GoExpedi, an e-commerce software company, represents Houston's tech and startup ecosystem on this year's Inc. 5000. Image courtesy of GoExpedi

In the latest edition of its roundup of fastest growing privately held companies, Inc. magazine has recognized dozens of Houston organizations.

Houston startup GoExpedi, an industrial supply chain and analytics company, is the highest ranking local tech company on the list. GoExpedi ranked No. 675 in the 2022 edition of Inc. 5000, with a 924 percent growth rate between 2018 and 2021.

"The team at GoExpedi is honored to rank number 675 among America's Fastest-Growing Private Companies on the Inc. 5000 Annual List," says Tim Neal, CEO of GoExpedi, in a news release. "GoExpedi has grown exponentially since launching in 2017 due to our forward-thinking and innovative supply chain solutions."

Real estate firm Disrupt Equity is the overall top Houston performer, and the sole Houston company to break the top 200 in the report. The company charted an impressive 2,975 percent growth rate between 2018 and 2021. The firm pushes complete multifamily real estate investment offerings that are earmarked as able to achieve and even exceed projections, clearly a safe haven in one of the biggest — and hottest — real estate markets in the entire nation.

Disrupt claims an impressive ROI for clients: The company boasts a "proven track record with over a dozen full cycle exits averaging over 36 percent annualized return to investors," director of investor relations, Tarek Moussa, tells CultureMap.

"We could not be more ecstatic to hear that Disrupt Equity has been announced as the fastest growing company in Houston by Inc 5000," says Feras Moussa, Disrupt's managing partner, in a statement. "We believe success in real estate, especially in today's economic environment, comes from being a great operator and having a strong team behind you. We believe this has been a large contributor to our success and helps us to continue to provide incredible passive real estate investment opportunities to our investors."

Speaking of real estate, another Houston firm performed well. Construction Concepts, which specializes in commercial design and build in Houston and Austin, ranked No. 497 overall, with 1,251 percent growth over three years. 5111 VENTURES, listed as a full-service real estate brokerage firm specializing in technology-driven residential and commercial sales and consulting services, was No. 558 with 1125 percent growth over three years.

In all, 468 Texas-based companies made this year’s Inc. 5000. Dallas-Fort Worth firms performed especially well:

  • No. 13 StaffDNA, Plano, 19,699 percent growth rate
  • No. 17 Blue Hammer Roofing, Dallas, 15,911 percent growth rate
  • No. 116 TimelyMD, Fort Worth, 3,852 percent growth rate
  • No. 142 Curis Functional Health, Farmers Branch, 3,380 percent growth rate
  • No. 148 SmartLight Analytics, Plano, 3,317 percent growth rate
  • No. 168 Digital Thrive, Dallas, 3,056 percent growth rate
  • No. 172 Forester Haynie, Dallas, 2,984 percent growth rate

Here are the other Texas companies appearing in the state’s top 20 and in the top 500 overall.

  • No. 60 AdOutreach, Austin, 6,052 percent growth rate
  • No. 62 Webforce, Austin, 6,009 percent growth rate
  • No. 117 Homestead Brands, Austin, 3,839 percent growth rate
  • No. 174 Disrupt Equity, Houston, 2,975 percent growth rate
  • No. 188 24HourNurse Staffing, Pittsburg, 2,801 percent growth rate
  • No. 201, Everly Health, Austin, 2,643 percent growth rate
  • No. 209, Texas Solar Integrated, San Antonio, 2,559 percent growth rate
  • No. 212, Apple Blvd Boutique, Frisco, 2,555 percent growth rate
  • No. 285 Element 26, Austin, 1,948 percent growth rate
  • No. 312 Boostlingo, Austin, 1,820 percent growth rate
  • No. 317 Cover Desk, Austin, 1,800 percent growth rate
  • No. 325 Canopy Management, Austin, 1,758 percent growth rate
  • No. 497 Construction Concepts, Houston, 1,251 percent growth rate

Companies on the 2022 Inc. 5000 are ranked by percentage growth in revenue from 2018 to 2021. To qualify for the list, a company must have been founded and been generating revenue by March 31, 2018. The company also must have been U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent as of December 31, 2021. The minimum revenue required for 2018 was $100,000; the minimum for 2021 was $2 million.

