11 of 50
Charlottesville, VA
Charlottesville, VA
Adam Healey

I went to The McIntire School, University of Virginia's undergraduate business school. Then I spent a year on Wall Street and hated it. So at 25, I went to Prague and started a company building banking portals and customer-facing Web sites for big companies in central Europe. I ran it for five years. Then, to recover, I spent a year on Kohtao, an island in Thailand, learning to scuba dive.

I came back to Charlottesville because of The Batten Institute. There's access to some of the brightest minds in entrepreneurship at Batten.

My cofounder, Charles Seilheimer and I started Hotelicopter in the Batten Business Incubator. Because I'd lived in Prague, people used to ask me for hotel recommendations all the time. And finally I realized that there was a lack of high-quality information online. So we decided to combine good information with trusted recommendations from friends on Facebook.

Batten gave us some money -- about $20,000 -- and we had some of our own. We won the University of Virginia Business Plan competition.

Starting a business is hard, so you don't want to have unnecessary obstacles in your way. And you don't want to be stressing out about paying the rent. This is a nice, laid-back town with access to money and brainpower. -Elaine Appleton Grant

See complete data for Charlottesville, VA

NEXT: Clarksville, TN

Email | Print | Share  |  RSS
google my aol my msn my yahoo! netvibes
Paste this link into your favorite RSS desktop reader
See all CNNMoney.com RSS FEEDS (close)
LAST UPDATE: Oct 20 2009 | 9:39 AM ET
Best launch spots: See all 50 Growing economies, great workers, stable housing markets -- these metro areas have what entrepreneurs need to thrive. More
Tax havensWant to keep more of your profits? Check out these 5 states, where taxes are low -- and in some cases, nonexistent. More
5 deadly spots Every restaurateur knows about Cursed Locations. Here's a look at 4 trying to break the streak -- and one that failed. More