By touting its business-friendly environment, Florida has become a magnet for technology startups and other small businesses. The best example is Space Exploration Technologies, better known as SpaceX, which recently launched the first private delivery capsule to the International Space Station.
As the U.S. phases out its national space shuttle program, Florida's done some quick thinking to keep the space coast alive by inviting private companies to utilize its existing infrastructure and skilled talent.
And the push goes beyond the space coast. Medical device manufacturers are springing up in Fort Lauderdale. Robotic device makers catering to aerospace and defense companies are expanding around the state.
Small businesses now make up 75% of the state's gross domestic product. One of every five domestic exporters is based in Florida.
To boost its competitiveness, Florida has reduced regulations and business taxes. There's also no personal income tax. Coming soon is a one-stop shop state online portal where entrepreneurs can access all the information they need to start a business.
One drag is high unemployment in the state. Then again, that means a bigger labor pool for small employers.
Opening up a small business in a tough economy is a risky gamble. But these ten states saw more startup activity than anywhere else nationwide. Here's why.