Inc.2 min readEntrepreneurship
500 Dreams Come True. Are You Listening, Washington?
THE AMERICAN DREAM HAS BEEN taking its lumps lately. Researchers tell us that the gap between rich and poor, by some measures, is three times wider than it was just 30 years ago. Worse, only half of today’s Americans in their 30s earn more than their
Inc.3 min read
This Company Rocks
David Kalt founded, a Chicago-based online marketplace for musical instruments, after taking an online stock-trading company public. A huge leap? Not really. The two businesses are more similar than you’d think.
Inc.6 min readEntrepreneurship
Immigration. Trade. Health care. Taxes.
Policy instability has hit an historic peak, challenging any growth-minded founder...Yet with agility and resilience, the Inc. 500 are threading through the chaos
Inc.9 min read
Taking Care of Business. And Yourself
In March 1989, Daymond John launched an apparel business by selling hand-sewn hats on the streets of Hollis, Queens. Since then, his company—Fubu—has notched more than $6 billion in global sales, and he’s landed a seat as a star investor on the hit ABC series Shark Tank. In this exclusive interview with Inc., conducted over a long lunch in Chicago, John speaks candidly of the loneliness that comes with leadership, his hard-won understanding of why founders ignore their health—and the importance of a well-timed drink.
Inc.8 min read
The Skillz to Conquer Inside This Year’s Fastest-Growing Company
ANDREW PARADISE and CASEY CHAFKIN Skillz → Three-year growth 50,058.9% → 2016 revenue $54.2 million YOU WON’T WORK at Skillz unless you commit to something that could get you fired almost anyplace else: playing lots of video games on your phone. At
Inc.2 min readTech
Maybe It Was in the Cards
Yuchun Lee, the son of a Taiwanese ship captain, earned concurrent bachelor’s and master’s degrees (in electrical engineering and computer science) at MIT and founded his second company while on the school’s notorious blackjack team. After that company—Unica—sold for half a billion dollars, he co-founded the Needham, Massachusetts–based online training company Allego, using skills he picked up at school and casinos.
Inc.5 min read
The Drive to Thrive
Armir Harris came to the U.S. as a political refugee, but under the wing of his uncle, who immigrated two years later, he acquired the tools to shape his own American dream. Harris is the founder of Shofur, an Atlanta-based platform that books buses for events and tracks their location in real time.
Inc.2 min read
Basking in the Warmth of Electric Vehicles
Raised in Siberia, son of an oil-field engineer, Valery Miftakhov caught the startup bug working in high-energy physics—and avoiding winter—at the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Later, he was at McKinsey & Co. and then Google, where the launch of Tesla and other EVs got him thinking about how electrons move through the power grid. This led to eMotor-Werks, which sells JuiceBox, a fast, app-enabled EV charger that taps the grid at the most carbon-efficient time.
Inc.3 min read
Making a Social Media Impression
After spending his teenage years in the Miami R&B group Pretty Ricky, Spectacular Blue Smith found a second calling as a social media guru. His Rancho Cucamonga, California–based company, Adwizar, manages and monetizes the accounts of more than 100 actors, musicians, and athletes. Last year, Adwizar’s tentacles reached Hollywood-size proportions, with more than 300 billion social media impressions.
Inc.3 min readTech
Planning for That Inevitable Tech Disaster
Amy Webb A MONTHS AGO, a friend from college called me in a panic. He’s a smart, tech­savvy entrepreneur—a physical therapist who grew his practice into a regional health care company with multiple locations and his own line of branded exercise equi
Inc.2 min readFood & Wine
From Golf Buddies to Gourmet Snack Pros
Blair Swiler and Dennis Riedel met as caddies on a Florida golf course, after a heart attack made Swiler rethink his high-stress corporate chef’s job (and unhealthy eating habits). Here, Swiler describes how he and Riedel launched their protein-rich jerky as a ninth-hole snack—and turned it into a mass-distributed, celebrity-loved brand.
Inc.9 min readEntrepreneurship
The Ultimate Business Incubator PHILADELPHIA
As the nation’s sixth largest city puts entrepreneurship front and center, its startup scene is percolating.
Inc.3 min read
Testing, Testing, Testing—Why We’re Fools for Tools
Thomas Goetz THERE’S NO BIGGER CLICHÉ in startup land today than the office dashboard—a giant, flat-screen, 4K monitor prominently mounted by the front door, flickering with data points that affirm how this company is killing it by every conceivable
Inc.3 min readEntrepreneurship
Bankruptcy, Jail, and a Second Chance
As founder of a $30 million technical support startup, Heather Blease was on top of the world. But when one mega-client didn’t deliver, her company came crashing down. After nearly a decade, Blease decided to launch the Brunswick, Maine-based SaviLinx, another technical support startup, with a new business model—and a new perspective.
