The 2009 Inc. 500: The Top 10 States
No. 10: Massachusetts, 16 companiesNo. 8 (tie): Washington, 18 companiesNo. 8 (tie): Georgia, 18 companiesNo. 7: Maryland, 19 companiesNo. 6: Illinois, 23 companiesNo. 5: Florida, 28 companiesNo. 3 (tie): New York, 35 companiesNo. 3 (tie): Virginia, 35 companiesNo. 2: Texas, 45 companiesNo. 1: California, 85 companies
Despite losing a third of the number of companies it had on last year’s Inc. 500, Massachusetts still cracks the top 10. The state’s highest-ranking company, Kiva Systems (No. 6), is the fastest-growing business in the logistics and transportation category. It makes robots for warehouses.
Most of the 18 Inc. 500 companies located in Washington state are in the business services, consumer products, and software sectors. The state's fastest-growing business is Revel Consulting (No. 34), based in Kirkland, which helps businesses enhance operations and minimize costs.
All but four of Georgia’s companies are clustered in the business services, finance, health, and IT industries. Clear Harbor (No. 53) calls Alpharetta home, although most of its call center operations are based in the Caribbean islands of Nevis, Dominica, and Grenada.
Seven of Maryland’s Inc. 500 companies primarily serve the federal government, including FedStore (No. 31), which provides IT services for federal agencies, including NASA.
Illinois entered the list of leading Inc. 500 states in 2007 and has held steady for the past two years. Its highest-ranked company, vAuto (No. 22), is also the state’s only entry in the software industry. The company develops inventory-management applications for used-auto dealers.
Florida is home to this year’s No. 1 company, Northern Capital Insurance, which specializes in homeowners’ policies—a particularly risky field in areas routinely ravaged by hurricanes. In addition to claiming the top two insurance companies, the Sunshine State also has a strong presence in advertising and marketing: roughly a quarter of the Inc. 500 companies based in Florida are in that industry.
The Empire State is heavily represented in the advertising industry, led by top-ranked MediaTrust (No. 9). Headquartered on Park Avenue, the company operates a web-based platform that coordinates online marketing campaigns. Meanwhile, despite New York's reputation as a finance center, only one of the state's Inc. 500 companies, Electronic Payments (No. 70), is active in that industry.
Virginia’s healthy roster of Inc. 500 companies is dominated by government services firms, thanks to the Old Dominion’s proximity to the nation's capital. The top firm in that industry is Vienna-based Criterion Systems (No. 10), which handles top-secret cybersecurity projects for the Pentagon.
Texas has a strong showing in an array of industries on this year’s list. The state remains a powerhouse in the energy industry, but it boasts even more companies—eight—in the health sector. And Texas's highest-ranked company,
One Technologies (No. 8), advises marketers on pay-per-click advertising.
Perennial powerhouse California again dominates this year’s Inc. 500 list. What's new is that, with 15 advertising and marketing companies, the Golden State is stealing some of Madison Avenue’s thunder. Meanwhile, California’s top-ranked company, National Retirement Partners (No. 2), helps employers manage their 401(k) plans.