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Top 10 Cities for Young Entrepreneurs in 2010

| August 4, 2010 | 35 Comments

New York CityRecently Under30CEO ran a poll to find out what the top cities for young entrepreneurs were in the United States. Voters were asked to think about resources, schools, events, climate, and the social scene that a young entrepreneur looks for. The results are in and below we have put together the top 10 cities for young entrepreneurs in 2010.

10. Seattle

Squeezing into the top 10 Seattle makes its mark on the list. Seattle has always been driven by old industrial companies but more recently newer technology and internet companies have begun to call it home. Companies like Amazon and Starbucks call Seattle home with Microsoft, Boeing and Nintendo in nearby communities.

Seattle’s climate while mild year round is still not ideal with lots of rainy and cloudy days. However Seattle’s location in the Northwest gives it a huge advantage in outdoor activities with forests, lakes, oceans and mountains all nearby.

9. Washington DC

DC is an obvious choice for the list with its ideal location to the political scene. Washington has a large number of attractions like the National Mall and countless museums. The area is also home to leading colleges like Georgetown, American and George Mason University. These schools bring a very active social scene to the city which makes it a great spot for young people along with providing numerous resources for start-ups.

8. Portland, OR

Portland has been referred to as the “greenest” or most “environmental friendly” city in the US. Portland has also been growing faster then the average over the past decade showing the increased interest in the city. Portland is a great business location with lower energy costs then the bigger cities and also air, rail and shipping transportation available to any part of the world.

As with the Northwest cities Portland has a temperate climate and all the outdoor activities one could dream up which makes it great for the upstart adventurer.

7. San Diego

Making an appearance on the list this year in large part due to the climate. San Diego is warm, sunny and dry. The area is also known for its beaches which is a major plus for any young business person.

The city is characterized as wealthy with a major tourism economy. Along with its population (8th largest in US) the city makes an ideal place to build a business.

6. Chicago

Chicago is known as one of leading financial centers in the world making it a truly business minded community. The city is located on the shore of Lake Michigan giving it a unique blend of beaches and a downtown life. One reason for not being higher on the list may be due to its nickname “the windy city”. The city has an active social scene and streets like Michigan Ave will appeal to anyone’s recreation or shopping interests.

5. Denver

“The Mile High City”. Denver is a bustling city high in the Rocky Mountains. The city has a lot to offer a young entrepreneur with its numerous professional sports teams to some of the best ski resorts in the country only a short drive away. The winters are cold but for the skier or snowboarder it becomes the perfect city to build a business and hit the slopes.

4. Boston

Boston has a vibrant college community which has a major impact on the overall city. Colleges like Harvard, MIT, Boston College and others contribute countless jobs and revenue to the city. The schools have also attracted the high-tech industry to the city along with many major companies. The city is home to countless start-ups, incubators and resources to entrepreneurs as many college students take a stab at their own business.

The cold winters and high cost of living possibly stop Boston from being at the top of the list.

3. Austin

Austin has built a reputation on being the “live music capital of the world”. However Austin has also become a major tech hub with many start-ups and major corporations calling it home in recent years. Many people in Austin experienced the dot-com boom and bust in the late 90s. The city has a great climate and abundant resources as it continues to move forward as a technology hub with much lower costs of living then places like Silicon Valley.

2. San Francisco

San Francisco is near Silicon Valley giving it no choice but to be a major hub for start-ups and high-tech companies. Start-ups like Twitter and Craigslist call San Francisco home along with countless numbers of small companies looking to make it big. The city is a big tourist destination giving the young community plenty to see and do along with many great west coast destinations only a short drive away. Because of the vibrant tech community networking events, conferences and meet-ups are being held consistently giving new companies a chance to network and learn with the best.

1. New York

This year the #1 city for young entrepreneurs is New York City. New York is the largest city in the United States which gives it just about anything a business or young person would want. There is a major social scene in the city where it reigns with the most bars in the country and also countless festivals, meet-ups and social activities.

The city is one of the leading business centers in the world where things like The New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq are housed. In recent years the city has become a thriving place for start-ups and young entrepreneurs. The city is often referred to as Silicon Alley and continues to push forward with its start-up community.

See 2009′s List

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  • Benmaxime

    I live in NY yay!

  • http://businessbeware.biz/ Ashley

    Oh what I would give to be in one of these cities….

  • Drew

    I live in LA and it's an amazing city to be in for entrepreneur's! Great resources.

    http://www.mybandstock.com

  • Joe

    I'm curious about the demographics of your poll? Where was everyone from? As an entrepreneur and New Yorker, I would say its important to know where the advocates and influencers in your industry are and make a decision from there. Also, where are your customers?

    If you're starting an ice cream company, you may want to go somewhere where its hot all year? You may laugh, but I've seen lots of places open up and disappear.

    If you have an online business and do most of your biz via phone or Skype, paying $2100 for a studio apt in NYC is probably not the best bet–especially if your starting a new business.

