Crystal Scott, owner of The Java Express in Downtown St. Paul's Union Depot. Photo:

St. Paul, along with Madison, Wis. and Plano, Texas, are the best three “untapped cities” in the United States for startup businesses, according to a survey by Fundera, the small-business adviser.

Startup culture is centered in a few regions in the country. 

The Silicon Valley Bay Area accounts for 45% of total venture capital investment in the U.S. Throw in other startup hubs, such as New York, Boston and Seattle, and that covers nearly three-quarters of the country’s venture capital investment. 

Many experts have called out so-called “second tier” startup cities, such as Portland, Ore., and Austin, Texas, but even those regions are now becoming costly and saturated for would-be entrepreneurs.

Fundera gathered data on 50 midsize cities with a population of less than 500,000.

It measured each city’s labor pool, average labor cost, office space cost, average cost of living, and proximity to a larger startup system.

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