You’ll never guess the US cities where startups are growing fastest today

While San Jose and Boston are well-known startup hubs, a few southern and Midwestern cities made their way onto this year’s list.

After a slump amid the Great Recession, more and more startups are emerging and entrepreneurship has been on the rise since 2011. From creating jobs to boosting the economy, with this rise comes a number of benefits. People often associate entrepreneurs and startups with Silicon Valley, if not New York City or Boston, because a disproportionate share of venture capital investments flow to startups based in those cities. However, other metropolitan areas have been experiencing some under-the-radar growth.

Over the past year, 26 metropolitan areas across the country experienced a boost in growing startups, and the areas that saw the most substantial growth were Atlanta, Indianapolis and Portland, according to the Kauffman Foundation’s recently released its 2017 Index of Growth Entrepreneurship. The findings reveal not only how entrepreneurship is growing across the U.S., but where.

To rank the cities, the researchers took three factors into account: startup growth rate, share of scale-ups and high-growth company density. Both startup growth rate and share of scale-ups are employment-based measurements, and share of scaleups refers to companies that grew to 50 employees or more in less than 10 years of operation. High-growth company density, which is the only revenue-based measure of the study, looks at the proportion of “high-growth” companies — private companies that have at least $2 million in revenue and a minimum 20 percent growth over a three-year period — in a certain area.

So, wonder which cities have been bustling in the startup scene? Look no further. Here are the top 10 cities with the most entrepreneurial activity, according to this year’s Kauffman Index of Growth Entrepreneurship.

1. Washington, DC

Washington, DC, has the best cumulative score across startup growth rate, share of scale-ups and high-growth company density. Compared to the other 39 largest U.S. cities, the D.C. area has the highest density of high-growth companies. In other words, it’s the area with the largest proportion of businesses that earn more than $2 million in annual revenue and have seen 20 percent revenue growth over the past three years. In a recent survey of startups in D.C., 217 respondents said they planned to hire more than 1,000 people collectively in 2017.

2. Austin

Coming in second is the southern city of Austin. However, this is not very surprising, because Austin is recognized for being an entrepreneurial hub and also came in second place in last year’s Kauffman Index. The number of employees at an Austin company grows an average of 85 percent in the company’s first five years of operation. Austin also has the second-highest density of high-growth companies.

3. Columbus

Moving up a slot from last year, Columbus, Ohio, takes the bronze for the most entrepreneurial activity, according to the index. That’s largely because startups grow an average of 96 percent in their first five years, in terms of employment. While it’s not a usual suspect when it comes to the startup scene, Columbus has the highest share of scale-ups of any city, at 2.5 percent. That means that around 25 out of every 1,000 Columbus firms founded in the past 10 years have scaled to at least 50 or more employees since they launched.

4. Nashville

Music isn’t the only thing Nashville should be famous for. Turns out, it’s also a bustling startup city. Moving up a rank since last year, the southern city has a 95.6 percent startup growth rate: The number of employees at a Nashville company grows an average of 95.6 percent in the company’s first five years. That’s on top of a 2.09 percent share of scale-ups, meaning about 209 of every 10,000 businesses in this area grows to 50 employees within its first decade.

5. Atlanta

Yet another southern city to make it into the index’s top 10 is Atlanta. In fact, just in the past year, Atlanta has seen major entrepreneurial action, moving up a whopping 10 slots from 2016, when it ranked 15th. That’s because employment at Atlanta new companies grows by an average of 112.6 percent in their first five years. The city also has a fairly large high-growth company density at 191.4 — that’s the number of companies out of 100,000 with annual revenues more than $2 million (and growing by 20 percent over a three-year period).

6. San Jose

Not a shocker, but important to note: San Jose is number six on this year’s list of the top 10 cities, moving down three slots since last year. While there’s still plenty going on in this area in terms of startups and venture capital investment, the city may have seen a drop because of a relatively low high-growth company density of 94.4 (out of 100,000). Its proportion of fast-growing companies with annual revenues of at least $2 million was lower than many other cities on the list.

