Home to Virginia Tech, the state's largest university, Blacksburg boasts a large pool of talented graduates. Many of them stick around to launch or work at tech companies based in the university's fast growing Corporate Research Center
(CRC), a 120-acre research park and incubator. With 130 private companies in occupancy, ranging from corporations such as Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) to tiny startups, the CRC covers technologies from computer hardware to pharmaceuticals. Business and financial support in the area comes from the CRC itself, as well as the Virginia Active Angel Network
, and from national investment funds with which the Virginia Tech Foundation has established relationships. NEXT: Bethlehem, Pa.