Opening a startup can be an overwhelming, exciting, and exhausting experience. While you’ll probably be looking up a ton of resources for starting a business, there’s one big decision you’ll have to make pretty early on into planning the opening of your new venture. Where should you open a startup?
Geographically, there are tons of locations around the world where you could open a start-up company and the internet provides more options. Check out what our experts had to say about the best places to open your startup.
These places are located within the U.S. and in cities around the world. Depending on where you’re coming from and what your startup is looking to achieve, one of these options could be the best place for you to open your startup.
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
This might surprise you, but our experts recommended this capital city in Malaysia over cities in nearby Singapore and Thailand which have been popular locations for start-ups in years past. Here’s why:
“Singapore and Thailand are great, but I’d have to recommend the capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur, before either of those,” says Sheila Chaiban, CEO of One Ocean Beauty. “I think Kuala Lumpur has a beautiful mix of cultures with a mix of people from India, Thailand, China, and, of course, Malaysia. Having this diverse market of Asian cultures and nationalities gives a start-up a great test market to work out the kinks before they progress into a larger company. There’s a reason many organizations and universities are now offering study-abroad programs in this country. It’s definitely on the up-and-coming list of places to be if you want to make it big.”
Utah is probably not a place you’d think of when it comes to starting a business, but it’s becoming one of the top places to do just that. With a young population that’s driven to push startups into the community, it’s becoming the place to be.
“Provo has boomed over the past years. Most people know that Brigham Young University is there, but that’s about it. There’s so much more to it, though. It’s been in the top lists for cities to live in and raise a family for a few years and now the startups are booming,” says Eymel Daniel, Co-Founder of ForChics. “There are collaborative spaces for startups, hubs for networking and projects, and even offices that can be rented out for startups to use. It’s really the dream environment for young entrepreneurs looking to start their own brand. Provo has all the key ingredients of a startup environment without the big city prices like you’d have in places like LA or DC.”
Los Angeles, California
Speaking of Los Angeles, LA has been a go-to for start ups that are looking to make it in the big leagues right from the get-go. With it being a diverse environment that gives startups the opportunity to make those networking connections with so many industries, it can be the ideal place for some startups.
“LA is like this hub where everyone from big name brands to start-up companies can come to make connections and get their name out there,” says Jason Wong, CEO of Doe Lashes. “There are so many networking opportunities and partnerships that can be formed just by knowing where to meet the right people. It also helps that a ton of social media influencers are in the LA area so it’s convenient for making those connections for sponsorships too.”
India has become a bit of a hub for entrepreneurs and innovators around the globe. Many are drawn to the bustling cities with high populations and low-cost for starting a business within the cities. Bangalore, specifically, was recommended by our expert.
“India as a whole has become an entrepreneur’s dream; especially if you’re into tech or electronics,” says Matt Seaburn, Partner and President of Rent A Wheel. “Bangalore is unique because there’s actually a lot more going on than a great environment for start-ups. There are organized start-up launches happening regularly and there’s an incredible start-up networking system that seems to almost run itself at this point. Entrepreneurs who launch a start-up in Bangalore are able to experience the height of that rush that you get from starting your new business to the highest degree.”
Today, you don’t have to have a physical storefront to launch a business. You can use the internet to reach your consumers and make sales without the overhead of a building. Online networking communities make it possible to foster connections around the globe from the comfort of a home office or shared office space.
“We live in a great time where launching a start-up can happen earlier than in the past because you don’t always have to invest so much up front,” says Chris Hetherington, Founder and CEO of Peels. “Even though there’s still risk involved, as there is with any business decision. Depending on the product and industry, you can absolutely utilize the online platforms that are out there to launch your start-up from anywhere in the world.”
Houston has been in the top few places for several years now for a variety of reasons. It’s a large city with a diverse population and a home to many other startups.
“One of the reasons people look to start businesses in an area with a lot of other startups is because there’s a market for those types of venues,” says Nicholas Vasiliou, CEO of BioHealth Nutrition. “The people of Houston are seeking out small businesses to support and it really contributes to a great test market for new brands.”
Like Houston, Seattle has been in the top few cities to start a business for a number of years. Millennials specifically have been drawn here to create a culture and environment that really supports small businesses.
“I don’t know what it is about Seattle, but it just works for startups,” says Jacques-Edouard Sabatier, Co-Founder and CEO of JOW. “There are so many networks and communities that new brands can find their niche in. As we all know, networking is something that’s really important in those first few years. Seattle seems to have a great community that fosters those connections.”
China has long been thought of as a place for big businesses and corporations as well as manufacturing plants. But did you know that China is becoming a go-to place for entrepreneurs today too?
“China is really starting to change in the sense that they’re now seeing the value in smaller organizations and small businesses. Where, in the past, they really prized and valued those top tier companies, they’re starting to understand that small businesses are valuable too,” says Brittany Dolin, Co-Founder of The Pocketbook Agency. “China is even incentivizing these start-ups through start-up tax deductions and other benefits. Opening a start-up here also gives access to one of the largest and most concentrated areas of population in the country: the city of Beijing.”
DC has started to draw startups in over the recent years. It’s a great place for people interested in staying on the East Coast to look at starting a brand.
“DC gives people the diversity of a bigger city like New York without the astronomical cost of living that you have in the Big Apple,” says Katie Lyon, Co-founder of Allegiance Flag Supply. “DC isn’t just for politics, there’s a massive market for startups and the diversity among the different areas of the city can really give a brand a taste of how and where to market their product which is a big part of those early days.”
Charlotte, North Carolina
Like DC, Charlotte is a great place for East Coast lovers to take a look at. This city is booming with industry and population growth and it’s a great place for a startup to look.
“Charlotte has exploded over the past decade,” says Amanda E. Johnson, CEO and Chief Marketing Officer for TatBrow. “This is a great place for new startups because it’s city’s government is looking to give assistance to startup venues and entrepreneurs. They’re looking to be more than a hub for manufacturing, banking, and big businesses. They really want to give their residents places to shop, live, and enjoy all that Charlotte has to offer.”
There you have it! 10 cities in the United States and around the world that you can look at starting your own business in. These cities range from major international hubs to cities that are looking to foster the growth and networking community of startups and small businesses. Hopefully this list has given you some ideas to think about as you look for a place to plant your startup and watch it grow.