The technical savvy of many companies in the 2000 Inc. 500 is just one aspect of their high level of sophistication. A number of them already have an international presence; Program Planning Professionals (#48), for example, reports that it has offices in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Germany, Australia, Mexico, and Brazil.

The 2000 Inc. 500 companies offer some heartening messages about entrepreneurial opportunity. Today they are hot, young growth companies -- but members of the class of 2000 didn't necessarily start out that way. In fact, one of the more noticeable statistics is their low start-up capital: 58% started with $20,000 or less. That compares with 49% of the companies on 1999's list starting with $20,000 or less.

It's hard to say for sure why this year's class had so many companies starting with relatively little money -- but the answer may be another effect of the Internet revolution. As a transforming technology enters the marketplace, it creates new entrepreneurial opportunities. And those opportunities belong to the savvy -- well heeled or not. To study the 2000 Inc. 500 is to be reminded once again of what the spirit of entrepreneurship is all about -- the ability to create value from scratch.