Login or signup

Seizing Global Opportunities

A look at entrepreneurs who have found business opportunities from the North Sea to Antarctica


OlΓ‘, Microsoft

AdaQuest No. 486

Bellevue, Washington '†’ Rio de Janeiro 6,884 miles

AdaQuest, which helps software companies translate applications into more than 60 languages, maintains a satellite office in Rio de Janeiro, where co-founder Hiram Machado grew up. Having staff there also helps the West Coast business serve its East Coast clients.

Always Underfoot

Nova USA Wood Products No. 190

Portland, Ore. '†’ Curitiba, Brazil 6,707 miles

This floorboard importer sources more than 40 species of South American wood, including Bolivian canary wood and Brazilian ipe, from mills in Paraguay, Bolivia, Peru, and Brazil. To manage the shipment of a thousand truckloads a year, the company has logistics centers in BelΓ©m and Curitiba in Brazil.

On Call, to the Extreme

Remote Medical International No. 147

Seattle '†’ Vinson Massif, Antarctica 8,600 miles

This company offers medical support to people in far-off locations and dangerous situations. Last year, an RMI employee led a team of climbers scaling Antarctica's tallest peak to field-test some equipment.

Baby on Board

Access Technology Solutions No. 307

Provo, Utah '†’ Tokyo, Japan 5,509 miles

This logistics company handles more than 200,000 shipments a month. A major source of business in recent years has been sending consumer goods from the U.S. to Japan. Large shipments of Maclaren baby strollers are a staple of the company's business.

Are You There?

RigNet No. 452

Houston '†’ Off the Nigerian Coast 6,513 miles

RigNet outfits offshore oil rigs with telecommunications systems. A recent project involved linking a rig off the coast of Nigeria to a hub onshore, which then routed calls through Bedford, England.

Beneath the Surface

Zebra Imaging No. 348

Austin '†’ the North Sea 4,834 miles

Oil companies use Zebra's holographic technology in the North Sea to map the area below the sea floor. Engineers can use the topographical renderings to determine a suitable spot for drilling.

Power Brokers

Echo Global Logistics No. 49

Wuhan, China '†’ Mona, Utah 6,750 miles

This Chicago-based company coordinates freight delivery around the world. One recent job involved getting a generator the size of a locomotive from the inland port of Wuhan, China, to a power plantin Mona, Utah.

Negotiating With Pirates

Mission Essential Personnel No. 52

Columbus, Ohio '†’ the Horn of Africa 7,453 miles

This company's linguists were hired by the Defense Department to negotiate the release of the captain of the Maersk Alabama, the container ship seized by pirates off the coast of Somalia in April. The ship and the captain were ultimately rescued by the U.S. Navy.

A Satellite Link in a Bag

GATR Technologies No. 259

Huntsville, Alabama '†’ Maseru, Lesotho 8,619 miles

This company's portable satellite-communication system weighs 70 pounds and can be checked on a commercial flight. Customers have used the device in Iraq, Afghanistan, and far-flung Lesotho. For more on this product, see "The Hottest Small-Business Products of 2009."

New Life for Old Metal

Milestone Metals No. 193

Fairfax, Virginia '†’ Ningbo, China 7,531 miles

Milestone Metals buys scrap metal such as steel and brass, and sells it to foundries and smelters in China. A recent batch of copper was turned into an underwater communications cable.

Cleaner Water Down Under

Geo-Solutions No. 322

New Kensington, Pennsylvania '†’ Brisbane, Australia 9,325 miles

Geo-Solutions, which prevents groundwater contamination, earns a fifth of its revenue abroad. This year, a major project took the company to Brisbane, Australia's fastest-growing container port, where workers installed a containment barrier around a large dredge.

IMAGE: Icons: Raul Aguila
Last updated: Sep 1, 2009

Must-read stories from the Inc. 5000
The Full List
The Fastest-Growing Company in America, Fuhu, Makes a Kids Tablet
One Thing Inc. 5000 Companies Have in Common: Performance
The Psychological Price of Starting an Inc. 5000 Company
The Ten Largest Inc. 5000 Companies
Productivity Secrets of Top Women CEOs
IPO Advice from Inc. 5000 CEOs
Facts & Figures of the Inc. 5000

Register on Inc.com today to get full access to:
All articlesΒ  | Β Magazine archives | Comment and share features

Or sign up using: