The Rocket Blog

Memphis Ranks #7 in the Top 10 U.S. Cities to Start a Business
By Tonya Thompson on May 20, 2015
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Looking for a great place to start a business? You might not need to look any farther than our own backyard.

Start-up success depends on several factors, most of which require entrepreneurs to think strategically about the location for their business. Added to the fact that Memphis, Tennessee is a cultural mecca for music and mouth-watering BBQ, it's also ranked at #7 in the top 10 best places in the country for planting start-ups, according to quantitative data published by WalletHub

Methodology

Researchers gathered data related to 150 of the largest American cities to analyze aspects that would make them ‘start-up friendly.’ The study’s authors considered factors such as access to financing opportunities and resources, as well as the overall business environment of the given area. These individual factors included cost of living, corporate taxes, labor costs, industry variety, and the affordability of office space per square foot.

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Entrepreneurial attraction

One of the reasons Memphis scores high on having an environment that is conducive to successful start-ups is the expertise and resources available in the Bluff City. When you’re starting a new business, those resources can be an invaluable asset to help you through the hectic (and often unpredictable) first few months of planning your business strategy. And as many entrepreneurs have found - this planning stage is vital.  It's the phase where the foundation is laid for a business's success, and it's the phase where networking is crucial in order to learn from others who have traveled the same path.  

“As a company, we applied to and were accepted into two accelerators, one in silicon valley and one in Memphis,” says Isaac Rodriguez, Co-Founder and CEO of SweetBio, Inc., a new Memphis-based Biotech start-up creating enhanced wound-healing oral surgery products. “Although Silicon Valley is the start-up capital of the world, we decided to stay in Memphis and participate in the ZeroTo510 Medical Device Accelerator because we felt that Memphis had more to offer with resources and experts in the field that are invested in our success.”

 

Getting the right support means everything

Beyond the abundant local resources for start-ups, the financial opportunities and overall economic picture of the city are attractive for entrepreneurs as well. With relatively low labor and living costs combined with a city-wide enthusiasm for revitalization, Memphis provides multiple opportunities and spaces for start-up growth. Local organizations like MEMShop, a business incubation program that works with entrepreneurs to transform vacant storefronts into places that attract shoppers and potential tenants while increasing neighborhood vitality, are helping make this trend even more popular.

 

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It doesn’t take a business degree to see why entrepreneurs like Rodriguez value that kind of enthusiasm. “Since we have started the program we have received overwhelming support from our local investors, the ZeroTo510 accelerator, the University of Memphis, and the overall community,” he says. “We have no doubt that we made the best decision for our company and are excited to spend this summer working hard in a welcoming environment to take us to the next level.”

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