Posted by: Mark Marich
Source: Policy Dialogue on Entrepreneurship

(March 10, 2014)-A number of rankings and indices come out each year touting a top ten list of cities to start and scale a business based on different factors — all deemed to be important to high-growth entrepreneurs. But did anyone ask the entrepreneurs?

Endeavor Insight did — and found that it wasn’t anything about tax rates or regulatory environments. Instead, it is all about access to talented employees, customers and suppliers — and once those startups set down roots, they rarely tend to move.

Endeavor Insight, which along with the Kauffman Foundation recently launched the Global Entrepreneurship Research Network, released a report that addresses the question “What Do the Best Entrepreneurs Want In A City?” With research culled from surveys and interviews with 150 founders of some of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., the report offers some important takeaways for policymakers.

More than 30% of survey respondents identified access to talented people as their primary factor in determining where to start and scale their firms. In comparison, tax rates were only cited by 5% of survey respondents and business-friendly regulations by 2%.

Why is this information so important to policymakers? Because it seems they only have one crack at it. Of the 150 high-growth entrepreneurs surveyed, 131 have kept their startups located in the cities where they launched.