Building a startup in Wisconsin, the lowest-ranked startup state

By Alec Slocum, ABODO via VentureBeat

wisconsin_1848_webLast month, The Kauffman Institute released its annual Index of Startup Activity, which analyzes entrepreneurship across the country. The report assigns every state a Startup Activity Index number based on the rate of new entrepreneurs, their opportunity share, and startup density.

California, home to Silicon Valley ranks, of course, at #1, while booming Texas came in at #2.

The bottom of the list was is familiar. For the third straight year, Wisconsin sits at #50.

I love Wisconsin. I’m from here, I went to college here, and I’ve kept my startup here, growing it from three high school friends in an off-campus apartment to a team of over 30. I’ve written before about the many benefits of basing my startup in the Midwest: lower initial costs, affordable cost of living for employees, and investor attitudes that help focus and refine entrepreneurial vision. So it pains me to see the Badger State bringing up the rear again.

Despite Wisconsin’s overall ranking, it’s well-known within the state that Madison — where my company is headquartered — is home to a burgeoning tech scene. A recent report by TechNet and the Progressive Policy Institute ranked Madison in the top 25 of “next tech hubs”: Silicon Valley alternatives with low cost of living, high job creation rates, and access to top-quality talent. The Brookings Institute ranked Madison #5 in its study of tech industry growth among the country’s 100 largest metropolitan areas. Read more …

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