Cincinnati Blog analysis and research
G 713.3% R $5.6 million E 46
No one had heard the word blog back when Mahendra Vora and Sundar Kadayam founded Intelliseek in 1997. Today the company's BlogPulse tracks and mines more than 25 million blogs daily. The company makes its money by selling analysis of the blogosphere and doing personalized research on webpages that help businesspeople find, understand, and act on information. Earlier this year the company was acquired by Nielsen BuzzMetric.
Worcester, Massachusetts Internet light bulb sales
G 707.8% R $5.3 million E 29
Steven Rothschild endured plenty of "bright idea or dim bulb?" comments when he launched his business-to-business site in 1999. Fortunately some VCs and angel investors liked the model. (Rothschild's previous company, Furniture.com, was also venture backed.) Customers include hospitals, hotels, retail chains, government agencies, and warehouses. Last year Bulbs.com began selling its own brand of fluorescents.
Santa Ana, California Mortgages and financial services
G 703% R $3.2 million E 79
With 14 years of experience in the mortgage industry, and with a solid hold on the mortgage market among Orange County Hispanics, CEO Roberto Gallegos's next goal is to make Nuestra Casa a regional player. A continuing source of customers is the company's free quarterly publication, Nuestra Casa Magazine, which gets into the hands of 250,000 readers.
Phoenix Health care management
G 659.8% R $309.5 million E 1,546
As legislators, government agencies, and businesses grapple with the difficulty of providing good health care while containing costs, Schaller Anderson helps make sense of it all. The company was founded in 1984 when Donald Schaller and Joseph P. Anderson worked together on a cost-containment program in Arizona. Today Schaller Anderson offers management and consulting services in seven states.
Oklahoma City Engineering and IT services
G 654.5% R $6.7 million E 75
Being laid off once was enough for Phil Miller. When he lost his job at defense and aviation contractor Rockwell Collins, he took his 20 years of experience and went after military contracts himself. Today Rockwell is among those seeking Long Wave's expertise in VLF (very low frequency) waves and other technologies. But 95 percent of revenue comes from the public sector.
San Diego Coffee importing
G 605.3% R $6.2 million E 11
Karen Cebreros first visited Peru in 1989, looking for native healing techniques that could address her own health problems. (She visited what she calls a "psychic witch doctor" and is now well.) Cebreros started a project to teach farmers organic growing techniques while developing a market for their products in the United States. Over the years she has expanded her sourcing to other developing countries, where she works around industry middlemen to maximize the price for farmers. Her clients include Newman's Own and Green Mountain.
Buffalo Marketing and mailing
G 581.4% R $8 million E 117
For years, DDM Direct was the answer to a prayer, deploying its expertise in the mysterious ways of the postal service to help churches and dioceses cut mailing costs. (It also produced a mean collection envelope.) Today the company serves a much broader market, managing the creation and delivery of everything from monthly account statements to medical bills to class-action lawsuit notices. Privacy is a company watchword, says founder Carl Falletta: Financial, legal, and business customers demand absolute security for their missives.
Akron Vehicle customization for people with disabilities
G 579.1% R $31.2 million E 160
Bill Koeblitz was looking for another opportunity in health care when he sold his network of medical clinics in 1995. Instead, he found one in transportation. Regarding the market for vehicles customized to transport the elderly and disabled, Koeblitz saw fragmentation, undercapitalization, poor safety records, and a vulnerable population being underserved. He and a partner, Taylor Clark, acquired New Era Transportation (now MobilityWorks) and began selling customized vans and cars. Only a few insurers cover its products, so the company offers financing to consumers.
Denver Network engineering
G 531.8% R $30.6 million E 21
As a participant in the SBA's 8(a) program, Global Technology Resources earns about 60 percent of its revenue in the public sector. Clients include the U.S. Forestry Service, for which the company has erected satellites, and now CEO Lance Vierra and his two partners are eyeing work from the Department of Homeland Security. The company specializes in IP telephony, enterprise storage, and network security.
West Sacramento, California Construction
G 514.4% R $31.9 million E 36
Keith Odister learned the heating and air-conditioning trade in the Air Force and started an HVAC business after finishing college on the GI Bill. He moved into construction, and in 1989 began his long association with the state of California. Most of K.O.O.'s work is in the public sector, including the design and construction of aircraft hangars and housing for military bases.
Leigh Buchanan is an editor at large for Inc. magazine. A former editor at Harvard Business Review and founding editor of WebMaster magazine, she writes regular columns on leadership and workplace culture. @LeighEBuchanan