Cities can inspire. From the people you meet to the environment of the area, the atmosphere of a city can help breathe life into projects and ideas.

So what is it about a city that can help business leaders innovate or explore ideas? To find out, we asked members of Young Entrepreneur Council what inspires them about the cities where their businesses are located and how these characteristics have influenced their organizations.

1. The Energy

I have a love-hate relationship with NYC. I hate it because it’s so crowded and congested. I love it because the energy is unreal. Everyone is hustling. Everyone has a second job and is striving for more than just an ordinary life. I look up at the large buildings towering over me and think about the people who invested and risked it all to build them and the companies that housed them. – Jimmy Douloumbakas, Open Sky Group

2. Connectedness

My city, having a population of over 123,000, is so closely-knit. Aside from several annual festivals, art shows, and business networking events, Columbia, Missouri, is also home to many entrepreneurs and small businesses. It’s constantly growing, and our company is growing with it. The overwhelming support of the connections here has had such an impact on the growth of our business. – John Hall, Calendar.com

3. Sharing and Collaboration

Having grown up on the East Coast and starting my career there, a major difference between East and West is how people handle competition. In Seattle, nobody worries about people “stealing your ideas.” It’s a place of sharing, learning from each other, and working to better your business, whether in a competitive space or not. It’s how Silicon Valley and Seattle grew so quickly in the last 15 years. – Kerry Guard, MKG Marketing

4. Walkability

San Francisco may be filled with hills so steep they are almost completely vertical, but being able to walk from one side of the city to the other has greatly impacted me and my business. Getting out on foot has allowed me to interact with people from all walks of life. Being surrounded by such incredible diversity is a huge inspiration, opening my mind to brand new ideas. – Rana Gujral, Behavioral Signals

5. The Diversity

I love that Chicago is such a diverse and vibrant city. Chicagoans have always been forward-looking and optimistic. Today, that manifests in a booming tech economy with a character all of its own. It’s a wonderful place to build a business, find passionate and skilled employees, and work with amazing and creative clients. – Chris Madden, Matchnode

6. Multiculturalism

Growing up in a border city like El Paso-Juarez has been an amazing experience. This bicultural business region has allowed me to learn five languages, do business in multiple countries, and even become a partner at Deloitte. I am now a partner at GTIF Capital and we’ve invested in El Paso’s largest coworking spaces and started an esports collegiate league, NACL — all inspired by the region. – David Chen, GTIF Capital

7. The Street That Never Sleeps

The nights in Buenos Aires are characterized by their lights always on and people constantly working on their own projects and dreams, and this is contagious. On Corrientes Avenue, known as “the street that never sleeps,” you can see the main theaters where the most outstanding artists of Argentina have passed through, from great inspiration to success and recognition. – Kevin Leyes, Team Leyes

8. Entrepreneurship

Los Angeles is inspiring because of the number of entrepreneurs trying to make things happen. This city has a vibe to it that not many others have, and it actually is inspirational. It inspires me because there are so many others out there trying to be successful just like me. LA inspires me to be the best entrepreneur that this city has to offer. – Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

9. The Ocean

I️ live in Huntington Beach, California. Being in a destination city close to the beach always makes me grateful for where I️ live. The ocean is always a good reminder to stay calm and centered in my personal, as well as business, life. – Warren Jolly, adQuadrant


10. Tech Hub

Kansas City is quickly becoming known as a tech hub for business. With early fiber coverage and the offer of tax incentives, Kansas City’s City Council was proactive in making it easier for tech businesses to locate here. Now, our data center has access to all the resources that are needed to succeed. – Joe Morgan, Joe’s Datacenter, LLC

11. Digital Nomad Scene

Chiang Mai is a beautiful city in northern Thailand that offers a very high quality of living, amazing food, and plenty to do. It is also the heart of the digital nomad scene. Every week, there will be meetups around every aspect of online marketing and entrepreneurship. This melting pot of talent and successful business people has provided the perfect environment for my businesses to flourish. – Matt Diggity, Diggity Marketing

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