Best Cities 2010: Austin, Texas

Our number-one Best City for the Next Decade is a hotbed for small business -- and music.

Everything may be bigger in Texas, but Austin’s genius is nurturing the power of small. Just ask Rob Neville, who wants to develop his biotech firm, Savara Pharmaceuticals, into a major player in the field of inhaled-drug therapy. The firm started in Kansas, but Neville transplanted it to Austin because the city is arguably the country’s best crucible for small business.

Neville, a native of South Africa, has rooted his company in a city with, he says, “a huge angel-financing network, billionaires who will freely offer you advice,” plus a culture that “attracts the best and brightest, who will work for less just to be in Austin.” Savara is based in the city’s renowned Austin Technology Incubator. Austin Technology is a joint project of the University of Texas, which is a research powerhouse, the city of Austin and the business community -- just one example of the collaboration that characterizes the city.

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Bob Frick
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance