Visit the Inc. 500 site, which includes a fully searchable database of winners from 1983 to the present

Sure, there's life after the Inc. 500. Some company founders sell out, some keep expanding, and others, like Olin Broadway, start new companies.

Broadway's software services firm, Broadway & Seymour (B&S), made the list in 1986 and 1987, and at $40 million in sales, it's still going strong. But with a new management team in place, Broadway has left to start a for-profit venture bringing literacy education, via interactive software, to workplaces.

"It would be nice to say I'd been planning this for years," muses Broadway, "but I haven't." Instead, the idea flowed from requests made by B&S's customers; they asked for help providing basic education to their fresh-out-of-high-school hires.

"I don't want to blame the school systems," says Broadway, "but they're not putting out the people we need." So, with no major players in the field, Broadway -- still chairman of B&S and owner of 11% of the company -- has begun seeking financing and a new office in Charlotte, N.C., for The Salem Co. Why a separate space for the start-up? "This company needs its own identity," he says. "It's also so I don't keep bugging the managers."

-- Leslie Brokaw