With a population of more than 2 million residents, a booming energy sector, and a relatively low cost of living, Houston has a lot to offer small business owners.
So it's not all that surprising that this Texas metropolis counts 120 private companies on this year's Inc. 5000. (To create the list, Inc. tabulated revenue growth between fiscal years 2011 and 2014.)
The biggest sellers on this list come from diverse sectors, including technology, health, energy and advertising. At large, the Lone Star state hosts more fast-growing private companies than any other U.S. state, apart from California.
Meet the firms that are cooking up major sales--clocking in at north of $474 million--in this south-western business hub:
10. The Ticket Experience
This startup has an especially unique take on the business of sports: The Ticket Experience, which was founded in 2007, sells season tickets on behalf of major sports teams, and then sells the remaining inventory on secondary websites.
Beyond that, all employees are bonafide sports fans, and can advise on optimal seating locations. Chief executive Ignacio Cubero III has led the business to achieve an impressive $34 million in 2014 revenue, representing a three-year growth rate of 490 percent. The Ticket Experience lands at No. 980 on Inc.'s list.
9. Arch-Con Construction
The contracting business, which was founded by CEO Michael Scheurich in 2000, places special emphasis on design. Arch-Con Construction, which primarily serves real estate developers, architects and building tenants, grew its sales by over 600 percent between 2011 and 2014, and raked in nearly $114 million last year alone. It grabs No. 753 on the 2015 Inc. 5000 (five years ago, in 2010, it ranked No. 845.)
8. Team Trident
2015 marks Team Trident's fourth consecutive year on Inc.'s list. The energy firm provides offshore services for a variety of projects for the oil and gas industry. With chief executive Rod Long at the helm, Team Trident brought in nearly $19 million in sales in 2014, for a three-year growth rate of 664 percent. It ranks No. 681 on the Inc. 5000, and last year, it ranked No. 372.
7. 3S Business Corporation
3S Business Corporation raked in $10.5 million last year to provide software and software consulting services as well as IT staffing. The company is headed up by CEO Satya Athi, and grew its sales by an enviable 694 percent between 2011 and 2014. That makes it No. 654 on Inc.'s list.
6. MSI Supply
MSI Supply makes and distributes hardware, from pipes and valves to gaskets, fasteners and tubing. The Texas company brought in $9.2 million last year, representing a three-year growth rate of 884 percent. It's headed up by chief executive Chad Smith, and lands at No. 526 on this year's Inc. 5000.
5. CGS IT and Staffing
As its name implies, CGS is an IT services company that caters to third-party businesses, bringing in $2 million in annual revenues. It makes No. 395 on the Inc. 5000, having grown its sales by 1,189 percent between 2011 and 2014. The five-year-old startup is led by CEO Yogesh Kondaskar.
4. The Loken Group
The Loken Group sells residential real estate. In 2014, it saw nearly $138 million in sales, representing a three-year growth rate of 1,520 percent. The company, which is headed up by Lance Loken, nabs No. 303 on Inc.'s list.
3. Southern Green Builders
Sam Seidel heads up Southern Green Builders, a construction company which brought in $6.7 million in 2014 revenue. In addition to your run-of-the-mill houses, Southern Green also specializes in remodeling historic properties. It ranks No. 240 on the Inc. 5000, having grown its sales by 1,846 percent.
2. Local Search Group
Founded in 2010, Local Search Group is an advertising firm that caters to medical, automotive and retail companies. Sales heated up by 4,213 percent between 2011 and 2014--raking in $9.4 million last year. The business is headed up by Jim Flint and ranks No. 65 on this year's list.
1. Entrust Energy
The No. 1, fastest-growing private business in Houston is Entrust Energy, which sells electricity and natural gas in six states nationwide. The company--which is also the fifth fastest-growing venture in all of Texas--brought in more than $132 million last year. The business is headed up by Tom Gilpin, who helped to grow his firm's sales by a whopping 5,410 percent between 2011 and 2014.