"The accomplishment of building one of the fastest-growing companies in the U.S., in light of recent economic roadblocks, cannot be overstated," says Scott Omelianuk, editor in chief of Inc. "Inc. is thrilled to honor the companies that have established themselves through innovation, hard work, and rising to the challenges of today."

A total of 90 Houston-area companies made the list last year, including Homestead Brands, Onit, GoCo.io, Velentium, Softeq, Poetic, Techwave, and more.

------

This article originally ran on CultureMap. Steven Devadanam and Natalie Harms also contributed to this story.

Ad Placement 300x100
Ad Placement 300x600

CultureMap Emails are Awesome

Houston family's $20M donation drives neurodegeneration research

big impact

Neurodegeneration is one of the cruelest ways to age, but one Houston family is sharing its wealth to invigorate research with the goal of eradicating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

This month, Laurence Belfer announced that his family, led by oil tycoon Robert Belfer, had donated an additional $20 million to the Belfer Neurodegeneration Consortium, a multi-institutional initiative that targets the study and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.

This latest sum brings the family’s donations to BNDC to $53.5 million over a little more than a decade. The Belfer family’s recent donation will be matched by institutional philanthropic efforts, meaning BNDC will actually be $40 million richer.

BNDC was formed in 2012 to help scientists gain stronger awareness of neurodegenerative disease biology and its potential treatments. It incorporates not only The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, but also Baylor College of Medicine, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

It is the BNDC’s lofty objective to develop five new drugs for Alzheimer’s disease and related disorders over the next 10 years, with two treatments to demonstrate clinical efficacy.

“Our goal is ambitious, but having access to the vast clinical trial expertise at MD Anderson ensures our therapeutics can improve the lives of patients everywhere,” BNDC Executive Director Jim Ray says in a press release. “The key elements for success are in place: a powerful research model, a winning collaborative team and a robust translational pipeline, all in the right place at the right time.”

It may seem out of place that this research is happening at MD Anderson, but scientists are delving into the intersection between cancer and neurological disease through the hospital’s Cancer Neuroscience Program.

“Since the consortium was formed, we have made tremendous progress in our understanding of the molecular and genetic basis of neurodegenerative diseases and in translating those findings into effective targeted drugs and diagnostics for patients,” Ray continues. “Yet, we still have more work to do. Alzheimer's disease is already the most expensive disease in the United States. As our population continues to age, addressing quality-of-life issues and other challenges of treating and living with age-associated diseases must become a priority.”

And for the magnanimous Belfer family, it already is.

3 Houston innovators to know this week

who's who

Editor's note: Every week, I introduce you to a handful of Houston innovators to know recently making headlines with news of innovative technology, investment activity, and more. This week's batch includes a podcast with the founder of a new venture firm, a former astronaut and recent award recipient, and a health care innovator with fresh funding.

Zach Ellis, founder and managing partner of South Loop Ventures

Zach Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that South Loop Ventures plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale. Photo via LinkedIn

Houston has a lot of the right ingredients for commercialization and scaling up companies, so when Zach Ellis moved to town to stand up a venture capital firm that made investments in diverse founders, he decided to go about it in an innovative way.

South Loop Ventures, which Ellis launched two years ago, invests in pre-seed and seed-stage startups across health care, climatetech, aerospace, sports, and fintech. While the first handful of investments, which have already been made, are into Houston-based companies, Ellis explains on the Houston Innovators Podcast that the firm plans to invest in promising companies from across the country and bring them into Houston's ecosystem to grow and scale.

"Any investor wants to feel like they are looking at the best possible investment opportunities in which to deploy capital," Ellis says on the show. "So that's reason No. 1 to cast your net as widely as possible.

