3. Omaha, Neb.

small biz cities omaha
Budding entrepreneurs at work at Omaha-based startup accelerator Straight Shot.

Omaha wants to spread its reputation as the "Silicon Prairie."

Start-up costs and the cost of living are lower in Omaha compared to other large U.S. cities.

"On top of that, there's great institutional support for entrepreneurs," said David Arnold, managing director of Straight Shot, a two-year-old accelerator that caters to tech and ecommerce startups.

Additionally, the Omaha Small Business Network supports entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods that lack working capital. Last year, it lent over $350,000, according to Executive Director Julia Parker.

The presence of Fortune 500 companies like ConAgra (CAG), Berkshire Hathaway (BRKA) and Union Pacific Railroad has also created a robust network of mentors, according to Arnold.

"And many top talents at these companies are jumping ship and starting their own companies," he added.

First published July 9, 2014: 2:39 PM ET

Partner Offers

Most Popular