Inc.3 min read
Southern Style
Today, Lauren James Enterprises, a Fayetteville, Arkansas–based apparel company that sells preppy dresses and T-shirts with a southern flavor, has more than 100 employees, three retail locations, and $13 million in revenue. In the beginning, it was just Lance and Lauren Stokes, their baby, and the business—and no time to sleep.
Inc.2 min read
Fighting Back From Poverty and Addiction
For the first 24 years of his life, Chris Rickerson’s future looked dim. He grew up in poverty, with a drug-addicted mother and drug demons of his own. Facing dire consequences, he turned his life around and, in 2013, started Elite Staffing Solutions, a Wichita, Kansas–based staffing company that lifts up people who are struggling as he once did.
Inc.2 min read
Want E-commerce Success? It Starts with an Unbeatable Brand
For many years, the key to a retailer’s success was physical proximity to its customers, but that has changed dramatically in the digital era. “What it’s all about now is design and branding and how a retailer is able to use those elements to communi
Inc.3 min read
Treasure in the Trash
When he was 18, high school dropout Hunter Moore saw an opportunity to provide “lumping and logistics” staffing to companies needing to load and unload trucks and find drivers. With Memphis-based Moore Advanced, the 22-year-old now serves difficult-to-staff industries like recycling plants.
Inc.3 min read
Is That Startup Spirit Sagging? You Can Build It Back Up
KATE ROCKWOOD BETWEEN THE INITIAL EXCITEMENT of launching a business and the stability of running an established company is a rocky and moody adolescence. For startups, “no matter how happily employees burned the midnight oil at the outset, there’s
Inc.3 min read
Diversity Is Not an Accident
If you want your work force to reflect the rest of the world (and your customers), change your behavior
Inc.2 min read
An Athlete’s Second Act
“This is not something I planned on,” says former college hoops star Lanny Smith. “I was always an athlete.” But injuries crushed his dreams just before his rookie NBA season began. His Christian faith kept him going, and an idea to marry it with athletic wear—dreamed up while he was recuperating in a hospital—gave him a thriving Houston-based company. Oh, and his investors? They include some guy named Steph Curry.
Inc.5 min readEntrepreneurship
Bigger Faster Better
EVERY YEAR, THE INC. 500 celebrates founders and companies that have achieved rapid growth through careful planning and flawless execution. This year, we’re also honoring a slightly different breed—founders for whom good enough isn’t good enough, the
Inc.2 min read
Building a Business on the Move
Cameron Cruse faced a problem common to those who marry into the military: Relocating often, it’s hard to find a job, much less build a career. Cruse teamed with fellow military spouse Lisa Bradley to put people like themselves to work making high-end handbags. With R. Riveter, in Southern Pines, North Carolina, they’ve built a network of spouses to make their products.
Inc.3 min read
Taking On Goliath
In 2013, former co-workers Julie Dacar and Amrita Grewal paired up to build their own staffing firm. Neither imagined that three years later their upstart, Washington, D.C.–based TalEx, would dethrone an industry giant, which also happened to be the parent of their former employer.
Inc.3 min read
When Do You Really Need the Next Big Thing?
Gary Vaynerchuk IF YOU WANT TO SURVIVE the cycle of innovation—that continuous process of discovery, incubation, acceleration, and scaling—there’s something you need to know: If you remain a romantic, and attached to a legacy technology or trend, yo
Inc.2 min read
The technology miracle that is modern-day Florida has deep roots in the aerospace and outer space industries of the 1960s. The gaming, software, augmented reality, and virtual reality companies that dot the Florida landscape owe everything to the lik
Inc.5 min read
PEOs Have Much to Offer Growing Businesses
Professional employer organizations make big-company benefits packages available to small and midsize businesses.
Inc.2 min read
How an FDA Threat Made Me a Great Operator
As told to Lindsey Blakely Hayden Slater | Pressed Juicery → Fresh juice retailer Hayden Slater opened Pressed Juicery in 2010 with two friends who shared his devotion to fresh juice. Each put in $30,000. They set up in the back of a Beverly Hills
Inc.2 min read
A Senior Operations Staffer Is Performing Poorly. How Do You Get a Star Back on Track?
SHEILA MARIKAR “I’d ask the employee what he or she thinks should happen, and then we’d work together to find consensus on an action plan. That allows us to get buy-in for consequences. It makes it more likely that folks will follow through, and if
Inc.3 min readTech
Ready. Fire. Aim? The Distribution Devolution
Thomas Goetz THE DIGITAL AGE HAS MADE so much about entrepreneur ship easier. There are services to take care of everything, including human resources (Zenefits), office space (WeWork), manufacturing (Alibaba), and fundraising (Indiegogo). If you ha
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