Portland, Oregon is more than just a West Coast hipster haven. It's also one of the hottest cities for women-led startups. Thanks to a diverse economy, loyal-to-local consumers, and a range of entrepreneurial training programs offered by local colleges and universities, Portland has everything you need to get your business off the ground. Here are 10 companies that know that intrinsically.
10. Sock It to Me
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 4917 Three-year growth 60% 2017 revenue $11.9M
Sock It to Me, true to its name, makes socks (and underwear). But not just any socks! This Portland-based outfitter prides itself on its funky designs and outlandish colors. Numbering more than 40, the team is led by CEO Michelle Walker. And yes, they sell unicorn-patterned socks.
9. Opus Interactive
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 3883 Three-year growth 92% 2017 revenue $5.4M
The three founding members of Opus Interactive met in the IT department of a creative agency in 1996. Since then, CEO Shannon Hulbert has led the 16-person team (as of 2017) to new frontiers in the world of enterprise IT. Opus offers everything from cloud computing to disaster recovery, Web hosting, and custom IT solutions.
8. ebs Associates
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 3526 Three-year growth 107% 2017 revenue $3.5M
Headed up by CEO Denise Loter-Koch, ebs Associates provides small business accounting services and QuickBook consulting to the greater Portland area. With only 22 employees in 2014, the team has nearly doubled in size in the past three years. This is the company's second year on the list, moving up 239 spots from 2017's rankings.
7. Skin by Lovely
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 2956 Three-year growth 138% 2017 revenue $8.0M
Skin by Lovely provides FDA-approved wrinkle relaxers, dermal fillers, and other skin rejuvenation treatments to the greater Portland area as well as Santa Monica, California. CEO Lovely Laban has grown the team to 20 in 2017, up from just four in 2014, and Skin by Lovely has climbed 759 spots from its 2017 Inc. 5000 ranking.
6. Ruby Receptionists
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 2844 Three-year growth 145% 2017 revenue $37.6M
This seven-time Inc. 5000 honoree provides virtual receptionist services for a variety of industries in North America. Founder and CEO Jill Nelson oversees a team of 443 employees as of 2017, up from 195 in 2014. Ruby Receptionists makes a point of investing in its employees, with 50 percent of the company's technology jobs and 80 percent of its management positions held by former receptionists.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 2230 Three-year growth 198% 2017 revenue $12.4M
Three-time Inc. 5000 honoree Zapproved develops e-discovery software for corporate legal teams. Led by CEO Monica Enand, Zapproved has grown to 110 employees in 2017, from 40 in 2014. The company is also ranked the 22nd fastest-growing company in the Portland metro area, and the 24th fastest-growing company in Oregon.
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 2084 Three-year growth 213% 2017 revenue $12.6M
Co-led by Amy Weeden, Propeller provides a range of consulting services to help businesses improve their technology, strategies, and customer experience. In addition to being a fast-growth business--indeed, it ranks 21st on the list for all of Oregon--its employees own 12 percent of Propeller's stock. This year marks Propeller's second time on the Inc. 5000 list.
3. Parking Boxx
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 1621 Three-year growth 286% 2017 revenue $3.6M
Parking Boxx provides equipment and software that automates revenue collection and access control for parking facilities. In other words, they make gates that let cars in and out of parking garages. Led by Renee Smith, Parking Boxx has expanded from 20 to 58 employees in the three years since 2014, is the 15th fastest growing company in Portland, and the 13th fastest growing company in Oregon. This is its second time on the Inc. 5000 list.
2. Tender Loving Empire
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 751 Three-year growth 669% 2017 revenue $3.1M
Tender Loving Empire started selling handmade goods from local Portland creators in 2007. Since then, it has expanded to include fair-trade handmade goods from all over the United States and a few other countries. And in true "empire" fashion, the company led by Brianne and Jared Mees also has a record label. Tender Loving Empire is the 4th fastest-growing company in Portland and the 6th fastest-growing company in Oregon.
1. Brazi Bites
2018 Inc. 5000 rank No. 219 Three-year growth 2,138% 2017 revenue $12.9M
Brazi Bites is one of the fastest-growing companies in the United States, not to mention Portland. Founder and CEO Junea Rocha immigrated to the U.S. from Brazil and worked as a construction manager until 2010, when she and her husband, Cameron MacMullin, decided to launch a business selling one of her favorite Brazilian snacks, a savory cheese bread called pão de queijo. Brazi Bites was featured on Shark Tank, discovered by Whole Foods, and is now sold in 4,500 stores nationwide. This is the company's second time on the list.