See which Chicagoans make the list of 100 fastest-growing urban businesses
Eleven Chicago companies, ranging from a transportation logistics firm to an environmental health software seller, made this year’s Inner City 100, a ranking of the fastest-growing companies in the nation’s urban neighborhoods.
The list shows that Chicago’s growth relies on a variety of technology companies, including those with little public name recognition. The rankings are based on census data on unemployment, poverty rate and median income, which results in some companies making the list even though they are headquartered in the Loop or an up-and-coming neighborhood.
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, a nonprofit research organization based in Roxbury, Mass., cited these Chicago companies as “role models for entrepreneurship, job creation and innovative business practices:”
Coyote Logistics, a transportation and logistics company that calls itself “a trucking company without the trucks,” ranked No. 3, boasting a five-year annual growth rate of 126 percent and 2011 revenues of $558.7 million.
Rise Interactive, an Internet marketing agency with a 65 percent five-year annual growth rate and $4.8 million in 2011 revenues. It ranks No. 14.
Dean Media Group, which provides an advertising network and media and creative services for financial companies, saw a 49 percent jump in growth with $12.9 million in 2011 revenues, putting it at No. 18.
Gorilla Group, an interactive marketing firm, enjoyed a 37 percent five-year annual growth rate and $5.8 million in annual revenues, ranking it No. 29.
MSDSonline, which sells environmental health and safety software that lets customers maintain a database of chemicals to comply with environmental law, had a 30 percent five-year growth rate and $13.1 million in 2011 revenues. It ranks No. 43.
Nitel, a pioneer in offering affordable broadband services in hard-to-reach areas, saw a 25 percent five-year annual growth rate and $42 million in 2011 revenues, putting it in the No. 49 spot.
Orbit Media Studios, a Web design leader, made the list for the third year, with a 22 percent five-year annual growth rate and $2.6 million in 2011 revenues. It ranks No. 60.
West Monroe Partners, a business and technology consulting firm, posted a 21 percent increase in its five-year annual growth rate and $56.3 million in 2011 revenues, ranking No. 65.
Call One, a telecommunications services provider, ranks No. 81 with a 15 percent five-year annual growth rate and $49.7 million in 2011 revenues.
E.C. Ortiz and Co., a public accounting and consulting service, ranks No. 89 with a 13 percent five-year annual growth rate and $6.4 million in 2011 revenues.
LaSalle Network, a professional staffing and recruiting firm, ranks No. 91, with a 12 percent five-year annual growth rate and $26.1 million in 2011 revenues.
Mary Kay Leonard, CEO of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, says of the Chicago winners, “These entrepreneurs are driving economic forces in America’s urban cores, growing their communities along with their businesses.”