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The global market may ebb and flow around gigantic companies and worldwide conglomerates, but the tides of economic change are driven by entrepreneurs and startups. Apple Inc.’s beginnings can be traced back to a garage in Los Altos, CA. There, one of the three company founders hand-built his notion of what the future of personal computing held. Facebook, meanwhile, began as a program written by a sophomore at Harvard University in Cambridge, MA. Both were humble startups hatched from the minds of entrepreneurs. Both are now corporate giants. Yet every budding Apple and would-be Facebook needs fertile soil in which to grow. And when it comes to planting these seeds in the US, all are not equal. Which are the best cities to start a business for entrepreneurs and startups?

Best Places to Start a Business

Ranking the best cities to start a business should involve empirical data on the cost of living, cost of housing, unemployment rate and support offered by local governments. However, crunching the numbers doesn’t always paint the clearest picture. For entrepreneurs and startups to grow, there needs to be a healthy startup ecosystem – a system that must include:

  • Access to venture capital
  • Governmental support
  • Talent
  • Innovation
  • Educational Ecosystem

The fruits of this kind of fertile soil are evident in the cities that produce them. When it comes to Bold Business, Austin’s’ entire ecosystem of support from venture capital, key big companies, large entrepreneur community, governmental support and innovative use of blockchain to transform into a smart-city puts it on this list for best places to start a business.

For Atlanta, the wealth of talent has produced a growing FinTech hub as well as one of the primary cities that is incubating BioTech start-ups.  While Tampa/St. Petersburg‘s Waterstreet Development, Synapse and top awards of women-owned businesses and recognition as a top spot for women to launch a company earn it its spot.

So here, in no particular order, are the top 20 best cities to start a business for entrepreneurs and startups, as seen through the lens of Bold Business.

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