Hartford is surging. So says Inc. magazine, in the latest ranking of the leading “Surge Cities” in the U.S. – the 50 Best Places in America for Starting a Business. Of Hartford, which ranked number 46, the publication said “Hartford gets its groove back by doubling down on manufacturing--and social impact startups.” Hartford ranked just ahead of Memphis, Cleveland, Virginia Beach and Buffalo in rounding out the top 50. Leading the list were Austin, Salt Lake City, Raleigh, Nashville, San Francisco, San Jose, San Diego, Denver, Orlando and Portland.
Inc. pointed out that “Despite years of state budgetary woes, the Hartford area is on an upswing--thanks, in part, to a rebound in manufacturing. Aerospace company Pratt & Whitney can't keep up with jet engine orders, and Otis Elevator does over $12.3 billion in net sales.” They went on to highlight what’s new: “Pioneering accelerator ReSet, which has a social impact focus, has graduated 100 area companies over the past five years. Toolmaker Stanley Black & Decker recently launched a manufacturing accelerator with Techstars. And Hartford--the ‘insurance capital of the world’--was named one of the state's four Innovations Places, making it eligible for $2 million in matching funds, part of which it's putting toward an accelerator aimed at insurance startups.”
Among the criteria in the analysis, and Hartford’s ranking: rate of entrepreneurship (38), high-growth company density (48), net business creation (35), early-stage funding deals (35) and wage growth (21).
Elsewhere in New England, Boston ranked number 15; Providence was number 44.