Even in the globalized world, starting a company in the United States – regardless of the market field in which it will operate – remains a great opportunity, and probably it will still be like that for a long time. That’s the way it is: having a chance to settle a business in America is still a jackpot to grab and exploit at the maximum level. The USA may not be anymore the one and only “land of opportunities” in the world, but it’s still one of the markets that define the idea itself of success: if you can make it there, you will probably be able to expand in any other area of the planet and replicate the same success. No matter if you work in an extremely competitive sector (like, for example, the real estate one) or if you plan to open an innovative start-up: the United States will offer you countless chances to be noticed (for example by further investors who could help you enhance your business), and a population of consumers who are – by tradition, we could say – extremely responsive and curious to try new things.
Clearly, the USA is a big country, and not all the places, the states and the areas are equal in terms of development opportunities. Despite the single states’ governments, as well as the federal one, provide regularly for support measures to those entrepreneurs who aim to set up their businesses in the less developed areas of the countries (creating new employment opportunities and trying to drive the local economy out of its constraints), there are still areas that are way more profitable than others. And those ones are, not by chance, the most wanted business hubs of the country.
Clearly, among those areas there are all the biggest cities of the two coasts. So, while San Francisco has become the capital of the digital economy, New York and Boston remain two reliable places to start a “traditional” business (for example, a restaurant). The same may be said about Miami, Orlando, Tampa, Jacksonville and the other Florida’s big cities, while the northern ones (Detroit and Chicago first) have lost a lot of appeal throughout the last two decades (with the only exception of Seattle).
Among all these renowned locations, Houston may appear as an intruder, because its tradition as a business hub is relatively recent. Nonetheless, the second Texas’ most southern big city (after San Antonio) is actually one of the most interesting places to start a company. There are many reasons for that, and not all of them can be summarized that easily, because they imply political and financial issues. Despite that, there are some facts that can clarify exhaustively why Houston is – at least for a decade – on top of the list of the new entrepreneurs’ most wanted destinations.
- Geographic position. Houston doesn’t look like the typical Texas’ metropolis. Situated by the Trinity Bay, in the middle of the Gulf Coast, it has one of the biggest and most important ports of the whole North America. Even its topography makes it look more like an European City or, at least, a North-Eastern one, like Boston or Pittsburgh. In other words, it is a sort of oasis in one of the most identifiable and homogeneous states of America.
- Average wealth. In 2012, Forbes ranked Houston at number one for the highest salaries of America. Aside from rankings, it is undoubtedly a rich city, where even the most humble job is fairly paid. Despite that, the real estate market is anything but expensive: for example, finding a retail space for lease in Houston is, on average, pretty easy and quite affordable, even in the city center. The reason lies in the fact that it is a rapidly expanding city, bound to welcome new investors and make them easy to settle down.
- Civil rights. Texas is renowned (among many other things) for being the most conservative state of America. But Houston is a huge exception: during the last two decades, the city’s reputation grew up as one of the most tolerant and welcoming of the entire USA. Immigrants, LGBTQ community’s members, people with disabilities (both physical and psychical): Houston seems to have a place for each one of them in its social fabric. No ghettoization, no exclusion, no marginalization: they will be all considered an active part of Houston’s society.
- Green deal. In the biggest oil companies’ homeland, Houston has a strong environment-friendly attitude. So alongside the oil firms’ headquarters, a lot of start-ups committed to a sustainable economy are springing up.
- Innovation and digital development. Maybe not everyone is aware that Houston is one of the digital capitals of America (along with San Francisco and, again, Seattle). Clearly, we’re not at the same level of the Silicon Valley, but the presence itself of the NASA headquarter, with its tireless demand of new and innovative technologies, has made the local computer industry extremely dynamic and competitive.