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Silicon Valley, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle, Austin and more have well-established and booming startup scenes complete with big companies and investors to impress. But all of those cities have another thing in common. They are pricey and the competition is steep.

Many founders are looking for the next up and coming startup scene–a chance to have similar access to investors and large companies but also stay lean. And Charleston SC is 5th on the list of best cities to start a business! 

Consistently ranked one of the best cities in the world, Charleston is home to 250+ tech companies and its digital economy ranks highly: 11th in the nation for high-tech industry output and the fastest-growing mid-sized metro for IT.

Charleston was also just ranked on TechNet’s “Next in Tech” metro startup economy index. Plus, the Charleston metro ranked 12th in the nation for first funding rounds by deal concentration per capita in 2014.

Charleston attracts 35 new people each day (12,700 net new people each year), two-thirds of which are 18-44 years old and highly educated. Many of the tech professionals behind Charleston’s top companies hail from places like New York or Atlanta and cite Charleston’s unbeatable lifestyle and collaborative tech community as reasons why they chose to relocate.(Credit: Charleston Regional Development Alliance & INC.)