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 – Publishing.com, 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 inc.com.

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

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

Houston e-commerce startup cracks Inc. 5000 — here's who makes the 2022 list

by the numbers

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.

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

This Houston company is among the fastest-growing businesses in the state. Sean Pavone/Getty Images

Houston e-commerce company ranks as one of fastest-growing business in Texas, says Inc.

A Houston-based company is among the 100 fastest growing businesses in the nation.

Homestead Brands, an e-commerce business comprised of the Lori Wall Beds and Organic Swings brands, grew 3,916 percent from 2017 to 2020, according to the newly released Inc. 5000 list. That makes the Humble-based business the eighth-fastest-growing private company in Texas and the 98th nationally.

"We are a team of A players determined to build the kind of company we all wish we could have worked at from the start of our careers: a place where everybody is valued, challenged, and comes to work with a sense of purpose," Homestead Brands says on its website.

A total of 90 Houston-area companies made the list. Other tech companies making the cut includes Onit, GoCo.io, Velentium, Softeq, Poetic, Techwave, and more.

Companies on the 2021 Inc. 5000 are ranked according to percentage growth in revenue from 2017 to 2020. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2017. They also must be U.S.-based, privately held, for-profit, and independent. The minimum revenue threshold for 2017 is $100,000; the minimum for 2020 is $2 million. Among the 5,000 companies on the list, the average median three-year growth rate stood at 543 percent, and median revenue reached $11.1 million.

"The 2021 Inc. 5000 list feels like one of the most important rosters of companies ever compiled," Scott Omelianuk, editor-in-chief of Inc., says in an August 17 news release. "Building one of the fastest-growing companies in America in any year is a remarkable achievement. Building one in the crisis we've lived through is just plain amazing. This kind of accomplishment comes with hard work, smart pivots, great leadership, and the help of a whole lot of people."

San Antonio-based Texas Solar Integrated took the top spot statewide and ranked 11th nationally with a growth rate of 22,381 percent. The company installs commercial and residential solar energy systems.

"At Texas Solar, we treat our customers like family. We believe that successful relationships with partners and homeowners alike develop through transparency and the trust for doing things right the first time," the company says on its website.

The top-ranked company from the Austin area is Empowering a Billion Women, landing at No. 28. The company, which does business as EBW Worldwide, focuses on social, health, and economic empowerment of women. The company saw three-year revenue growth of 10,676 percent.

"Access to opportunity, education, and a support system for success is key to breaking the historical biases that have previously held women back from reaching their fullest social, health, and economic potential," says Linda Pringle Evans, dean of The EBW Business School for Women.

In Dallas-Fort Worth, Pomerenke Holdings is the top-ranked company on the Inc. 5000. Holding down the No. 73 spot, the automotive remarketer grew 5,164 percent from 2017 to 2020.

"Being ranked 73rd in a tough economic year for so many demonstrates the outstanding work and dedication of our team and partners," says Joey Pomerenke, founder and CEO of Pomerenke Holdings.

Following are other Texas companies that made the top 200 in the Inc. 5000, along with their three-year growth rates:

49. Residential real estate platform OJO Labs, Austin, 6,767 percent
77. Book club operator Literati, Austin, 4,898 percent
79. Tea-by-the-box purveyor Sips by, Austin, 4,754 percent
87. YouTube ad platform AdOutreach, Austin, 4,515 percent
120. Staffing agency Rayne Staffing, Houston, 3,390 percent
141. Dental services provider Endo1 Partners, Houston, 2,936 percent
165. Healthcare consulting firm ReMedi Health Solutions, Houston, 2,547 percent
169. Mortgage lender NXT Mortgage, Coppell, 2,496 percent
196. Software provider Noblesoft Technologies, Irving, 2,200 percent

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This article originally ran on CultureMap.

As a a part of its annual Inc. 5000 findings, the magazine named Houston the ninth hottest startup city in America. Photo by Tim Leviston/Getty Images

National business magazine names Houston one of the 'hottest startup cities'

hot or not

It's not just Texas' weather that's hot. Three Lone Star State cities made Inc. magazine's list of hot startups cities — and Houston came in at No. 9.

The list came out of the Inc. 5000 report — the magazine's list of the fastest-growing 5,000 privately-held companies in the United States. The list was ranked by the three-year revenue growth of each of the cities' companies.

Houston had a three-year revenue growth 117 percent with 84 Houston companies on the 2019 Inc. 5000 list.

"After Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, the Houston area's construction industry grew tremendously to help rebuild and repair the storm's damage," the short ranking blurb reads, mentioning two Inc. 5000 companies in Houston: oil pipeline services company JP Services (No. 792) and contractor services firm CC&D (No. 1,973).

Houston beat out Dallas (No. 10) by just 4 percent three-year revenue growth and 10 Inc. 5000 companies. The article calls out Dallas for its "low regulations, zero corporate income taxes, and the Dallas Entrepreneur Center, or DEC, which is a nonprofit organization serving as a hub for startup networking, funding, and mentorship."

Meanwhile, Austin, which ranked No. 2 on the list, had a three-year revenue growth 259 percent, and has 87 Inc. 5000 companies this year. Austin was praised for its "high rate of entrepreneurship and job creation" in the article, as well as for having outposts for top tech companies like Amazon, Apple, and Google.

Here's the full list:

  1. San Francisco
  2. Austin
  3. New York City
  4. San Diego
  5. Atlanta
  6. Denver
  7. Los Angeles
  8. Chicago
  9. Houston
  10. Dallas

Earlier this month, Business Facilities magazine named Houston the fourth best startup ecosystem in the U.S., as well as the fourth best city for economic growth potential. Similarly, Commercial Cafe recently named Houston a top large city for early stage startups.

Susan Davenport, senior vice president of economic development for the Greater Houston Partnership, previously told InnovationMap that it's the city's diversity that keeps the city growing and resilient.

"The region's steady population increases, coupled with our relatively low costs of living and doing business, bode well for our economic growth potential reflected in this ranking," Davenport says.

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CultureMap Emails are Awesome

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.