Tampa, Florida--affectionately known as "The Big Guava" or "Cigar City"--is home to a collective 66 startups on this year’s Inc. 5000. The fact that such rapid growth is concentrated in Tampa isn't too surprising, however. With the University of South Florida inside this central Florida city's limits, many a twentysomething is afoot. Beyond hosting this highly sought after demographic, you can't complain too much about the weather. Average temperatures range between 70 and 90 degrees even in January. Tampa's top industries include retail, real estate, and national defense, all of which are represented in the below list of fast-growing local companies.
The 2014 Inc. 5000 tracked company performance, including the three-year revenue growth rate, between fiscal years 2010 and 2013. Below, meet the top 10 startups hitting their stride in this sunny Southerly state:
This software consulting firm, our tenth fastest-growing Tampa-based company, is also a five-time Inc. 5000 honoree. Today it sits comfortably at No. 1,351 overall, having grown its annual revenue from $5 million to $20.8 million in just three short years. Operating under the slogan "Custom Software Done Right," the team at AgileThought combats the overwhelming statistic that 40 percent of software projects fail, and primarily serves Fortune 1,000 companies. Under the leadership of CEO David Romine, AgileThought has stacked up a growth rate of over 319 percent between 2010 and 2013, all the while maintaining just shy of 100 employees.
9. College Hunks Hauling Junk
CEO Omar Soliman began his career at the age of 10, helping his mother manage her Washington D.C.-based furniture shop. In 2003, while in college, he co-founded College Hunks Hauling Junk with Nick Friedman. True to its name, College Hunks is a junk removal and moving service (the latter dubbed College Hunks Moving), promising stress-free de-cluttering services with free estimates up front. Ranked No. 1,334 on the Inc. 5000, this year marks the company's fifth appearance on the list: In 2013, Soliman and Friedman grew College Hunks' annual revenue by more than 324 percent to $17.5 million, up from $4.1 million in 2010.
8. RE/MAX Dynamic--The Duncan Duo and Associates
RE/MAX Dynamic's Duncan Duo--aptly named after co-founders Andrew and Angela Duncan--clocks out at No. 1,052 on the Inc. 5000 overall. One of two real estate giants representing Tampa on the top 10, Re/Max Dynamic sells commercial and residential properties throughout Florida. Between 2010 and 2013, CEO Andrew Duncan oversaw an impressive growth rate of 423 percent. Earning $2.8 million dollars in 2013 alone, RE/MAX Dynamic is making its debut appearance on Inc.'s list of the fastest-growing private companies in America.
7. ARMA Global
The 7th fastest-growing private company in The Big Guava also represents one of Florida's major economic sectors. A government services firm, ARMA Global provides global manpower support for technical and tactical services. Having grown its annual revenue from $32.3 million to an impressive $172.9 million in just three years, the company has solidly earned its place as No. 1,023 on the Inc. 5000.
CEO Todd Schweitzer co-founded ARMA Global with its current president James D. Fugit in 2008. A former U.S. Army officer and an Airborne Jump Master, Schweitzer helped expand the company from 51 to 607 employees between 2010 and 2013. He's no neophyte when it comes to entrepreneurship: Prior to ARMA Global, Schweitzer founded the technology company, VTI.
6. Custom Cable
Founded back in 1980, Custom Cable makes it onto the Inc. 5000 for having grown its annual revenue by more than 691 percent in just three years. The 14th fastest-growing manufacturing company overall, Custom makes fiber, copper and specialty cables, aiming to be customers' preferred vendor for network connectivity products and services. Headed by CEO Stewart Saad, the company snags No. 663 on the overall list, making this its second appearance. (In 1987, it ranked No. 243.)
5. Kitchen Resource Direct
The fifth fastest-growing company in Tampa is also the only retailer to make it onto the regional top 10, but it does so with flying colors: Kitchen Resource Direct grew its annual revenue from just $469,089 to $4.4 million between 2010 and 2013, landing it on the Inc. 5000 for the very first time this year. Kitchen Resource is an online retailer of wooden (and partially customized) discount kitchen cabinets. With CEO Chris Larsen at the helm, the company added 10 jobs in just three yeras, and clocks out as No. 568 on the overall list. As a company, Kitchen Resource Direct aims to build trust over the Internet, while caring for the community and environment at large.
The name itself inspires confidence. The second of two realtors to make it onto the Tampa-based top 10 private companies, Stress Free Property Management offers services to residential clients, and also renovates rental properties before offering them to investors. The fourth fastest-growing company in Tampa, Stress Free Property can boast a three-year annual revenue growth of more than 863 percent to $8.9 million in 2013. The company's co-founder, David Lowrey, comes from humble beginnings: A straight-A-student turned college dropout, he worked at a textile mill earning $7 an hour, before opting to pursue his dream of starting a real estate business with his partner and now CEO, Chris Mercer. Under their guidance, Stress Free Property Management snags No. 559 on the Inc. 5000.
Convene provides cloud and mobile services, as well as software and IT staffing. Headed by CEO Karthik Viswanathan, this year marks its debut appearance on the Inc. 5000 at No. 430 overall, as well as ranking as the third fastest-growing company in the metro area. With the slogan "Convening Minds. Creating Solutions," the company has grown its annual revenue by more than 1,098 percent in three years to $9.3 million in 2013.
2. LabTech Software
The second fastest-growing company in Tampa makes its second appearance on the Inc. 5000 at No. 354. In 2013, the company clocked in at an impressive No. 53. LabTech develops platforms to monitor and manage IT systems remotely. Operating under the slogan: "Innovate. Integrate. Automate," LabTech earned $34.9 million in revenue in 2013 alone, representing a three-year growth rate of more than 1,331 percent. CEO Matt Nachtrab has more than doubled the number of employees at LabTech between 2010 and 2013.
The fastest-growing company in Tampa is also the only company in the health care industry to make it onto the Tampa top 10. Identifying on its website as the "single platform" for care, quality and compliance, MedHOK seeks to improve clinical outcomes and links reimbursement to improved outcomes for health plans, accountable care organizations and more. Inc. calculated its' three year growth-rate to be more than 9,109 percent, earning $17 million in revenue in 2013 alone. In addition to being Tampa's No. 1, MedHOK is also Florida's third fastest-growing company, and it's topping the charts nationwide, ranking as the sixth fastest growing private health care company in the country. Headed by CEO Anil Kottoor, a self-described "visionary and passionate innovator," WebHOK is the twenty-fifth fastest-growing, private company in America.