Operates fast-casual burger restaurants.
Shake Shack, the brainchild of New York City restaurateur Danny Meyer, started as a hot dog cart in Madison Square Park. Today, it's a multimillion-dollar worldwide operation, with locations in Dubai, Tokyo, and Istanbul, among other places. To stand out in the crowded burger market, Shake Shack touts itself as a "fine casual" restaurant chain, citing its use of hormone-free meat and other premium sustainable ingredients. But that also means it has to keep a close eye on its supply chain, to ensure that ingredients consistently meet the company's high standards. As it continues to open more locations around the world, Shake Shack is looking for additional ways to go beyond the burger--it added its first chicken sandwich, the Chick'n Shack, in January 2016. Note: employee count as of Dec. 31, 2015
Provides home solar installation, financing, and leasing.
When co-founders Lynn Jurich and Ed Fenster first got into the residential solar energy business in 2007 with Sunrun, solar energy was not a mainstream way for homeowners to power their property. But Jurich and Fenster recruited customers by pitching savings, not just sustainability. "You have to explain how customers will save money or get higher quality or performance," Furich told Inc. The company claims that it will help homeowners reduce their electric bill by about 20 percent. Clients don't have to pay for the installation of solar panels upfront--instead, they can pay a fixed monthly fee depending on how much energy the panels produce. In terms of Sunrun's future, Furich and Fenster borrowed a lot of money to get the company up and running, and it still needs to get costs down to become profitable. Note: employee count as of Dec. 31, 2015
Why Fitbit's latest successes have nothing to do with fitness trackers
It hasn't been a great year for high-tech gadget makers, as Fitbit and GoPro can attest. Yet both are financially outperforming other tech companies that went public when they did, according to EY benchmarks, and pursuing a remarkable rate of innovation. Fitbit's success is due to its breaking into a smartwatch market that could amount to $10 billion globally. The San Francisco company, which CEO James Park co-founded with CTO Eric Friedman, has been scooping up rival smartwatch makers and pursuing patents related to more advanced biometrics tracking, such as whether a device wearer is properly hydrated. In December, Fitbit partnered with medical-device maker Medtronic on an app that tracks physical activity and glucose for diabetes patients. "People might perceive us as kind of a nice-to-have," Park told investors this year. "What I'm most excited about is really transforming Fitbit into a must-have." --Victoria Finkle
Manufactures medical devices for various vascular conditions, including blood clots and aneurysms.
Medical device company Penumbra first turned a profit in 2012, but co-founders Adam Elsesser and Arani Bose waited until 2015 to take their company public, when they knew they had a solid portfolio of products. "We did that very much on purpose, to ensure that the foundation that we had built at the company, not just financially, but culturally, was very strong," Elsesser told Inc. The company currently designs and manufactures medical devices to treat a variety of illnesses, primarily neurovascular diseases and blood clots, and plans to add new products for at least the next decade. But Penumbra's competitors--Boston Scientific and Medtronic, to name a couple--have well-financed research divisions. This could prove challenging to Penumbra's history of innovation. Note: employee count as of Dec. 31, 2015
Provides security software for businesses, mobile apps, content and devices.
Ajay Mishra and Suresh Batchu founded MobileIron to modernize corporate IT systems through a mobile device management platform. MobileIron's software pledges to keep company information secure, while allowing employees to access company apps or databases on their phones, tablets, or other devices. The company also has features that allow IT departments to create their own apps, and for users to request IT assistance through their phones. The company has struggled to stay out of the red since its inception, but MobileIron expects demand for its products to grow, as mobile becomes the platform of choice for more consumers. Note: employee count as of Dec. 31, 2015