Nine Charlottesville-area companies recently were named to the Inc. 5,000 list, an annual ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing businesses.
Originally Published September 11, 2014 in The Charlottesville Daily Progress, by Nate Delesline III, Staff Writer.
Among the local companies, GovSmart had the highest spot on the list, ranked at No. 102 with a 3,532 percent growth rate over three years, $25.4 million in revenue and 12 employees. GovSmart provides information technology products and services such as hardware, software and sales support and consulting to the federal government and contractors.
“The manufacturers and teaming partners that we work with can feel the synergy immediately when working with us,” Brent Lillard, GovSmart’s CEO, said in an email. “Our atmosphere is more inviting than most because we really care about the relationships that we are forming. This company means the world to us and everyone here feels a strong sense of ownership in our accomplishments.”
WillowTree Apps was next, ranked at No. 454 with 1,048 percent growth, $8.2 million in revenue and 70 employees. CEO Tobias Dengel cited several factors that are sustaining the company’s growth.
“There’s a lot of [growth] factors that are both external to us and internal,” Dengel said. By next year, Dengel said, people who are 25 years old or younger are expected to watch more content on smartphones and mobile devices than they will on TV.
“That change is just incredibly fast and a really big deal for a lot of industries,” said Dengel, who added that business environments also have become part of the growth mix by shifting tasks that previously were handled on paper or on laptops to app-based interfaces.
Inc. magazine ranked SHINE Systems & Technologies at No. 501, with 942 percent growth, $13.1 million in revenue and 54 employees.
“We are thrilled to be included at 501 on the Inc. 5,000 again this year, while also coming in 29th nationally for government services,” SHINE President Jeff Thomas said in a statement. “Since 2013 when we ranked 307, SHINE Systems has continued to experience rapid growth with last year seeing our highest revenues since our founding in 2007 at over $13 million.”
Co-construct, a Crozet-based company that provides a web and mobile application for custom home builders, came in at No. 515 with 912 percent growth, $2.1 million in revenue and 16 employees.
“It was rough at the time, but it was a blessing that we started right before the housing crash,” Donny Wyatt, Co-construct’s founder, said in an email. “We used those lean years to build out our system, so when the market came back, we had a fully developed product that was ready as builders once again looked to invest in their businesses. If we hadn’t started until the market swung back, it would have been too late.”
Inc. ranked Nest Realty at 1,041 with 428 percent growth and $7.7 million in revenue. The company employs nine people.
“It is an honor to be named to the Inc. 5,000 list for the second year in a row,” Jonathan Kauffmann, Nest’s founder and principal broker, said in a statement. “This exciting accomplishment is a testament to the professionalism and expertise of our incredible team of brokers, as well as our dedicated marketing team.”
“Since 2013 when we ranked 307, SHINE Systems has continued to experience rapid growth with last year seeing our highest revenues since our founding in 2007 at over $13 million.”
Digital marketing services company Rimm-Kaufman Group was ranked No. 1,520 with 282 percent growth and 193 employees. Charlottesville Settlement Co. was ranked No. 2,569 with 147 percent growth, $2.7 million in revenue and 26 employees. SNL Financial was No. 4,413, with 61 percent growth, $188 million in revenue and 2,627 employees.
Founded in 2007 by 14 real estate attorneys, Charlottesville Settlement Co. said in a statement that it was able to make a declining housing market work to its advantage with the anticipation that underfunded competitors would close. Following an “explosive year of growth” in 2012, the company in 2013 expanded into Lynchburg and Wytheville under the name Freedom Settlement Services.
Savvy Rest, ranked No. 4,717 with 51 percent growth, $6.3 million in revenue and 28 employees, rounded out the local companies to make the list.
“It is great to see local companies represented again on the Inc. 5,000 list,” Chris Engel, Charlottesville’s economic development director, said in an email. “Our growing presence indicates that this community has the assets to rapidly bring a business concept to scale.”
Albemarle County spokeswoman Lee Catlin echoed that sentiment.
“These companies are injecting a lot of energy, investment and career opportunities into our economy, and we are very grateful that they have chosen our community as their home,” Catlin said.