7. San Francisco

Another not-so-shocking Bay Area addition to the list is San Francisco. This metropolitan area (which includes Oakland and Fremont, Calif.) saw the largest proportion of venture capital-backed business exits over the past year compared to other major cities, meaning there are a large number of what Kauffman identifies as “growth companies” in San Francisco and the East Bay. According to the study, venture exits include IPOs, acquisitions and buyouts. Meanwhile, the area has the fourth-highest rate of startup growth, with an average employment growth rate of 106.9 percent within a startup’s first five years.

8. Boston

Basically the Silicon Valley of the East Coast, Boston has also long been recognized as a very entrepreneurial city. That’s why it’s no surprise that it made the cut for this year’s top 10. Although it’s moved down two spots since 2016, Boston ranks fourth in terms of cities with the highest density of venture capital-backed business exits. Major companies that got their start in the city of Boston include Liberty Mutual, Marshalls, Samuel Adams and Timberland, to name a few.

9. Minneapolis

Shuffling from 16th place last year to ninth place this year, Minneapolis has the highest rate of startup growth of any major U.S. city, with an average employment growth rate of 121.3 percent within a startup’s first five years. The city is also home to the University of Minnesota, whose venture program has helped launched more than 100 companies in the past decade (82 percent of which are still in business), and last year alone helped give life to 17 new businesses.

10. Indianapolis

Also seeing a big improvement since 2016, Indianapolis moved up 10 places from 20th to 10th on the Kauffman list over the past year. Especially when it comes to tech, Indiana is seeing some major activity. According to a recent report by PwC, in 2016 alone, the state saw a total of 23 deals with a combined total of $51.5 million in fundraising just by new technology companies. When you extend beyond just tech, these numbers are even larger. Plus, according to Kauffman, about 220 of every 10,000 businesses in Indianapolis grows to 50 employees within its first decade.

Venezuelan authorities arrest six top executives from US-based oil company

Venezuelan authorities have arrested six executives from a US-based oil refiner, the country’s chief prosecutor has revealed.

Reports said authorities arrested Jose Pereira, the acting president of Citgo, a US-based and Venezuelan-owned refinery, during an event at state oil company PDVSA’s headquarters in Caracas. Five other executives from the company were also detained.

Reuters said prosecutor Tarek Saab said he was leading a crusade against “organized crime” within PDVSA. Since taking office in August, he has arrested around 50 oil managers in the widening corruption investigation, the news agency said.

Mr Pereira was promoted in April as interim president of Citgo, the US refining and marketing unit of the nation’s state oil company PDVSA.

Citgo owns three refineries and a network of terminals and pipelines in the United States.

He was previously Citgo’s vice president of finance. He replaced Nelson Martinez, who was named as Venezuela’s oil minister in January.

The news agency said that in the case of the Citgo arrests, Mr Saab said his office had uncovered a $4bn planned deal with foreign firms that would have seen Citgo “unfairly” indebt itself and even be offered as guarantee for the loan.

“This board of directors put Citgo in danger. That’s corruption, corruption of the most rotten nature,” Mr Saab said in a statement.

Citgo did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

President Nicolas Maduro’s government and PDVSA, which is formally known as Petroleos de Venezuela SA, have repeatedly vowed to take steps to combat corruption.

Yet opposition leaders say PDVSA has been crippled by poor management, corruption and under-investment during 18 years of socialist rule. They attribute the arrests to in-fighting among rival government factions.

Technology and Healthcare boost stocks

The market’s biggest winners this year, technology and healthcare, powered U.S. stock indexes to more all-time highs on Tuesday.

Huge technology companies like Apple and Facebook continued their ascent, while strong reports from companies including medical device maker Medtronic and construction and technical services company Jacobs Engineering helped healthcare and industrial companies, respectively.

