I remember my first Inc. 5000 conference very well. You probably do, too, and like me, you may recall thinking, "This is not like any business conference I have ever attended."  There was nothing dutiful or dull about it: Pride and enthusiasm practically radiated off the walls. It's not hard to see why: An Inc. 5000 ranking validates years of risk, hard work and accomplishment. Most of all, it inducts you into the most exclusive group of founders in America, a fraternity of rapid growth and remarkable achievement.

The only problem with the Inc. 5000 conference is that it always ends in a few days--and all that passionate sense of belonging fades away for another year. If you wanted to maintain your connection with Inc. or with your network of fellow Inc. 5000 achievers, you were either on your own or out of luck.

That has just changed.

Allow me to introduce Inc. Masters. Inc. Masters is a brand new, invitation-only network of Inc. 5000 winners, convened by Inc. editors and dedicated to two ideas: That no one understands the rewards and challenges of running an Inc. 5000 company better than the members of the 5000 themselves; and that staying connected to Inc. and your Inc. 5000 peers can only help your company prosper.

Joining Inc. Masters gives you immediate access to a lively online network of America's fastest growing founders and CEOs (already including a number of multiple Inc. 5000 honorees and No. 1 winners). Joining Masters also entitles you to free admission to Inc. events across the country, including Masters-only networking sessions at national and regional conferences. It also offers a unique opportunity to raise your company's profile and build your personal brand by posting your own bylined articles on Inc.com. Importantly, joining Inc. Masters also entitles you to membership in local Inc. 5000 peer groups that are standing up across the country.

Since that first Inc. 5000, I've hosted seven more, and I've come to realize the true source of the event's power. It's not the gala or the content, great as we at Inc. try to make them. It's the bonding that takes place among winners like you, the recognition that in the leaders of America's other fastest growing companies, you've found your only true peers. I urge you to take full advantage of your achievement in winning a place among the 5000 by requesting an invitation to Inc. Masters now. Very few business owners belong in this elite group. You do.