"At the same time, you want to give any investment that you make greatest chances of success," he continues. "The biggest factor of success outside of the team and the capital you give them, is the customers that they can call upon. In bringing targeted companies to Houston or connecting them with Houston, you introduce the opportunity for them to achieve rapid scale and work with world-class partners very efficiently." Read more.


Toby R. Hamilton, founder and CEO of Hamilton Health Box

Dr. Toby Hamilton has secured $10 million to grow his company. Photo via tmc.edu

A Houston company that is working on a value-based model for primary care has fresh funding to support its mission.

Hamilton Health Box announced the completion of a $10 million series A funding round led by 1588 Ventures with participation from Memorial Hermann Health System, Impact Ventures by Johnson & Johnson Foundation, Texas Medical Center Venture Fund, and the Sullivan Brothers.

The company, founded in 2019 by Dr. Toby R. Hamilton, will use the funding to fuel its expansion into rural areas to help assist those living in Health Professional Shortage Areas, or HPSAs. Read more.

Ellen Ochoa, former astronaut and center director at the NASA's Johnson Space Center

Ellen Ochoa was recognized for her leadership at NASA Johnson and for being the first Hispanic woman in space. Photo via NASA

Two astronauts recently received Presidential Medals of Freedom from President Joe Biden for their leadership in space.

Ellen Ochoa, the former center director and astronaut at the NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston, and Jane Rigby, senior project scientist for NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope, were honored at the White House on May 3.

Ochoa spent 30 years with NASA, which included being the 11th director of JSC, deputy center director of JSC, and director of Flight Crew Operations. She served on the nine-day STS-56 mission aboard the space shuttle Discovery in 1993, and became the first Hispanic woman in space. She flew four more times to space with STS-66, STS-96, STS-110, and more.

“I’m so grateful for all my amazing NASA colleagues who shared my career journey with me,” Ochoa says in a NASA news release. Read more.

Houston health care institutions receive $22M to attract top recruits

coming to Hou

Houston’s Baylor College of Medicine has received a total of $12 million in grants from the Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas to attract two prominent researchers.

The two grants, which are $6 million each, are earmarked for recruitment of Thomas Milner and Radek Skoda. The Cancer Prevention & Research Institute of Texas (CPRIT) announced the grants May 14.

Milner, an expert in photomedicine for surgery and diagnostics, is a professor of surgery and biomedical engineering at the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic at the University of California, Irvine and the university’s Chao Family Comprehensive Cancer Center

In 2013, Milner was named Inventor of the Year by the University of Texas at Austin. At the time, he was a professor of biomedical engineering at UT. One of his major achievements is co-development of the MasSpec Pen, a handheld device that identifies cancerous tissue within 10 seconds during surgical procedures.

Skoda is a professor of molecular medicine in the Department of Biomedicine at the University of Basel and the University Hospital Basel, both in Switzerland. He specializes in developing treatments for myeloproliferative neoplasms, which are a group of blood diseases including leukemia.

Other recruitment grants provided by the institute to Houston-area organizations are:

  • $4 million for recruitment of Susan Bullman to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. She was an assistant professor at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, where she studied the connection between microbes and cancer.
  • $4 million for recruitment of Oren Rom to the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Rom is an assistant professor of pathology and translational pathobiology at Louisiana State University Shreveport.
  • Nearly $2 million for recruitment of Lauren Hagler to conduct RNA cancer biology at Texas A&M University. She is a postdoctoral scholar in biochemistry at Stanford University.

The institute also awarded grants to five companies in the Houston area:

  • $4.7 million to 7 Hills Pharma for development of immunotherapies to treat cancer and prevent infectious diseases.
  • $4.5 million to Indapta Therapeutics for the Phase 1 trial of a cell therapy for treatment of multiple myeloma and non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • $2.75 million to Bectas Therapeutics for development of antibodies and biomarkers to overcome a type of resistance T-cell checkpoint therapy.
  • $2.69 million to MS Pen Technologies for development of technology that differentiates between normal tissue and cancerous tissue during surgery.
  • $2.58 million to Crossbridge Bio for development of an antibody-drug combination to treat certain solid tumors.