Florida Is Number 1 State for Innovation and Entrepreneurship According to Survey. California Dropped Out of the Top 10

Toby Hazlewood

Innovation relies upon freedom

On July 13, the latest results of the Draper Hero Index were revealed, and they show that Florida has taken the number 1 spot of all states in the USA for innovation and entrepreneurship.

Since January when the last results were published, Florida has moved up from position number 2 and California - in spite of its culture and history of technology innovation - has dropped from the top 10 entirely.

Freedom affects innovation

In compiling the ranking, the index looked at were how well the states supported entrepreneurs and small businesses as well as whether the states offered environments that were supportive to innovation from social perspectives and in regard to taxation.

Commenting on the ranking, founder of the Draper Hero Institute, Tim Draper had this to say:

"While the real estate mantra is 'location, location, location,' the innovation mantra is 'trust, trust, trust,' where states with the most freedom and human trust allow for the most innovation, and those with the strictest regulations smother innovation. Regulation kills innovation, while trust allows innovation to flourish."

It starts to become clear why Florida scores so highly - the freedoms granted to Floridians in how they want to live their lives is part of the appeal of the state. It helps to explain why Florida experienced population growth of over 200,000 people in 2021 while states like California saw their population decline by at least 100,000.

Companies keep moving to Florida

That population growth is largely organic too - fueled by Americans seeing Florida as a state of opportunity. In May of this year, Governor Ron DeSantis went as far as to say that “importing some tech company from San Francisco (is) not high on our list” in reference to the idea that Twitter may permanently move its corporate headquarters to Florida.

Even then, Florida has seen a number of examples recently where established corporations are moving to the state, drawn by opportunity and the lack of restrictions and regulations compared to other states. Israeli airline El Al recently announced that it would be moving its U.S. headquarters to Florida from New York, and global sea freight carrier also recently decided to start shipping from East Asia to Florida instead of California.

Florida consistently scored as 'innovative'

The Draper Innovation Index is just one such ranking of course, but it is the only one that uses data from Dun and Bradstreet - the leading provider of location-based business data and analytical tools. Other rankings - such as that compiled by personal finance website WalletHub - use various other metrics, including the share of Science, Technology, Engineering and Math related jobs, share of technology companies within the state and Research and Development spend per capita.

It's important to note that Florida still scores consistently highly, coming out in position 17 out of 50 in WalletHub's 2022 ranking of innovative states.

The more that Florida is recognized for supporting innovation and entrepreneurship, the more it seems likely that the state's growth and importance will continue.

Do you feel like Florida is a place of innovation and supportive of those who want to create new businesses? How much do you value the freedoms granted to you within the sunshine state? Let me know in the comments section below.

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