It took me 33 years to make it to Madison, Wisconsin, and I grew up a state away in Michigan. To be fair there is a giant lake between us. Why now? Madison has momentum.

It’s Top 5 in software publishing job concentration and developer salaries while still being 2 percent below the national average for cost of living. That’s a rare combination. It’s Top 10 in best cities for young entrepreneurs. And Madison has the highest concentration of Millennial talent in the country.

Madison surprised me, in a good way. It’s the smallest big city in America and I mean that in the best possible way. It’s a Top 15 global city in access to venture capital per capita because of its connectivity.

Why You Want to Start Your Business In Madison

The talent is there, the money is there to scale. And there isn’t a biting sense of competition you see in other markets. It’s not Midwest kindness but rather a sense of a collective “we” that will carry Madison past the perception of an up-and-coming startup city to its eventual position alongside Portland and Austin.

Great connectors include StartingBlock, gener8tor and University Research Park-which houses the $5.4B healthcare company, Exact Sciences that works well with startups. Having an access and proximity to a major company is vital when creating a startup.

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