Young entrepreneurs looking to start the next big tech firm or restaurant group need not move to New York City or Silicon Valley anymore.
A new NerdWallet study found the 10 best places for aspiring business owners. The analysis used data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Small Business Administration and cell phone coverage and wireless mapping firm OpenSignal to determine the best metro areas for the next generation of industry.
The results showed that the cutting edge is moving inland. Only two of the top 10 metro areas were on the West Coast, and none were in the Northeast. The rest of the tech and culture hubs are in states strengthening their reputations for innovation: Colorado, Minnesota, Utah, Texas, North Dakota and Montana. In addition, many of the smaller cities have tight online networks for startups and small-business conferences.
Top 10 metro areas for young entrepreneurs in 2017
- Boulder, Colorado
- Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington, Minnesota
- Salt Lake City, Utah
- Austin-Round Rock, Texas
- Denver-Aurora-Lakewood, Colorado
- Fort Collins, Colorado
- Seattle-Tacoma-Bellevue, Washington
- San Francisco-Oakland-Hayward, California
- Fargo, North Dakota-Moorhead, Minnesota
- Missoula, Montana
All 381 U.S. metro areas were scored by examining data on per-capita dollar amount of SBA loans for each, as well as the number of businesses per 100 people, percentage of residents aged 25 to 34, percentage of residents with a bachelor’s degree or higher, unemployment rate, median income, median home price and cell phone coverage quality. For the detailed methodology, read the full report.
Daniel Tonkovich is a data analyst at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Veronica Ramirez is a staff writer at NerdWallet. Email: email@example.com. Twitter: @veraudrey.