46 of 100
BACK NEXT
46. Madison
Population: 222,428
Pros: Vibrant college town, educated workforce
Cons: Frigid winters, expensive housing and property taxes

Madison is strategically placed near Chicago, Milwaukee and the Twin Cities - but many workers stay within the bounds of the city. Major companies include financial services and healthcare providers such as American Family Insurance and Dean Health Systems. The University of Wisconsin's flagship campus provides a talented, educated labor pool for startups: Madison boasts an unusually high density of PhDs.

Entrepreneurs also benefit from tax incentives such as the Angel Investment and Venture Capital Tax Credit, which is available to investors in small tech companies. Although winters are chilly, Madison offers a humid, temperate climate with four distinct seasons. Amateur sportsmen enjoy 260 parks and 150 miles of bike trails, while the University of Wisconsin's athletic teams draw rabid fans from miles away. -Mina Kimes

Interactive map: Madison
Homes for sale Find homes for sale in Madison


NEXT: 47. Gainesville

Last updated July 02 2008: 11:16 AM ET
More Galleries
Commuting is getting easier. Here's why The MobiPrize, conducted by SMART at the University of Michigan, recognizes innovation in global transportation. From microcars to auto rickshaws, these six startups are some of the standouts. More
A sampling of beers being made with traditional Latin flavors A small but growing number of craft breweries are including passion fruit, Mexican cinnamon and other traditional Latin flavors. More
Banks won't lend? Use these guys instead Banks often have exhaustive approval processes, high minimums, and flawless credit requirements. But there's a wealth of non-bank alternatives for those who need capital fast. Here are some of the leaders. More

Special Offer
Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.