Tough for me not to jump on the bandwagon when I see an article on the benefits of launching a startup in a small city.
Here is a most recent example from Inc. I agree with all 8 items listed, and I think Ithaca has 7 of the 8. Ithaca has centers of excellence (primarily at Cornell and now also at Coltivare; we have REV; we have good business locations to rent (with more being built); we have a really smart available workforce due primarily to Cornell, Ithaca College and TC3; companies clearly make a big splash when they are successful or exit; we have a very well connected startup community thanks to many events and eship-oriented groups; and Ithaca does allow for plenty of “focus” time. In my view, however, we could use more executive talent (so, all you seasoned execs, feel free to move here!).
In addition, one item not listed explicitly that I think should be on any list is that small cities are fabulous places to live and raise families. Easier, cheaper, “kids camp for everything”, great outdoor attractions, no traffic, 5 minute commutes, etc.
In short, Ithaca rocks for startups (and do many other small cities, but I am a little biased!).