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Out-Of-Towners

You can start a business anywhere. Just make sure you know what you're getting into when you go there.

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This story appears in the March 2000 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

The heady economy and Internet speed of the new millennium are giving rise to the belief that you can start a high-tech company in a low-tech farmland; start a hot catalog house in cool and remote Maine; or launch a global cable television network far from the canyons of New York City or Los Angeles. In fact, it's been done more than once (see "Hall of Fame," on page 180C). But if you hope to succeed at launching your business in an unlikely place, be prepared to scale obstacles--and don't try to go it alone.

"If you take the broadest examples of entrepreneurship, you can start a business anywhere," says Andrew Zacharakis, professor of entrepreneurship at Babson College in Wellesley, Massachusetts. "Landscaping, housecleaning and restaurants are all businesses you can start practically wherever you choose. But most specialized businesses are more likely to succeed in places where there's infrastructure to support them." He points out that Gateway Computers is a great example because the company started in a Midwestern cow pasture.

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