Congrats to Our 2013 Inc. 500 Winners… and a Longer View

August 27, 2013 at 1:23 PM

Last week, Inc. magazine released its annual ranking of the fastest growing U.S. private companies. The five Charlotte USA companies listed below are in industries that are representative of the region’s economy. Congratulations to these fast-moving entrepreneurs!




3-year Rev. Growth



Rapier Solutions

IT Services

Matthews NC




The Brixton Group

IT Services

Waxhaw NC




Titan Electric Company






Movement Mortgage

Financial Services





In-Flight Crew Connections

Travel & Hospitality





Source: Inc. Top 5000 website, 8/22/2013

It is worth noting that two of our region’s Inc. 500 companies were founded in the economic recession of 2008 and 2009. Entrepreneurial history includes many similar stories of very successful firms founded when the economy was at its weakest. It is a reminder that insightful entrepreneurs find opportunities when they are not visible to most of us.

At Ventureprise, we view the annual Inc. rankings as one part of the region’s entrepreneurial report card.  Although the rankings miss some relevant companies and focus solely on revenue growth, they allow us to compare our high growth venture performance.

The United States averaged 1.6 “top 500” companies per million people per year during 2011-2013. Charlotte USA (16 counties) and the Carolinas in total each averaged 1.2. Our two states produce considerably fewer of the fastest growing companies than the average American location. And the same conclusion is true for the Charlotte area.

The good news is that Charlotte and the Carolinas are doing much better now than we did a decade ago. In 2000-2004, Charlotte USA produced “top 500” companies at a population adjusted rate that was only 47% of the national average. Charlotte’s rate compared to the total U.S. improved to 82% in 2005-2007 and 94% in 2008-2010. The most recent Charlotte result (2011-2013) of 1.2 “top 500” companies per million people is 77% of the national average.

But, we need to do better. The fast-growing companies are tremendous generators of wealth and jobs. Our five 2013 Top 500 companies are excellent examples of that success.

Although we lag in “top 500” creation, there is good news when we expand our thinking to the Inc. Top 5000. Check back next week for the rest of the story in Ventureprise Vibe!

-        Paul Wetenhall

Paul Wetenhall has served as president of Ventureprise, Inc. since returning to the Carolinas in 2008. He has been involved in every aspect of entrepreneurship and innovation since leaving a corporate career in the 1980s to co-found a software venture that commercialized technology from Xerox PARC. His perspective includes experiences as CEO, corporate director (public, private, and non-profit), entrepreneur coach, university lecturer, and leader of efforts to build regional entrepreneurial ecosystems.

Tags: entrepreneur high growth Inc. 500
Category: Live Blog

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