If there's one thing 2018 has taught us, it's that time is up on letting men dictate the way for women. Flip through the Inc. 5000 and you'll find many female founders running innovative--and extraordinarily fast-growing--companies across a wide range of industries. Over the past three years, some of the top companies on the list are run by women in highly technical fields, from solar energy to genome-sequencing. Here, as measured by revenue growth rate over the past three years, are the 10 top-ranked held companies led by women.
10. Pine Gate Renewables
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 84 Three-year growth 3,940% 2017 revenue $9.7M
With the cost of solar power dropping dramatically in recent years, business has boomed for Pine Gate Renewables. Led by CEO Zoë Hanes, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based company develops and operates large-scale solar farms--picture 20 to 100 acres of land gridded by photovoltaic panels--to power communities and organizations.
9. Y7 Studio
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 80 Three-year growth 4,022% 2017 revenue $5.6M
Fashion account executive Sarah Larson Levey and her then-fiancé started offering pop-up yoga classes in their Brooklyn neighborhood in 2013. After they signed up to offer sessions on ClassPass, demand soared. Levey quit her day job and opened the first Y7 studio in 2015. Today the business has eight locations in New York and two in Los Angeles.
8. Core Software Technologies
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 63 Three-year growth 4,475% 2017 revenue $6.7M
Founded in 2011, Core Software Technologies helps other businesses manage their technology--from cloud computing to integrating internet of things applications. The company, run by chief executive Nagajyothi Pothukanuri, works with clients such as Capital One, StubHub, and Macy's. This is its second appearance on the Inc. 5000.
7. Solvix Solutions
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 62 Three-year growth 4,478% 2017 revenue $14.1M
Based outside of Philadelphia in Mount Laurel, New Jersey, Solvix Solutions supplies printers, routers, and computers to small businesses and government agencies. The company, which is run by CEO Stacey Rock, has also helped many workplaces integrate ergonomic improvements, including convertible-height standing desks.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 59 Three-year growth 4,573% 2017 revenue $30M
Former recruiting-firm colleagues Julie Dacar and Amrita Grewal set off to start their own company in 2013. Within three years, their Washington, D.C.-based TalEx would win a $13 million contract staffing for AOL. Their business has continued to grow and now is a three-time Inc. 5000 honoree.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 50 Three-year growth 5,423% 2017 revenue $32.1M
"We started with a crowdfunding campaign--mostly to see if anyone actually wanted to have their microbiome sequenced," says uBiome co-founder and CEO Jessica Richman. In 10 weeks, 2,500 people signed up to send in fecal samples and get back an analysis of what's going on in their gut, including bacterial diversity, which can help detect ailments such as Crohn's. uBiome also makes a women's health test. The full-stack company has 250 employees.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 39 Three-year growth 6,754% 2017 revenue $8.8M
Lori Taylor didn't expect she'd get into the dog-food business--but after losing her Great Dane, Truman, to cancer, she became fascinated by pet health. Her company, named for Truman, specializes in creating and distributing raw-meat-based food for dogs, as well as treats and pet accessories. Meat-based products sold by TruPet's TruDog line are frozen or dehydrated, and get rave reviews from pet owners.
3. A. Prentice Ray & Associates
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 31 Three-year growth 7,525% 2017 revenue $9.3M
This three-time Inc. 5000 honoree provides a buffet of services for government entities, including the U.S. State Department and the Air Force. A. Prentice Ray boasts expertise in almost everything a government agency could outsource: hiring, information technology, cybersecurity, legal contract work, bookkeeping, administrative support, and communications. CEO Angela Prentice heads up the firm she founded in 2008.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 21 Three-year growth 9,948% 2017 revenue $23.1M
After running a handbag company in Europe, Heather Hasson found herself tailoring a friend's slouchy, unfashionable medical scrubs. A former pre-med student herself, Hasson decided to create functional and stylish clothing for medical professionals, with tons of pockets and performance fabrics that resist wrinkles and repel bacteria. She called her business Figs, because she loves fruit, and figured the sweet naming convention worked for Apple and Lululemon. Now the company works with 27 factories and four mills in four countries, plus an innovation lab in Taipei. It sells directly to customers, unlike its competitors, and is in line to hit $100 million in sales in 2018.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 17 Three-year growth 10,924% 2017 revenue $39.6M
Thinx's body-positive messaging and open talk about menstruation changed the game of marketing to women. But employees claimed intimidation and harassment by CEO Miki Agrawal, who resigned in 2017. In 2018, the company reorganized, beefed up HR, and brought in Maria Molland Selby as CEO. Selby has doubled headcount from 32 at the time of her hiring, and is planning a new round of venture capital funding to further speed the company's growth and expand into new markets.