Basic materials companies, which have done better than the rest of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, also rose. Telecommunications companies declined, while energy companies and banks didn’t do as well as the rest of the market.

Apple, Facebook, Alphabet, Microsoft and Amazon, the five most valuable companies on the stock market, all rose more than 1 percent, and they’ve all had a very strong year. JJ Kinahan, chief market strategist at TD Ameritrade, said that’s not about to stop.

“They’re seeing better earnings, better sales, better growth,” he said. “It’s difficult to argue with that.”

The S&P 500 index climbed 16.89 points, or 0.7 percent, to 2,599.03. The Dow Jones industrial average gained 160.50 points, or 0.7 percent, to 23,590.83. The Nasdaq composite added 71.76 points, or 1.1 percent, to 6,862.48.

The Russell 2000 index of smaller-company stocks rose for a fourth day and picked up 15.49 points, or 1 percent, to 1,518.89. All four indexes set records. The Russell had struggled in recent weeks, but on Tuesday it beat its record close from early October.

Big-name technology companies led the way overall. Apple rose $3.16, or 1.9 percent, to $173.14 and Facebook added $3.12, or 1.7 percent, to $181.86. Health care companies climbed as well. Those two sectors are the best-performing parts of the market this year.

Homebuilders climbed after the National Association of Realtors said sales of homes grew in October. They’re down slightly from last year because there are so few houses on the market, but the tight supply and rising prices have sent homebuilder stocks soaring this year. On Tuesday, NVR advanced $59.69, or 1.8 percent, to $3,377, while D.R. Horton gained $1.15, or 2.4 percent, to $49.35.

Along with those reports, investors were cheered by projections from Goldman Sachs analyst David Kostin, who forecast that the S&P 500 will rise 14 percent in 2018 if corporate taxes are cut.

Budget aim to help UK ‘seize opportunities’ from Brexit

The UK must “seize the opportunities” from Brexit while tackling deep-seated economic challenges “head on”, Philip Hammond is to say in his second Budget.

The chancellor will promise investment to make Britain “fit for the future” as an “outward looking, free-trading nation” once it leaves the EU in 2019.

But he will also commit to supporting hard-pressed families with the cost of living and address housing shortages.

Labour say he should call time on austerity and boost public services.

In his Commons speech, which will begin at about 12:30 GMT, Mr Hammond will set out proposed tax and spending changes.

He will also update MPs on the current state of the economy, future growth projections and the health of the public finances.

He has been under pressure in recent months from sections of his party who argue that he is too pessimistic about the UK’s prospects when it leaves the EU.

In response, he will set out his vision for the UK after Brexit as a “prosperous and inclusive economy” which harnesses the power of technological change and innovation to be a “force for good in the world”.

Unlike past years, few announcements have been briefed out in advance of the big day.

But the chancellor is expected to announce more money for teacher training in England and extra cash to boost the numbers of students taking maths after the age of 16.

He has signalled he wants to speed up permitted housing developments and give more help to small builders.

In a nod to younger voters, discounted rail cards will be extended.

An extra £2.3bn for research and development and £1.7bn for transport links are designed to address the UK’s lagging productivity.

Extra money is also expected to be found for new charge points for electric cars and for the next generation of 5G mobile networks.

Expect the theme of innovation to ring through the speech, with Mr Hammond hailing the UK as being “at the forefront of a technological revolution”.

The image Mr Hammond has cultivated as a safe, unflashy pair of hands in uncertain times – hence his ironic “box office Phil” nickname – was dented in the March Budget when he had to backtrack on plans to hike National Insurance for the self-employed.

Asked on Sunday whether this would be a bold or boring Budget, he settled for describing it as “balanced”.

While some Tory MPs would prefer a safety-first approach with no controversy, others want him to turbo-charge efforts to prepare the UK for life after Brexit.

Most hope he will begin to address issues perceived to have hurt the Tories at the election, such as the financial pressures on public sector workers and young people.

