number of small businesses per capita
  • industry variety
  • small business friendliness index

WalletHub then combined the scores to find which cities, on the whole, offered the best combination of resource access and environment for a startup. Here's an interactive map. The bluer the location, the better the benefit to the entrepreneur.

Source: WalletHub

The results might surprise many. At the top you don't find the usual hotbeds of software, biotech, and other industries that attract so many startups. But success can ironically breed problems. The hotter the area's reputation for breeding winning startups that grow into significant companies, the more people it attracts and, invoking the laws of supply and demand, the more expensive everything gets.

Sometimes a city--Springfield, MO is an example--might excel in one general area, like providing access to financial and human resources while doing relatively badly in business environment but still come out with a strong combination.

Here are the top ten cities for startups:

  1. Shreveport, LA
  2. Tulsa, OK
  3. Springfield, MO
  4. Chattanooga, TN
  5. Jackson, MS
  6. Sioux Falls, SD
  7. Memphis, TN
  8. Augusta, GA
  9. Greensboro, NC
  10. Columbus, GA

And here are the bottom ten:

  1. Anaheim, CA
  2. San Jose, CA
  3. Santa Ana, CA
  4. Oakland, CA
  5. Ontario, CA
  6. Fremont, CA
  7. Yonkers, NY
  8. Garden Grove, CA
  9. Jersey City, NJ
  10. Newark, NJ

Data for the analysis came from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Indeed.com, the Kauffman Foundation, the Tax Foundation, the Council for Community and Economic Research, Thumbtack, LoopNet and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation.

WalletHub also broke out top and bottom ten for various individual ranking categories. Check the original post for particular factors that might have a greater impact on your venture.

Published on: Apr 27, 2015