Where is a good place for a start-up to get started? Popular Mechanics says the Champaign-Urbana area ranks No. 11 in the nation, on its list of the 14 best start-up cities in America. Laura Frerichs, director of the University of Illinois Research Park, says a lot of the business start-ups in the area are in science and research.
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“Specifically, some of the things that we talked about for Champaign-Urbana is a thriving tech sector that’s based off of science and research, and so a little different than the consumer-oriented types of startups that you might see in larger metropolitan areas like Chicago or Silicon Valley, for that matter,” she said.
Frerichs says much of the funding for start-ups comes from grants and venture capital rather than sales; many of the businesses that start are capital-intensive and won’t show a profit for a number of years.
The magazine says the city’s ranking rests entirely on the U. of I., which graduated the engineering talent behind Netscape, PayPal, You Tube and Tesla Motors.
The entrepreneurs-in-residence at the research park will give anyone a free consultation, and the magazine says since the cost of living is only a little more than that, Champaign-Urbana this is a good place for a business to grow once it’s started.