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These Are the 50 Best Places in America for Starting a Business

December 17, 2018

By: Michelle Cheng

Inc. Magazine

Whether you’re an entrepreneur plotting to launch a startup or a CEO strategizing where to put another office, knowing where the next hot city is would be a game changer. Should you expand to Raleigh? Would you attract better talent in Austin or Atlanta? With the new Surge Cities Index, Inc. and innovation policy company Startup Genome crunched the data to score and rank the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. on seven key indicators–from early-stage funding metrics to job creation. Finally, here’s the smartest way to answer the age-old question: Where should you go next?

No. 45 – DETROIT

With the highest density of engineers in the country, Detroit is reinventing itself by leading the next mobility boom.

Autonomous-car hardware. Sensors. Lidar. Chances are, if there’s something that has to do with mobility, a startup in Detroit has touched it. Motor City is knee-deep into its transportation reinvention: May Mobility, a spinout from the University of Michigan, builds autonomous shuttles and operates a route in downtown Detroit. Roush Industries built 150 of the self-driving cars for Waymo. Last year, PlanetM Landing Zone launched to connect mobility startups like Lyft and Mapbox with Detroit’s traditional automotive industry. And accelerator Techstars Mobility, founded in 2014, has deployed $67.4 million in venture funding, with two exits under its belt, including the sale of ridesharing startup SPLT to Bosch this year. With Michigan’s having the highest density of engineers in the country–and the highest concentration of those employed in Detroit’s Wayne County–it’s no wonder the majority of VC money getting poured into the city ends up in mobility and IT.

–Michelle Cheng

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