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Inc. 5000 list: Fastest growing companies in the Silicon Prairie

Inc. recently released their annual Inc. 5000 list that ranks the fastest-growing private companies in America. The Midwest had an impressive showing with 12 of the 14 communities in our State of the Silicon Prairie Report represented on the list with a total of 165 companies.

Inc. says their annual 5000 list is a ranking of America’s company creators, value creators and job creators, with over 619,631 collective jobs accounted for between the companies listed over the last three years.

“The Inc. 5000 is the most persuasive evidence I know that the American Dream is still alive,” says Inc. President and Editor-In-Chief Eric Schurenberg. “The founders and CEOs of the Inc. 5000 tell us they think determination, risk taking, and vision were the keys to their success, and I believe them.”

The list features companies from a wide range of industries, from healthcare to tech to construction.

Mass Markets

Iowa City firm Mass Markets, an executor of domestic inbound and outbound contact center services and omnichannel customer service, ranked overall at #2445 and returned to the list for the first time since the divestiture of TMone from their company and subsequent rebrand to Mass Markets.

“This marks the ninth time this team and company, through all the iterations, has earned this formal recognition by Inc. Magazine. We plan on making it a tenth time one day,” said Anthony Marlowe, CEO of Mass Markets.

For the Business Services & Products industry category, Mass Markets is ranked #13 in the USA and ranked #1 in Iowa. Over the past three years, Mass Markets has grown 146%.

“Mass Markets now shares a pedigree with Intuit, Zappos, Under Armour, Microsoft, GoPro, Timberland, Clif Bar, Patagonia, Oracle, Box, Grubhub, and dozens of other alumni that have gone on to become household names,” said Eric Schurenberg, President, and Editor in Chief of Inc. Media.

Bulu Box

Lincoln’s Bulu Box, a pioneer in the subscription box industry, made their first appearance on the list at 1899.

“Our ranking on the 2017 Inc. 5000 is a testament to the risk and grit of the Bulu Box team in executing our shared vision,” said Bulu Box Co-Founder and CEO, Paul Jarrett.

In 2016, Bulu Box began to build and rebuild successful subscription box programs for select partners including retailers like Lululemon and Nebraska Book Company.

Drive Social Media

St. Louis’s Drive Social Media also made their first appearance on the Inc. 5000 list. With a growth rate of 1556.36%, Drive Social Media’s VP of Operations Stephanie Jenkins said the balance between new client acquisition and client retention has supported their high percentage of growth.

“Over the last year, our ownership has put a huge focus on client happiness and retention, which allowed us to grow our retention number to 85%,” said Jenkins. “[It’s] something we are really proud of. We truly value our Partners and know we could never be where we are without them.”

She also believes that St. Louis’s strong showing on the list with a total of 49 companies can be attributed to forming its own identity outside of the coastal tech centers.

“St. Louis has done a tremendous job crafting a culture priding itself on investing locally and embracing the small-businesses in our community,” said Jenkins. “This makes STL a commerce and low-barrier-to-entry dream for entrepreneurs looking to test their dreams of making it big in the world.”

About Inc. 5000

The 2017 Inc. 5000 list is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing a company’s numbers from 2013 to 2016 and meeting minimum revenue requirements. To qualify, companies must be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent as of December 31, 2016.

SPN took the top 5 companies from each of our State of the Silicon Prairie Report cities and averaged out their growth to provide a quick overview of how each one is performing.

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Christine McGuigan is the Managing Editor of Silicon Prairie News.

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