Keeping track on the Inc. 5000

CBJ Editorial

We were agog at the record 1,263.7 percent growth that the CBJ’s 2019 Fastest Growing Company BLX Expedited Carriers had over the three-year period from 2015-2018.

The fastest growing company in Inc. Magazine’s annual 5000 list over the same three-year period was advertising and marketing firm Freestar based in Arizona, with an eye-popping 36,680 percent growth.

The difference between the two surveys is Inc.’s minimum revenue for 2015 was $100,000 while the CBJ’s was $350,000. It can make for a significant difference in growth percentages.  Regardless, making either list is an impressive feat for companies and one that should be celebrated.

MCI, based in Iowa City and led by Anthony Marlowe, is the fastest company on the Inc. list in Iowa at number 452 with 1,002 percent revenue growth. They were the CBJ’s fastest company in 2018.

Moxie Solar of North Liberty was the area’s second fastest growing company with a growth rate of 270 percent and revenue of $10.1 million, placing it at No. 1,532 on the Inc. 5000 this year.

All of the Corridor companies on the Inc. 5000 are familiar to avid CBJ readers. The other companies in the region are: MediRevv of Coralville (2,287), Converge Consulting of Cedar Rapids (2,379), TLC Associates of Cedar Rapids (2,803), Circle Computer Resources of Cedar Rapids (3,078), Involta of Cedar Rapids (4,536), Clickstop of Urbana (4,661) and Mobile Demand of Hiawatha (4,761).

Making either list can also be used as an entrepreneurial barometer. Inc’s barometer helps us gauge the Corridor’s success with other areas of the state and the rest of the nation.

The Corridor slipped in the number of companies on the list, down to nine from 10 last year.

Des Moines, a significantly larger market, went from 10 companies last year to 14 this year.

Iowa was in the middle of the pack of Midwestern states for number of companies on the Inc. 5000. We had 31 companies this year with an average revenue growth of 133 percent, up from 26 in 2018. We had 28 companies in 2017 and 24 companies in 2016.

Illinois led the Midwest region with 241 companies on the list with an average 122 percent revenue growth. Minnesota had 81 companies with an average of 348 percent growth. Missouri had 75 companies with an average revenue growth of 139. Wisconsin had 49 companies with an average of 120 percent growth. Nebraska had 27 companies with average growth of 160 percent. Kansas had 27 companies with 99 percent average revenue growth. South Dakota had 14 companies with 75 percent average revenue growth. North Dakota had 10 companies with an average revenue growth of 155 percentage.

Corridor and state economic development officials should continue to use this list to gauge our competitiveness and pursue efforts to help these fast-growing companies and improve our rankings. Entrepreneurship is key to our state and region’s long-term economic success.