Study: OKC, an ideal place for startups

A new study ranks Oklahoma City among the top 15 cities for taking a great idea and launching a startup. (Photo by Riccardo Annandale via Unsplash)

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City is a hugely attractive place for business owners and entrepreneurs, according to a new study that ranks it the 12th best city for startups among the largest metropolitan areas in the United States.

The city is one of the coolest and cheapest places to live and do business, with a corporate tax rate of 6% (a full point below the national average), second incorporation fees lowest ($52) and eighth most affordable employees ($52,688 average annual income), a report based on the study noted.

Real Estate Witch compared the 50 most populous US metro areas across 12 metrics to determine the 15 best places to launch a startup. The study included data from the US Census Bureau, Bureau of Economic Analysis and Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The report points out that to be successful, entrepreneurs must develop their business in areas with favorable tax laws, access to finance and a local talent pool of educated workers.

Oklahoma City averaged 6,003 business apps per 100,000 residents over the past five years, compared to a national average of 5,931, and job growth of 3.20% over the past 12 months, according to the report.

The report notes that entrepreneurs in Oklahoma City also have resources like the Thunder Launchpad, a 12-week acceleration program to help founders scale their business with free workspaces and a mentorship network, and l access to local investors such as i2E, which has pumped in over $77 million. in Oklahoma businesses in all phases.

“Oklahoma City is very supportive of the startup community and startups in general,” said i2E CEO Scott Meacham. “The business community, the city leaders, everyone is ready to do what they can to help.”

Meacham said a number of successful businesses started in places like Boston, New York or Seattle and then moved to Oklahoma City, where they thrived because they were noticed and supported.

He points out that a startup needs four things to be successful, starting with a great idea and an entrepreneur ready to take it to market.

“He also needs mentorship and capital from i2E or others,” Meacham said.

Over its 22-year history, i2E Services has provided business expertise and financing to 745 emerging Oklahoma small businesses. And they’re not alone in Oklahoma City.

“We have a lot of resources available for startups,” Meacham said.

Seeing successful businesses in Oklahoma City attracts other entrepreneurs, he said.

People of the current generation work in completely different ways, so they’re more inclined to start their own business, Meacham said.

It’s a good way to further Oklahoma’s goal of diversifying and growing the economy, he said.

One way is to acquire businesses and bring them here. Startups are the other approach.

“It’s like planting small trees that grow into big trees,” Meacham said.

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