Missouri Innovation Center

Columbia and Kansas City are the best places in Missouri and among the best places in U.S. to launch a businesses, according to Entrepreneur Magazine and Livability.com.

Columbia is No. 8 on the list, and Kansas City is No. 19.

With business growth of 24 percent and employment growth of 19 percent, Columbia has an entrepreneurial ecosystem aided by weekly 1 Million Cups meetings, the Missouri Innovation Center, and the Entrepreneurship Alliance offered by the University of Missouri’s Trulaske College of Business.

Businesses grew by 17 percent in Kansas City while employment grew at 12 percent. Kansas City Startup Village has helped foster the growth of the entrepreneurship infrastructure. The Kauffman Foundation, which sponsors 1 Million Cups meetings in Kansas City and around the Midwest, and KCSourceLink are also mentioned as having nurtured the industry.

The criteria used for the list included the number of businesses in 2011-15, rate of unemployment, cost of living, commute time, percentage of college graduates, accessibility to high-speed broadband, projected household incomes and consumption behavior of people living in the city, along with business tax rate and value of loans.

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