As you’re preparing to launch your new business in 2014, think seriously about where to put down your startup’s roots. In a time when funding sources, talent, leaders, and resources are spread across the county and internationally, the location you choose for your company’s home base can have real practical implications for its success and growth rate. Forbes Magazine agrees. On March 13, 2014, Forbes published “The Best Places to Launch A Startup in 2014” which evaluated the 50 most populous cities in the United States on a number of criteria centered around community engagement and access to resources.
Silicon Valley in the west and and the 128 corridor in the east are no longer the obvious choices: San Diego topped the list of best places to launch a new business in 2014, with Denver and Austin ranked second and third, respectively. Boston clocked in at number eight. “Boston is a great place to launch a startup because of its people,” says Edouard C. LeFevre, a Partner in Foley’s Boston office.
“We have an established investor community that understands early stage investing. There are seasoned entrepreneurs and executives who know how to start and grow companies. We have government officials committed to fostering and supporting innovation along with large, established technology companies, life science companies and health care providers in our ecosystem. Every year we have a new class of brilliant, energetic local graduates who love the city and want to work here so that they can make it their home.”
Rounding out the top 10 was Chicago, which has seen an rapid uptick in startup activity in recent years. Galen R. Mason, Special Counsel in Foley’s Chicago office, notes that Chicago is a prime location choice for new businesses because it’s in a “sweet spot.”
He goes on to explain: “First of all, Chicago is a major American city dead set in the center of the country. You can get anywhere, east or west coast, in a short period of time. Particularly for B2B, it has lots of businesses to sell to, so you have a very direct customer base. The entrepreneurial hunger is something that can be tapped in terms of recruiting and there is huge talent here. It’s established enough that there are a number of founders connecting through 1871 and Catapult Chicago. Techstars just launched here, as well as a deep number of service providers that really do understand startups, including venture capitalists that are focused on the Midwest. It’s helpful to be a part of a growing environment and one that’s destined to succeed because it’s in a major American market. Chicago has a name waiting to happen.”
Check out the full list of the top 12 cities to launch your startup on Forbes.com.