5 ways states are luring small business

5 ways states are luring small business

When Marc Gorlin launched his firm Roadie, he knew Georgia was the ideal place to find the talent he needed to launch his on-demand app. Gorlin, who previously co-founded the financing company Kabbage, says the attractive cost of living in the state and access to “smart, talented people in multiple industries” make it attractive.

Abundant financing has also helped. His company, which lets consumers ship goods in the cars of people who happen to be driving to the intended destination, raised $15 million in venture capital in a Series B round in June that included Eric Schmidt’s angel group TomorrowVentures.

When Marc Gorlin launched his firm Roadie, he knew Georgia was the ideal place to find the talent he needed to launch his on-demand app. Gorlin, who previously co-founded the financing company Kabbage, says the attractive cost of living in the state and access to “smart, talented people in multiple industries” make it attractive.

Abundant financing has also helped. His company, which lets consumers ship goods in the cars of people who happen to be driving to the intended destination, raised $15 million in venture capital in a Series B round in June that included Eric Schmidt’s angel group TomorrowVentures.

Georgia is among many states that are working hard to lure businesses of all sizes — and entice them to stay put.

The state, which finishes eighth overall in this year’s America’s Top States for Business rankings, also notches an impressive sixth-place finish in our Access to Capital category. Not only did Georgia businesses attract $837 million in venture capital financing last year but the state is also in the top 10 for small-business lending, according to 2013 figures from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

There’s no one set formula that makes a state business-friendly, say business owners and experts. Rather, it is a mix of ingredients that, when combined, make a state an attractive place to set up shop.

[…]

Utah‘s abundant talent pool of recent college graduates helped lure Nate Quigley to Provo three years ago to co-found Chatbooks, a site where users can create photobooks, with his wife, Vanessa. He moved from the Melbourne, Florida, area, where he launched his last start-up. With one of the most educated workforces in the nation based on U.S. Census data, Utah finished 12th for Workforce in our ranking.

Salt Lake City is home to universities such as University of Utah, while Provo is home to Brigham Young University and Provo College. “That just fills the state with lots of great talent,” said Quigley.

As a result, Quigley has been able to staff up quickly to 30 full-time employees and 40 part-timers. The company hit $5.9 million in revenue in 2015, he said.

[…]

One draw for Quigley in launching Chatbooks in Provo was the lively venture capital scene in Utah. His firm has raised $8 million in seed and venture funding — $2 million from two local institutional seed-stage investors, and $6 million from Signal Peak Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Salt Lake City. Utah businesses attracted $732 million in venture capital last year.

“That’s what I love about Utah,” said Quigley. “We’re able to attract the financing we needed to grow the company all right here in Utah.”

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