Chicago has long been a springboard for company success. The city's thriving business ecosystem draws Fortune 500 companies and startups alike, spanning industries from meal kits to staffing to education technology. In 2018, 110 honorees on the Inc. 5000 list of the country's fastest-growing private companies call the Windy City their home. Here are the top 10 this year.
10. First Stop Health
2018 rank No. 276 Three-year growth 1,783.8% 2017 revenue $2.2M
First Stop Health is a seven-year-old company aiming to curtail health care costs by offering 24-hour, no-copay preventative care for employers and consumers through mobile devices. Members across the country have been tapping into the company's network of high-quality doctors, booking $2.2 million worth of services in 2017.
9. Meridian Appraisal Management
2018 rank No. 220 Three-year growth 2,126.8% 2017 revenue $2.7M
Founded in 2013 by a group of experienced real estate appraisers seeking to streamline their trade, Meridian Appraisal Management provides quick-turnaround commercial and residential property valuations. The company has grown revenue by 2,126.8 percent over the past three years in part by taking advantage of its proximity to Windy City lenders, banks, and mortgage and asset management companies.
2018 rank No. 193 Three-year growth 2,286.4% 2017 revenue $2.9M
Far outranking its Dallas- and New York-based counterparts, the Chicago branch of consulting firm SEI nudged its way into the country's top 200 fastest-growing companies with a revenue increase of 2,286.4 percent since 2014. The company provides its services to clients in industries ranging from higher education to finance.
7. G2 Crowd
2018 rank No. 179 Three-year growth 2,413.7% 2017 revenue $11.1M
Looking to buy business technology for your company but don't know where to start? G2 Crowd eases the process with 400,000-plus independent, authentic recommendations each month on its user review platform. The service's reviews are read by more than 1.5 million buyers each month. G2 has reached eight-figure revenues by charging for longer versions of its company profiles, as well as selling reports based on its data.
6. Strike Social
2018 rank No. 165 Three-year growth 2,614.1% 2017 revenue $47.7M
Working with brands such as Netflix, Nike, and Disney, tech-focused advertising firm Strike Social uses A.I. and data science to optimize results of its campaigns. Founded in 2013, the company now has a global presence with offices in three countries and representatives in 16 markets.
5. Pinnacle Furnished Suites
2018 rank No. 159 Three-year growth 2,668.9% 2017 revenue $4.9M
Pinnacle Furnished Suites specializes in short-term corporate housing for professionals in the Chicago area. The four-year-old company woos clients with custom technology such as 3-D room tours of its properties, which are listed in some of the city's most desirable areas.
2018 rank No. 121 Three-year growth 3,164.2% 2017 revenue $21.6M
Ed-tech startup RedShelf wants to get more people reading. Collaborating with publishers, campus bookstores, and colleges, the company has made its digital learning materials available to more than a million users since its founding six years ago.
3. Edge Logistics
2018 rank No. 46 Three-year growth 5,757.8% 2017 revenue $27.7M
Started officially in 2014, Edge Logistics was once just a single van. Now, the company's services span the United States, handling all the details of transporting customers' freight, from booking trucks to tracking shipments.
2. GForce Life Sciences
2018 rank No. 8 Three-year growth 16,426.7% 2017 revenue $16.9M
Among the fastest-growing companies in the United States is staffing firm GForce Life Sciences, founded in 2013 by Mark Gallagher, who previously co-founded another staffing company, Advanced Group, in 1987. The business is focused in the life sciences space, matching employers with professionals in pharmaceutical, medical device, and biotechnology companies.
1. Home Chef
2018 rank No. 3 Three-year growth 60,165.5% 2017 revenue $255M
Adding to Chicago's excellent culinary reputation is five-year-old Blue Apron competitor Home Chef. For $7.99 a serving, this meal-delivery service chops away the inconvenience of grocery shopping--sending boxes of customized ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes to its customers' doorsteps. Last year Home Chef served more than 10 million meals.