The joke is that when people come to Vermont on vacation, they don't want to leave. According to state legend, iconic IBM chief Tom Watson Jr. opened up a plant here because he loved skiing so much.
Today, IBM is one of the biggest employers in Vermont. Other notable companies include General Electric and Ben & Jerry's.
Smaller biotech, bioscience, environmental engineering and other tech companies are drawn to Vermont's vibrant venture capital network and state funding for startups. If Vermont has a downside, it's the high rates for individual income and businesses taxes.
Many innovative firms get their start in incubators based at the state's top-notch schools, like the University of Vermont's Fletcher Allen Medical School. Such academic powerhouses also help produce a highly skilled workforce for entrepreneurs to hire.
And when they need to take a break from business, entrepreneurs can let off steam at the the state's beautiful parks and hiking trails.
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.
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