Since 1982, private companies throughout the United States have used being named to Inc. Magazine’s Inc. 500/5000 list as a benchmark for entrepreneurial success.
The list, which comes out annually, has honored household names like 7-Eleven, Pandora, Toys ‘R’ Us and other well-known brands. This year, 79 Wisconsin companies made the list, with Madison-based Restore Health Pharmacy topping the Wisconsin list at number 79.
The list, originally named the Inc. 500, was expanded to the Inc. 500/5000 in 2007. The more expansive list, according to the magazine, “gives readers a deeper, richer understanding of the entrepreneurial landscape and (captures) a broader spectrum of success.”
Companies are ranked by overall revenue growth over a three-year period. This year’s list was compiled using revenue numbers from 2009 and 2012. Data, including total number of employees and total number of jobs added are also shared. Four Wisconsin companies – Restore Health Pharmacy, Sustainable Supply Co. (113), Patina Solutions (279), and Dynamic Recycling (382) – were in the list’s top 500 companies and were featured in the September 2013 issue of Inc. Magazine.
Combined, the Wisconsin companies here generated more than $2.6 billion in revenue for the state in 2012.
In the section that follows, WisconsinBiz profiles five of the Inc. 5000 companies and outline their growth plans in the state. The companies appear in the order they are ranked on the 2013 Inc, 5000 list.
#79 Restore Health Pharmacy: Medicine for personalized care
As health care costs continue to rise, and preventative medicines become a more viable option for patients, Restore Health Pharmacy is poised for significant growth. The Madison-based company specializes in the production of commercially unavailable custom compound medications.
“Everyone is genetically different; chemically, hormonally, physically – we’re different,” said Murray Firestone, EVP and chief strategy officer. “Health care medicine has moved to a mass production model, and that just doesn’t work.”
Firestone’s logic seems sound: Pharmaceutical dosages are approved on a general basis. The dosage used for a 230-pound male cannot be right for a 105-pound female.
Restore Health Pharmacy started in 1982 by providing custom hormone treatments for women. Since then, the technology has evolved, and Restore Health pharmacists can now compound practically any medication in custom dosages and custom delivery methods that may be easier or safer for certain patients to take, including topical creams and lozenges in addition to traditional pills.
Today, the company has expanded to two additional locations; Highland Park, New Jersey and St. Petersburg, Florida. Restore Health now has approximately 70 employees and plans to increase that number to 100 in the short term, and double that over the next year, Firestone said.
The company grew over 4,000 percent over the past three years and garnered $4.9 million in 2012.
“As the popularity and cost effectiveness of advancements like human genotyping continues, we move closer toward the ability of having every medication completely tailored to our individual physiology,” Firestone said. “That is coming in our lifetime, and Restore Health is positioned to support and benefit from these advancements.”
#279 Patina Solutions: On-hand experience when you need it
It was an unlikely time to start a company when Mike Harris approached investors with his business plan for Brookfield-based Patina Solutions.
It was 2008, and the country was on the verge of the worst economic crisis it had experienced in decades.
The model was stout, however, and today investors are happy. The company has opened offices in nine U.S. cities, one in Hong Kong and has experienced more than 1,500 percent revenue growth in the last three years.
Patina Solutions provides placement of seasoned professionals, all with at least 25 years professional experience, in companies on an interim, project or short-term basis.
Companies are able to use that experience to help solve problems, manage projects, execute initiatives and address gaps in expertise and resources, Harris said.
“We knew our model had great growth potential,” said Mike Harris, president and CEO. “It’s a smart way to do business for all parties involved. Our clients want, and need, that been-there-done-that professional, and our professionals want to be able to use their experience and skills while still maintaining a flexible lifestyle.”
According to Harris the company was funded solely by individual Wisconsin-based angel investors; the company has since received several rounds of growth financing. Patina earned $600,000 in revenue its first year in business. In 2012, the company earned $9.9 million and is poised to continue that growth.
Patina Solutions now has offices in Brookfield/Milwaukee, Madison, Chicago, Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Boston and Tampa, as well as additional support in Hong Kong and other international cities.
