It may seem like the battle for startup supremacy is dominated by Silicon Alley and Silicon Valley, but don't forget about Boston. Long nicknamed "The Hub of the Universe," Boston has become an entrepreneurial hub that is currently attracting a lot of VC investment; as of the second quarter of 2014, it can claim 112 VC-backed ventures, totaling more than $1 billion. In life sciences alone, Boston received the most venture capital of any city in the third quarter of 2013, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers. Here are the top 10 companies on this year's Inc. 5000 list that are finding success in Beantown. - Anna Hensel
3-Year Growth Rate: 491.2% 2013 Revenue: $11.8 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 914 With their company tagline, "Win with Data," Cervello represents the intersection of two hot tech trends: business analytics and cloud computing. Its services are targeted largely at growing enterprises. Founded in 2009, Cervello now has offices in New York, Dallas, and London, in addition to its Boston headquarters.
3-Year Growth Rate: 526.9% 2013 Revenue: $6.9 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 855 Taking advantage of Boston's strong economy, LABUR Professional Staffing is a human resources company that places business staff for short- and long-term hires in a variety of job roles. Founded in 2008, LABUR has added more than 100 jobs over three years. They now place staff with clients all over the United States.
3-Year Growth Rate: 659.7% 2013 Revenue: $13.5 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 686 Dane Street has found its own niche in Boston's vast health sector, providing peer-review programs to managers to assist them in reaching medical determinations as part of the claims management process. In addition to snagging a spot on the Inc. 500|5000, Dane Street made Boston Business Journal's 2014 Pacesetters list of the fastest-growing private companies in Massachusetts. Dane Street was founded in 2008 (and named after a house owned by CEO Will Fulton on Boston's historic Dane Street ).
3-Year Growth Rate: 676.8% 2013 Revenue: $6.6 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 673 WordStream is an Internet marketing service firm that specializes in "pay per click" optimization software. Over the past three years, they have created 48 jobs. Led by CEO Ralph Folz, WordStream makes the Inc. 5000 list for the second time in its history.
3-Year Growth Rate: 686.9% 2013 Revenue: $8.2 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 666 Software company inviCRO was founded in New York City, but Co-Founder and Managing Director Jack Hoppin says that inviCRO moved to Boston because of the opportunities to partner with leading universities and biotechnology companies there. "Boston is the hot bed of life sciences and biotechnology," he says. inviCRO provides software designed to improve the role of imaging in drug discovery and development, and has created 22 jobs over the past three years.
3-Year Growth Rate: 711.1% 2013 Revenue: $11.6 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 646 Boost Software is an eight-year-old company that specializes in software that improves the performance of your PC or laptop. Led by software veterans and co-founders Peter Dunbar and Amit Mehta, Boost Software has created 10 jobs in the past three years.
3-Year Growth Rate: 823.2% 2013 Revenue: $118.4 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 582 DataXu returns to the Inc.500|5000 list this year after coming in at number 5 in 2013. This marketing company has a scientific twist--it lists MIT aeronautics and astronautics scientists among its cofounders. DataXu continues to expand by adding 200 jobs and growing at a rate of 823.2% over the past three years.
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,080.2% 2013 Revenue: $13.2 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 438 Home to more than 30 higher education institutions, Boston is virtually synonymous with college, creating a golden opportunity for marketing company Fluent. The company helps brands market themselves to that vast universe of college-age customers. Their clients have included Zipcar, Macy's, and L'Oreal, helping them grow by 1,080.2% over the past three years, and landing at number 438 on this year's Inc. 500|5000 list.
3-Year Growth Rate: 1,529% 2013 Revenue: $2.5 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 298 Software company Cogito delivers human-behavior analytics to help clients improve engagement; the technology helps phone reps visualize how conversations are unfolding. With a hand in both the health and software fields, Cogito grew 1,529 percent over the past three years. Boston, says Cogito CEO and co-founder Joshua Feast, has provided the company with a bed of "intellectual horsepower."
3-Year Growth Rate: 3,860% 2013 Revenue: $58 million Inc. 5000 Rank: No. 92 The fastest-growing company in Boston on this year's Inc. 500|5000, Next Step Living has three-year growth of 3,860 percent and comes in at No. 92. Capitalizing on the keen interest in renewable energy, Next Step Living installs a variety of energy-efficient systems in homes across New England. According to CEO Geoff Chapin, "The estimated impact of the tens of thousands of homes we've served is an annual carbon emissions reduction of more than 70,000 metric tons."
Check out the full Inc. 5000 list.