Fast Company, the world's leading progressive business media brand, named Florida the No. 1 state for innovation in its May 2013 magazine.
In a story titled "A Sunny Outcome: Why Florida's Startups Are Soaring High," Fast Company cited some of the state's lofty superlatives, including the nation's second-highest rate of new business production, a high ranking on Fundable's (a leading crowdfunding platform) venture capital rankings, and the No. 3 ranking for annual revenue per startup, with $1.2 million.
Governor Rick Scott said, "One of my top priorities since taking office has been to get Florida back to work by creating the most favorable business climate in the nation. As I announced just last week, our unemployment rate is the lowest it's been since October 2008 and we've created more than 320,000 private-sector jobs since January 2011. Our efforts are working and it's very rewarding to see an industry-leading publication like Fast Company give us this recognition."
"This acknowledgement solidifies that Florida truly has the perfect climate for business," said Secretary of Commerce Gray Swoope, who also serves as president and CEO of Enterprise Florida. "When a leading publication like Fast Company takes notice, you know there are great things happening here. The state continues to be strong in sectors like tourism, trade and aviation/aerospace, and now we know Florida is the best state in the nation for startups. It's an exciting time to be doing business in Florida."
"Florida's job growth rate in March outpaced the nation both over the month and over the year, proving that Governor Scott has put in place the right policies to dig us out of the recession and help the economy grow," said DEO Executive Director Jesse Panuccio. "This recognition by Fast Company further solidifies that Florida is the world's best place to live, learn, play, work, and do business."
The article added that Florida's long-standing tourism industry has helped to spawn hospitality IT startups in South Florida and there is an increase in medical innovation in Central Florida. Additionally, collaboration among startups has increased via community events and Florida has a renewed focus on attracting investors to the state.
Fast Company's acknowledgment is the latest in a recent string of recognition for the state's startup sector. Earlier this month the National Business Incubation Association (NBIA) named the University of Florida's Sid Martin Biotechnology Incubator the 2013 Incubator of the Year and the University of Central Florida Business Incubation Program the 2013 Incubator Network of the Year. Business incubation is a business support process that accelerates the successful development of startup and fledgling companies by providing entrepreneurs with an array of targeted resources and services.