Congrats to Our 2014 Inc. 500 Winners…and a Longer View

August 21, 2014 at 2:11 PM

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

Company

Industry

City

3-yr. Rev. Growth

Employees

Founded

Boxman Studios

Business Products & Services

Charlotte

3074%

43

2009

PresPro

Construction

Harrisburg

2012%

155

2009

Cloudbilt

Software

Charlotte

1995%

30

2009

Titan Electric Company

Construction

Charlotte

1201%

90

2009

Rapier Solutions

IT Services

Matthews

1163%

61

2002

In-Flight Crew Connections

Travel & Hospitality

Charlotte

1065%

450

2002

T1 Visions

Software

Charlotte

1043%

30

2008

Source: Inc. Top 5000 website, 8/20/2014

In-Flight Crew Connections, Rapier Solutions, and Titan Electric Company are especially impressive since they were on last year’s list.

The Charlotte region’s seven Inc. 500 companies exceeds last year’s five companies outcome and is tied with 2007 as our strongest year since 2000. Charlotte dominated the Carolinas’ fast-growing company scene. The Research Triangle and Charleston each produced three Inc. 500 companies while the Triad and Wilmington contributed one each.

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 2010-2014. Charlotte USA (16 counties) with 1.56 companies was essentially average. The Carolinas, with 1.2 companies per million, is considerably below the U.S. average.

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.

But, we need to do better. The fast-growing companies are tremendous generators of wealth and jobs. This year’s seven Top 500 companies are excellent examples of that success.

At Ventureprise, we are especially pleased to recognize T1 Visions which qualifies as #456 this year. Founder Michael Feldman is a former UNC Charlotte engineering professor. His previous innovation-driven venture, Digital Optics, grew rapidly during its years at our Ben Craig Center incubator and was acquired in 2006 for about $60 million. Congratulations to Mike and his team! We look forward to more Charlotte serial entrepreneur successes following his example.

There is much more that we can learn from the Inc. 5000 list (which includes Ventureprise PORTAL anchor tenant C5 Insight). Check back next week for the rest of the story.

To view the complete list, visit www.inc.com/inc5000

-          Paul Wetenhall



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