In remarks released ahead of the speech, Mr Hammond strikes an upbeat tone, saying he will use the Budget to “look forwards, embrace change, meet our challenges head on and seize the opportunities for Britain”.

Yes, that’s the way it’s been for the last twenty years. The last one was in March and normally there wouldn’t be another one until Spring 2018.

But Mr Hammond thinks late autumn is a more suitable time for tax and spending changes to be announced and scrutinised before the start of the tax year in April. So from now on, Budgets will take place in November.

But aside from the timing, the choreography of Budget day will remain the same.

Mr Hammond will be photographed in Downing Street holding the famous red ministerial box – used to carry the statement – aloft before making the short journey to the Commons.

While tradition dictates he can take a swig of his chosen tipple during his speech, Mr Hammond is expected to eschew anything too strong and confine himself to water during what is normally an hour-long statement.

Quite a lot. In the last nine months, the UK has triggered Brexit and begun negotiations on the terms of its departure from the EU.

Economic conditions have changed too, although there is fierce debate about how much of this is attributable to uncertainty and negativity over Brexit.

Inflation has risen to 3%, its highest level in five years, while growth has faltered a little.

However, borrowing levels are at a 10-year low, giving Mr Hammond more flexibility, while employment remains at record levels.

The political backdrop has also changed enormously.

The loss of their majority in June’s election sparked fresh Brexit infighting within the Conservatives.

The government has the backing of the DUP, but Mr Hammond – who is distrusted by many on the right of the party – does not have unlimited political capital in the bank.

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World’s youngest self-made billionaire is 27-years-old and hails from Ireland

At 27, John Collison is the world’s youngest self-made billionaire. It’s rumoured to be lonely at the top but luckily Collison has his 29-year-old brother, Patrick – who also counts his wealth in ten digits – to keep him company.

The two brothers from a small village in rural Ireland founded Stripe, a company which runs the software behind more than 100,000 businesses. It handles online payments as well as providing a host of other services that help make it simple for firms to run their websites.

Many people may not have heard of Stripe but it counts Tesla’s Elon Musk and PayPal founder Peter Thiel as investors. A funding round last year valued Stripe at over $9bn ($7bn), meaning the Collison brothers each have a stake worth at least $1.1bn, according to Forbes magazine.

Despite this huge success, a recent interview with the BBC suggests John and Patrick remain down to earth.

Asked about experiencing vast wealth at such a young age, John said: “People now ask this a lot and I feel like they always want some really interesting answer – and I have nothing for them.”

“People ask ‘how has your life changed?’, and they want me to have taken up some elaborate new hobby, like Faberge egg collecting or yacht racing.”

Wealth is not new to the precocious pair. They both made their first million before they even went to university, thanks to another startup which helped companies make the most out of eBay.

John went to Harvard and Patrick attended the equally prestigious Massachusetts Institute for Technology (MIT) but both dropped out in 2011, to focus on using their coding skills to build Stripe.

“You might wonder what is hard about starting an [online] business,” John told the BBC.

“Creating a product that people actually want to buy, and getting them to hear about it, all that we could handle. But getting money from people over the internet was extremely difficult.

”I remember saying to Patrick ‘how hard can it be? Maybe we should give it a try?’.“

There are numerous companies trying to help other firms process online payments but Stripe has managed to grow rapidly, priding itself on a simple business model and simple code.

In the UK it charges 1.4 per cent of the value of each transaction plus 20p, and firms can be up and running in a couple of minutes because Stripe “eliminates needless complexity and extraneous details”, according to its website.

Surpassing the billion-dollar mark doesn’t seem to have slowed the brothers’ ambitions. They point out that 5 per cent of consumer spending around the world is currently online.

”We are indexed to the growth of the internet economy. As long as the internet economy continues to grow, Stripe will continue to grow,” John told the BBC.

“I don’t know about you, but I think that is a very safe thing to bet on.”