winner, winner

Houston company boasting 18,000-percent growth scores top spot on coveted Inc. 5000 list

The sweaters may be ugly, but the success of Specialty1's team is gorgeous. Specialty1/Facebook

Dozens of Houston-based companies have undergone explosive growth in revenue over the last few years, with one such business landing near the top of the prestigious 2023 Inc. 5000 list.

One Houston-based company, Specialty1 Partners, ranked No. 15 nationally, boasting an unimaginable 18,747 percent growth rate from 2019 to 2022. Founded in 2019 by a group of doctors, Specialty1 Partners is a specialty dental services provider focusing on endodontics, oral surgery, and periodontics.

In a press release celebrating their No. 15 spot, the company says it now has more than 350 specialists across 27 states, and over 220 practices.

"We are honored to be recognized by Inc. 5000 for our 3rd consecutive year," stated Daryl Dudum, founder and co-CEO of Specialty1 Partners. "Our tremendous growth reflects our core mission in serving our dental surgical specialists by providing the clinical autonomy they deserve and the business support they need."

While being No. 1 in Houston, Specialty1 Partners is also the fifth highest-ranked Texas business on the list, and No. 1 in the national dental industry. Austin-based CharterUp, an online marketplace specializing in real-time instant transportation booking, ranked No. 2 nationally and No. 1 in the state.

It's not the first award that Specialty1 Partners is celebrating this year. Dudum and his co-founder and co-CEO, Matthew Hadda, were named regional winners for the 2023 EY Entrepreneurs of the Year awards.

Companies on the 2023 Inc. 5000, released August 15, are ranked by percentage growth in revenue from 2019 to 2022. To qualify for the list, a company must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2019. The company also must have been U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent as of December 31, 2022. The minimum revenue required for 2019 was $100,000; the minimum for 2022 was $2 million.

In all, 482 Texas-based companies made this year’s list, and 95 of those are Houston-based. The report says eight businesses are newly-founded, 59 are repeat honorees, and more than 9,400 jobs were added thanks to these companies.

The 10 remaining Houston-area businesses ranking among the top 500 include:

  • No. 81 – Hawthorne Capital, 5,574 percent growth rate
  • No. 89 – Valiant Capital, 5,223 percent growth rate
  • No. 162 – Intervene K-12, 3,207 percent growth rate
  • No. 205 – Mission Driven Meat & Seafood, 2,720 percent growth rate
  • No. 292 – BODY20, 1,931 percent growth rate
  • No. 360 – Cobalt Engineering and Inspections, La Marque, 1,588 percent growth rate
  • No. 383 – Jess Lea Boutique, Magnolia, 1,519 percent growth rate
  • No. 393 – Gasochem International, 1,469 percent growth rate
  • No. 441 – Supreme Jewelers, Friendswood, 1,315 percent growth rate
  • No. 489 – Just Made Foods LLC, 1,198 percent growth rate

Here are the other Texas companies appearing in the state’s top 20 are:

  • No. 2 – CharterUp, Austin, 111,130 percent growth rate
  • No. 4 – Green Light Distribution, Coppell, 41,090 percent growth rate
  • No. 13 – Blue Hammer Roofing, Dallas, 19,510 percent growth rate
  • No. 14 – eTrueNorth, Mansfield, 19,130 percent growth rate
  • No. 19 –, Austin, 16,497 percent growth rate
  • No. 85 – Archer Review, Dallas, 5,378 percent growth rate
  • No. 90 – Norwood, Austin, 5,189 percent growth rate
  • No. 104 – 24HourNurse Staffing, Pittsburg, 4,520 percent growth rate
  • No. 110 – Advantis Medical Staffing, Dallas, 4,302 percent growth rate
  • No. 112 – CloudServus, Austin, 4,215 percent growth rate
  • No. 144 – Maveneer, Dallas, 3,630 percent growth rate
  • No. 145 – Ashland Greene, Dallas, 3,617 percent growth rate
  • No. 152 – Physical Therapy Biz, Dallas, 3,542 percent growth rate
  • No. 155 – Curis Functional Health, Dallas, 3,444 percent growth rate
  • No. 175 – TimelyCare, Fort Worth, 3,015 percent growth rate
  • No. 180 – LeasePoint Funding Group, Austin, 2,920 percent growth rate
The full list of businesses can be found on


This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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A research team housed out of the newly launched Rice Biotech Launch Pad received funding to scale tech that could slash cancer deaths in half. Photo via Rice University

A research funding agency has deployed capital into a team at Rice University that's working to develop a technology that could cut cancer-related deaths in half.

Rice researchers received $45 million from the National Institutes of Health's Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health, or ARPA-H, to scale up development of a sense-and-respond implant technology. Rice bioengineer Omid Veiseh leads the team developing the technology as principal investigator.

“Instead of tethering patients to hospital beds, IV bags and external monitors, we’ll use a minimally invasive procedure to implant a small device that continuously monitors their cancer and adjusts their immunotherapy dose in real time,” he says in a news release. “This kind of ‘closed-loop therapy’ has been used for managing diabetes, where you have a glucose monitor that continuously talks to an insulin pump. But for cancer immunotherapy, it’s revolutionary.”

Joining Veiseh on the 19-person research project named THOR, which stands for “targeted hybrid oncotherapeutic regulation,” is Amir Jazaeri, co-PI and professor of gynecologic oncology at the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. The device they are developing is called HAMMR, or hybrid advanced molecular manufacturing regulator.

“Cancer cells are continually evolving and adapting to therapy. However, currently available diagnostic tools, including radiologic tests, blood assays and biopsies, provide very infrequent and limited snapshots of this dynamic process," Jazaeri adds. "As a result, today’s therapies treat cancer as if it were a static disease. We believe THOR could transform the status quo by providing real-time data from the tumor environment that can in turn guide more effective and tumor-informed novel therapies.”

With a national team of engineers, physicians, and experts across synthetic biology, materials science, immunology, oncology, and more, the team will receive its funding through the Rice Biotech Launch Pad, a newly launched initiative led by Veiseh that exists to help life-saving medical innovation scale quickly.

"Rice is proud to be the recipient of the second major funding award from the ARPA-H, a new funding agency established last year to support research that catalyzes health breakthroughs," Rice President Reginald DesRoches says. "The research Rice bioengineer Omid Veiseh is doing in leading this team is truly groundbreaking and could potentially save hundreds of thousands of lives each year. This is the type of research that makes a significant impact on the world.”

The initial focus of the technology will be on ovarian cancer, and this funding agreement includes a first-phase clinical trial of HAMMR for the treatment of recurrent ovarian cancer that's expected to take place in the fourth year of THOR’s multi-year project.

“The technology is broadly applicable for peritoneal cancers that affect the pancreas, liver, lungs and other organs,” Veiseh says. “The first clinical trial will focus on refractory recurrent ovarian cancer, and the benefit of that is that we have an ongoing trial for ovarian cancer with our encapsulated cytokine ‘drug factory’ technology. We'll be able to build on that experience. We have already demonstrated a unique model to go from concept to clinical trial within five years, and HAMMR is the next iteration of that approach.”

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