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100 Fastest-Growing Inner City Businesses

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The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC)founded by Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter in 1994, defines inner cities as core urban areas with higher unemployment and poverty rates and lower median incomes than their surrounding metropolitan statistical areas. Every year, ICIC identifies, ranks, and spotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses located in America’s inner cities. In 2016, Companies were ranked by revenue growth over the five-year period between 2011 and 2015.

ICIC relies on a national network of nominating partners, including city offices, economic development organizations, and small business development corporations, to find many of the businesses that appear on this list. Key partners in 2016 were Staples, Chevron, JumpStart, Kaiser Permanente, New York City Department of Small Business Services, and World Business Chicago. This list was audited by the independent accounting firm Rucci, Bardaro, and Falzone, PC.


From a high-tech commercial fishing outlet in Boston to a socially responsible apparel company in Oakland, there’s great variety in the types of businesses thriving in America’s urban centers and creating jobs where they are needed most. Here are this year's 100 fastest-growing inner city companies, as ranked by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC).

See our methodology and credits


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  2. Five-Year Growth Rate (%)
  3. 2015 Revenues ($M)
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ACTIVE Network / JumpForward

Courtesy of JumpForward

JumpForward’s Brad Niedermaier learned about the company he would someday lead to an acquisition by ACTIVE Network in an unexpected way: he saw it on TV. JumpForward, which offers a full-service software platform for college athletic departments, was being featured on Shark Tank, and one of its founders was one of Niedermaier’s former classmates. Niedermaier, who had founded a similar company, contacted his former classmate to offer advice and was invited to join the company. After significant growth and a recent integration with ACTIVE Network, it now provides collegiate coaches, athletic directors, department administrators, and compliance staff the industry’s most comprehensive solution, including sports camp registration, NCAA recruiting and compliance technology, data insights, marketing tools, and budgeting and inventory management.

Company Information

Five-Year Growth Rate (%) 287%
2015 Revenues ($M) $4.85
HQ Location Chicago, IL
Business Leader(s) Brad Niedermaier
Title CEO

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