#382 Dynamic Recycling: Clean, green technology disposal
Today’s world is infused through and through with technology. We have electronic devices for everything; computers, laptops, televisions, telephones, tablets and appliances – all designed to make our lives more convenient.
Disposing of those devices properly once their life cycle is complete is what hasn’t always been convenient.
The founders of Dynamic Recycling, Inc., of La Crosse realized that potential and formed a company in 2007 that properly and professionally disposes of electronic materials from consumers, government agencies, companies and schools throughout the state.
“Many electronics contain hazardous chemicals including lead and even mercury,” said Curt Greeno, president of Dynamic Recycling. “Prior to the emergence of this industry, many of those chemicals ended up in landfills.”
Dynamic Recycling was established with environmental sustainability in mind, Greeno said.
The company follows a three-tier process once electronic materials enter the facility. First, reusable or refurbishable parts are identified. Remaining materials are then manually broken down and the waste material is distributed to other companies who use it to make new products, Greeno said.
The company has grown rapidly in the last three years – 1,165 percent to 2012 revenues of $13.5 million. It has recently opened a second location in Nashville, Tenn.
“Our company’s growth is driven by the industry need and by our people,” Greeno said.
“We’ve continued to diversify our business to meet demand. Our goal, long term, is to expand to additional locations throughout the U.S.”
#2528 Fiberstar: Making waves in overseas food market
River Falls-based Fiberstar Inc., emerged from a failed experiment in the lab at the University of Minnesota. What started as an attempt to create a more efficient filter pad for the fast food industry has since morphed into an all-natural food ingredient product used to improve freshness and nutrition in the food industry.
“Our goal is to provide real solutions to the food production industry that improve taste, texture and lasting freshness while still remaining healthy and cost effective,” said Dale Lindquist, president and CEO of Fiberstar.
The company uses technology to open and expand the structure of natural citrus fibers to produce a line of products that help maintain moisture in products like baked goods and meat products, among others.
“The product helps maintain moisture in a product throughout its shelf life,” Lindquist said.
The company works with worldwide distributors and sells its product in 60 countries, with 85 percent of its product being exported, Lindquist said.
The company operates a manufacturing facility in Florida, to be near the citrus industry, and has two locations in Wisconsin one in River Falls, one in Eau Claire- focused mostly on research and development.
The company earned $9.5 million in revenue in 2012, and experienced 140 percent compound annual revenue growth, but was limited by the capacity of its existing manufacturing facility.
In 2013, the company received financing in 2013 to quadruple the size of the facility and produce year-round.
“The new expansion will allow us to expand our production to $45 million, and we expect $100 million in sales within about five years,” Lindquist said.
#4124 Turnkey Corrections: Technology drives expansion and job growth
In the late 1990’s, Patrick McMullan and his brother-in-law operated a traditional commercial vending business. The two saw an opportunity to take advantage of the emerging inmate facility market, which was starting to transition to a cashless system.
Hudson-based Turnkey Corrections was established in 1998. The company began offering cashless vending systems for correctional institutions across the country.
“We continue to evolve to answer the needs of our clients,” said Patrick McMullan, president.
In addition to cashless vending, the company offers kiosks that digitize an inmate’s canteen money, allowing outsiders to add funds online, plus kiosks for inmate email communication and video kiosks for inmate/family visits.
Turnkey Corrections services inmate facilities in 29 states, including five in Wisconsin. The company has grown to 175 employees since its inception, and is positioned for more growth.
About a year ago, the brothers launched a second company. Three Square Market applies the Turnkey technology to ‘self-checkout’ vending kiosks for company break rooms.
The company has “micro-markets” in 200 locations across the country, McMullan said.
“These ‘micro-markets’ allow the opportunity for fresh and healthier options employees can’t always get with traditional vending,” McMullan said.
According to McMullan, the company plans to continue to add inmate facility clients, and open an additional 600 micro-markets yet this year.
With expansion will come additional jobs, added McMullan.
The company recently expanded into Prescott with a 55,000 – 60,000 square-foot-warehouse space and three stories of additional office space that should be finished by the end of this year.
“This is the future. There is no limit to our technology.”