The Inner City 100 are among the nation’s fastest-growing urban firms. The list of the city-based businesses, thriving from coast to coast, is compiled by Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and featured in Fortune magazine. The top firms range from a Philadelphia glass blowing outfit, to an Oakland-based 3D printing shop, from a high-end Brooklyn chocolatier to a New Haven software company, the only Connecticut company to earn a spot on the list. “America's urban core is filled with a wildly diverse array of fast-growing businesses,” Fortune points out in presenting this year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies. Ranking at number 20 is Square 9 Softworks, a leading developer of innovative, business-centric software solutions, headquartered in New Haven.
Education is paramount at Square 9 Softworks, the write-up by ICIC points out. The document management software maker “has led a number of tech-focused workshops for entrepreneurs in New Haven, as well as creating inner-city scholarships and business intern programs, while recruiting talent from local schools.”
According to ICIC, half its employees are under 35 and come from area universities, and Square 9 plans to nearly double its workforce in two years. Clients and partners include Priceline, New York Life Insurance Company, Ohio State University, and Konica Minolta. According to Fortune and ICIC, the company’s 5-year growth rate is 489 percent, with 2014 revenue of $7.45 million.
The companies listed on “Inner City 100” list among the fastest-growing American companies in any location. Although based in the inner city, these companies derive more than half their revenues from regional, national and international sales, the ICIC explains. The median firm is 11 years old with over $8 million in annual revenue, 45 full-time employees and a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 39 percent.
The Inner City 100 Companies, according to the website listing, are producing jobs in their local communities, competitive advantage for their business partners and profits for their investors. Across all sectors, Inner City 100 firms are more productive than their sector peers throughout the U.S., according to U.S. Census data.
The top 10 companies: Bithenergy (Baltimore); BWI (Indianapolis); Caduceus Healthcare (Atlanta); Rise Interactive (Chicago); Business Resource and Security Services (Washington DC); StreamLink Software (Cleveland); Concrete Constructors, Inc. (Jackson, MS); Impact Makers, Inc. (Richmond,VA); Creative Business Solutions, Inc. (Washington, DC); and The Onyx Company (Chicago).
Square 9 Softworks is a privately held Connecticut-based corporation whose management team consists of tenured ECM industry professionals, according to the company’s website. Last month, Square 9 Softworks, announced that Buyers Laboratory LLC (BLI), the world’s leading independent evaluator of document imaging products and solutions, awarded Square 9’s “SmartSearch 4.2” the 2015 Summer Pick Award.
“SmartSearch is one of the few document management solutions that can be ideal for both large and small organizations,” said BLI Senior Editor, Jamie Bsales. “Unlike many document management systems, SmartSearch includes most functionality in the standard product, rather than requiring extra-cost add-ons. This makes SmartSearch much less expensive when matched feature-for-feature with other leading systems. Square 9’s SmartSearch has demonstrated to BLI its ability to satisfy complex business needs, streamline daily processes and increase productivity.”
Square 9 is fully owner managed and as such is not subject to the direction of the markets or private equity, the website emphasizes. As a privately held corporation Square 9 has assumed a long term position of expanded growth and profitability, realizing triple digit growth in each of the four years from 2008 – 2011 while recording profitability in sixteen straight quarters, the website points out.
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC strengthens inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. It is led by CEO Steve Grossman, a former Massachusetts State Treasurer and gubernatorial candidate.