    After being in NY for most of my life, I have seen a lot of people migrate to other places where they can have the freedom and the money to start their own business. I don't really see a lot of people coming here to start something, unless they have an angel investor or a trust fund. Take note.

    Some places to consider: New Orleans! Philadelphia! Atlanta! North Carolina! This is where I see a lot of people moving to…

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Here is an interesting relevant article

    http://www.businessinsider.com/the-10-greatest-

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hi Joe, Chicago has our strongest following on Facebook followed by New York, so we can see how the voting could be skewed. I'm an entrepreneur in NYC and bootstrapping at age 24, the cost of living is definitely a huge barrier. What I do love about NYC is the idea that everyone came here to make something of themselves and on any given day I can be walking down the street and meet the person who's going to take me to the next level. The events I go to and people I get to interact with has been an incredible experience and of course a ton of fun.

    Thanks for your insights.

  • http://thomas.barthelet.eu Thomas Barthelet

    I'll make one for Europe and share it with you one day :)
    But you should definitely consider Paris, Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, London, Milano or Barcelona.

  • http://under30ceo.com MattWilsontv

    Hi Thomas, we'd love to get a more international feel for Under30CEO. Let me know what I can do to help.

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  • http://twitter.com/fresh_apricot frank goertzen

    Toronto!

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  • http://twitter.com/TaraDiversi Tara Diversi

    In truth, the barriers to entrepreneurship are so low that if you want to be an entrepreneur, you can live where ever you like. It may mean that you want to be close to family (or far away), close to resources or close to sporting/recreational facilities as well as other resources you have mentioned above. I would love to see an international version, I agree with suggestions from Thomas in Europe, however Australia (namely Sydney), Hong Kong, India, China, New Zealand and South Africa all have wonderful attributes for young entrepreneurs.

    Thanks for the article and discussion

  • RaulFelix

    I do business of Orange County, CA. I believe that is probably one the best places to do business. Not as expensive as New York, almost as many people, better weather, and business friendly.

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    Never been but it is a place on my list for one day. Thanks for the input!

  • http://Under30CEO.com Jared O'Toole

    I agree Tara at the end of the day you can start a business anywhere. I do think that being in some of the places mentioned above provide some great advantages. I can't tell you how awesome it is that almost every contact I make online ends up in NYC at some point over the course of the year so I can meet them.

    Also we will look into doing an international version. I like the idea!

  • Abdinasirmohamed111

    Yes, Jared an international version would definitely be awesome! I would love to see where Toronto ranks!

  • http://www.facebook.com/ben.torn Ben Torn

    This would be only American cities. Could have named some Canadian cities, such as Vancouver perhaps?

  • Sharnock

    I’d like to add Johannesburg, South Africa as being right up there…

    Any smart entrepreneur knows that developing economies / environments / cities / countries is where opportunity lies. South Africa, and Johannesburg in particular, offers INCREDIBLE opportunities.

    I’m 28 and many of my friends of the same age or younger have very successful companies of our own.

  • http://twitter.com/SocialMedia_Art Waqas Ali

    Where is India ;-) 2nd fastest growing economy.

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  • Glen

    Just because a city has great weather doesn’t make it ideal to start a new business. California is ranked at the bottom for new business with regards to the taxes you have to pay. This list is not realistic.

  • http://austin-foreclosures.com/ Shane

    Everyone’s moving to Austin! It’s a great city filled with young movers and shakers. I heard someone say “it’s where the young come to retire!”

    http://austin-foreclosures.com/

  • http://twitter.com/michaelcastilla Michael Castilla

    I hope to see Miami on this list one day!

  • http://twitter.com/mbainavideo The Dean

    I am from Bangalore, I think, the city has the right environment, and resources for Entrepreneurs.

  • Anonymous

    That top 10 cities would be target of all those people who would want to make their dream come true. Thanks for posting that article in here. http://www.bestdcmovers.com

  • Dan

    How much do you know about Massachusetts? How did boston get such a high rating? It would be a great city for entrepreneurship except for the fact that it is so annoyingly socialist. Considering the ridiculously high business taxes it is one of the worst climates for small businesses/entrepreneurs.Why do you think many of the startups from college students end up moving to other states. Maybe if you ignore politics it is not so bad, but that is quite a hard thing to ignore. I know, I live here.

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  • the king

    im with Joe. bar none nyc is the absolute worst possible place to start a business unless you have substantial financial backing, or a service with zero tangible goods. the costs are so high it is near impossible to live and afford an office space. the office spaces here are severely insufficient: they are either shared cubicles for $500/month, executive offices with 50 sq foot spaces for $1500/month, and outside of that every other office space is 2000 sq feet minimum for $6k/month.   if you go to orange county california for example, you can get a 400 foot room to shove your staff some computers and printers for 800 bucks.  nyc is so dense you cant even go further out to get cheap rent.  so you are looking at a minimum of 100K/year in profit to be able to simply afford an office space and live without being completely broke, which for most people in their 20s is unreasonable.  then keep in mind not everyone wants to be in manhattan, and outside of manhattan there is no affordable office space, and no corporate office buildings.

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