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Jeff Harbach Jeffrey Harbach

The Best Location for Your Startup Is Where Your Customers Are

Entrepreneur LogoThe following story was a guest column by Kauffman Fellows CEO Jeff Harbach in Entrepreneur.

What draws venture investor interest? Traction.

As an Austin, Texas-based venture capitalist, I know the importance of building your startup in proximity to your key market (and even better if it’s a place with great barbecue).

While there is a high concentration of funding in Silicon Valley, it’s certainly not a natural hub for many markets that are ripe for innovation: agribusiness, autos and health care, for example.

GrowthX Founder Andrew Goldner took some time during a recent Kauffman Fellows VC Reunion Summit to discuss the benefits of starting up in places outside of the Valley, such as Chicago or Chattanooga. Play the video above to learn more.


Jeff HarbachJeff Harbach (Class 16) is President and CEO of Kauffman Fellows. Jeff has been an entrepreneur and investor since 2002, and was Executive Director of the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), based out of Austin, TX, from 2011–2013, where he served his fellowship. He has led multiple startups, including two 7-Eleven stores, a luxury furniture store and interior design firm, and a private country club golf network. He was also an angel investor himself with the Vegas Valley Angels. Jeff holds a BS from Brigham Young University and an MBA from the University of Texas, Austin. jharbach@kfp.org