San Diego may be in California but with it's easy going life-style and always sunny weather it may well be light years from Silicon Valley. But don't let that laid back rep fool you: Businesses here are anything but lazy.

Between 2000 and 2011, the city was awarded 25,790 patents, making it one of the most innovative cities in the U.S. It doesn't hurt that chip giant, Qualcomm--and countless other telecom companies--calls the city home.

There's far more going on here than telecommunications, as evidenced by the 2014 Inc. 5000. The list, which includes a large number of San Diego-based businesses, tracks private company performance, by way of their revenue growth between fiscal years 2010 and 2013. Below, see which companies are whipping up the fastest-growing sales in 'America's finest city':

10. Knockaround

This nine-year-old company sells affordable (around $14-40) and stylish sunglasses and accessories online. With CEO Adam Moyer at the helm, Knockaround has increased its revenue 907 percent to $5.7 million in 2013 from $570,000 in 2010, securing it the number 524 spot on the Inc. 5000. The company's rapid growth stems from a strong social media following, word-of-mouth, and a line of unique limited edition sunglasses. Several celebrities are said to wear the sunglasses on a regular basis, including Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher.

9. New Venture Escrow

Founded in 2010, this company develops technology that simplifies the residential real estate closing process by providing live status updates, document storage, and contact access for all parties to a transaction. Under CEO Casey LeBlanc, New Venture Escrow has snagged the number 419th spot on this year's Inc. 5000, having grown its revenue 1,128 percent to $2 million in 2013 from nearly $167,000 in 2010. In the same period the company also increased its staff from three employees to 22.

8. Reliant Services Group

This company is gracing the Inc. 5000 with its presence for the second time. Reliant Services Group, which was founded in 2008, ranks as number 385 on the 2014 list. The company offers both traditional and non-traditional financing options including small business loans, merchant cash advance and equipment leasing. It serves a wide range of industries including retail, restaurants, healthcare, auto repair, and franchise funding. With CEO Adam Stettner leading the way, Reliant Services Group increased its revenue 1,217 percent to nearly $6 million in 2013 from $453,000 in 2010.

7. Gold Refinery of San Diego

This financial services company buys and sells precious metals, specializing in gold, and offers a sliding scale exchange to cater to larger clients. Founded in 2009, the Gold Refinery of San Diego has snagged number 323 on the Inc. 5000, having grown its revenue 1,440 percent to $37.8 million in 2013 from $2.5 million in 2010. CEO Carmine Mannino leads the team of two employees (as of 2013) which helps consumers skip the middleman and get the most cash for their gold.

6. Softhq

This four-year-old company offers technology staffing and consulting in the areas of supply chain services, mobility, enterprise IT, system on a chip design, business intelligence, infrastructure, and application development. Under CEO Sindhura Thummalasetty, Softhq has secured number 308 on the 2014 Inc. 5000, having increased its revenue 1,497 percent to $16.1 million in 2013 from $1 million in 2010. During the same period, the company also grew its staff from 28 employees to 188.

5. HoverCam

Founded in 2009, HoverCam designs and manufactures a device that combines the features of a digital camera and scanner in one and is used in more than 100,000 classrooms. With CEO Ji Shen at the helm, the company has increased its revenue 1,517 percent to $4.8 million in 2013 from $294,000 in 2010. So, it's not surprising that HoverCam ranks number 302 on the Inc. 5000.

4. Tealium

Coming in at number 253 on the Inc. 5000, Tealium has grown its revenue 1,808 percent to $12.5 million in 2013, from $653,000 in 2010. The six-year-old company makes software that provides a unified platform for comprehensive digital marketing operations. Tealium's CEO Jeff Lunsford has helped stock up its staff, which comprised 150 employees in 2013 compared to just three employees in 2010.

3. Pathway Genomics

With CEO James Plante leading the way, Pathway Genomics has made it to number 173 on the Inc. 5000. The six-year-old clinical laboratory provides physicians and their patients with genetic information from its testing services that cover a variety of conditions including cardiac health, cancer risk, inherited diseases, nutrition and exercise response, and drug response for specific medications including those used in pain management and mental health. As of 2013, the company employed 123 employees, compared to just 27 in 2010. In that same period, Pathway Genomics also increased its revenue 2,416 percent to $14.4 million in 2013 from $573,500 in 2010.

2. PhotoBin

This six-year-old company develops products to help people preserve, archive, manage, share, organize, and print their multi-format photo and video collections. Under CEO Steve Weber, PhotoBin has snagged number 60 on the 2014 Inc. 5000, having increased its revenue 5,003 percent to $6.4 million in 2013 from $125,000 in 2010. The company also added 47 jobs over the period.

1. Multifamily Utility

Founded in 2007, this utility and billing company specializes in the allocation of water, gas, and electric utilities for apartments, condominiums, commercial buildings, new construction, mobile homes, and military housing throughout the U.S. Multifamily Utility ranks No. 1 for San Diego and number 56 overall on the 2014 Inc. 5000. In just three years CEO Brian Stone helped the company grow its revenue 5,196 percent to $5.8 million in 2013 from nearly $109,000 in 2010. In the same period, Multifamily Utility's staff increased to 35 employees from just four.

Published on: Jan 2, 2015