Riverside was recently ranked No. 19 on MSN Money’s list of the best cities to grow a business.

The list, “30 Cities Where Small Business Owners Are Thriving,” highlights places where entrepreneurs are thriving using GOBankingRates, a personal finance resource, which in turn uses data from the Kaufman Index to determine which city is providing the most promising environment for entrepreneurs. The study took into account the rate of new entrepreneurs, startup density, the cost of living, projected job growth for the area and a variety of other factors.

Riverside ranked ahead of big cities such as Atlanta, Sacramento, Orlando, Charlotte and Nashville. According to the list, Riverside has a startup density, the number of newly established employer businesses to the total employer business population (in 1,000s), is higher than more than half of the other cities on the list. Riverside has 92.4 startups for every 1,000 businesses. Riverside’s rate of new entrepreneurs is 0.36 percent of the adult population.

Riverside’s ranking is enhanced by ExCITE, a partnership between business leaders, UCR and the city and county of Riverside. This startup accelerator helps support new technology businesses through funding, professional resources, and access to lab space and specialized equipment.

According to their website, ExCITE’s mission is to facilitate the successful acceleration of startup companies engaged in entrepreneurial research and development of advanced technologies with the intent to create high-tech jobs in the county of Riverside. They attempt to do so through facilities, networks, mentorship, management and access to financial resources, in turn creating diversified high paying careers in Riverside County.

Riverside’s entrepreneurship could also potentially be linked to the Entrepreneurial Proof of Concept Center (EPIC) Small Business Development Center (SBDC), which is a UCR and Riverside County initiative. EPIC SBDC provides innovators and entrepreneurs with guidance on the development of their SBIR proposal, a program intended to help small businesses conduct research and development, and STTR proposal, a program that expands funding opportunities in the federal innovation research and development arenas. EPIC SBDC also assists innovators and entrepreneurs throughout the phases of the grant process.

UCR’s Office of Technology Partnerships has also been credited for Riverside’s ranking on MSN’s Money list. The Office of Technology Partnerships supports innovation and entrepreneurial activities on campus through EPIC and Create’R”Lab, which is an innovative learning environment in which students, faculty and researchers can experiment with tools and technologies that will allow them to deepen their knowledge and extend their research.

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