'Future 50' award honors fast-growing local firms

Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 11:02pm

Nashville-based NovaCopy has grown more than 350 percent since 2002, and racked up honors including being named Dealer of the Year by the Business Technology Association.

But what really gains the credibility of those in Nashville business circles, according to the company’s marketing director Jason Levkulich, is NovaCopy’s winning of the Music City Future 50 award.

“[The award] helps in Nashville,” Levkulich said. “They’re more apt to do business with you.”

The 16th batch of 50 small, private, fast-growing companies was announced Wednesday by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce. The pace of growth of companies on the list varies each year, but Nancy Eisenbrandt of the Chamber said companies typically must achieve an annual growth rate of 25 percent each year to have any hope of making the cut. This is in addition to the entry qualification of logging revenues of $500,000 per year, or employing at least 10. And, of course, companies must be headquartered in Middle Tennessee.

This year’s award winners represent total revenues of $414 million, and a combined employee count of 3,467.

To compete, companies nominate themselves and must provide revenue and employment figures from the last three years, as well as projections for the next three years. Those values are weighted, then arranged into a point score.

“These are stealth companies, for the most part,” said Eisenbrandt, who is VP of business services for the Chamber. “They’re very difficult to identify in the economy. They’re small. They’re privately held.”

Companies aren’t required to prove their numbers with, for example, tax forms, as the Chamber believes this would deter entries. Sometimes, though, judges confer with company-named consultants — like bankers or attorneys who work for the company — to answer questions. Kraft CPA of Nashville crunches the numbers, and then the Chamber releases the results as an unranked list.

There were only 86 entrants this year, but Eisenbrandt said the group of self-nominators was already a select pool.

“Companies who have nominated themselves several times and don’t make the list gradually recognize that they’re just not at that pace of growth,” Eisenbrandt said.

Eisenbrandt said decisions about the winners are made irrespective of which organizations are members of the Chamber. All, however, are invited to join.

Organizations that have made the list five years in a row are inducted to the Music City 50 Hall of Fame — and are thereafter ineligible for the award. This year, Cybera, Inc, Nashville Bun Company and The Rehab Documentation Company, Inc. were inducted.

“Future 50 companies represent the growing and entrepreneurial environment the Nashville region has come to embody,” said Michael Carter, president & CEO of Athena Health Club and Day Spa and vice chairman of small business for the Chamber, in a statement. “These companies are important contributors to the vitality of the Middle Tennessee area, and it is an extremely important priority of the Chamber to recognize their contributions to our community.”

An awards dinner honoring the 2007 Music City Future 50 will be held Tuesday, Sept. 18 at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, 700 Cool Springs Blvd.

MUSIC CITY FUTURE 50

Nashville

3LI Consultant Group

Advanced Network Solutions*

Avankia LLC**

Concept Technology, Inc.*

Correct Care Solutions, LLC*

Covenant Reliance Producers, LLC***

digiChart, Inc.*

DK & Associates, INC.**

Earnhardt Pirkle, Inc.

echomusic, LLC

Emma**

Hot Yoga Nashville*

Innovative Business Products, LLC

LetterLogic, Inc.***

Nashville Bun Company (HOF)

Nashville Commercial | Cushman & Wakefield Alliance**

NationLink Wireless**

NovaCopy, Inc.*

Optimum Technology Solutions, Inc.*

Paramore | Redd Online Marketing**

PureWorks, Inc. d/b/a PureSafety**

Snappy Auctions (Snappy Sales, LLC)*

The Rehab Documentation Company, Inc. (HOF)

Vireo Systems, Inc.*

Brentwood

Business Synergetics International*

Counsel on Call***

Ingenuity Associates, LLC

MyOfficeProducts, Inc.*

R.K. Barnes & Associates, Inc.*

Sitters Etc., Inc.*

The Bicycle Company dba Bike Pedlar

The HR Group***

The Human Capital Group

USr Healthcare (Formerly Usresources Healthcare)**

Vaco**

Victor Results Advertising, Inc.**

Franklin

ASE Technology, Inc.**

cabedge.com, LLC*

Cumberland Consulting Group, LLC

Cybera, Inc. (HOF)

D1 Sports Training & Therapy

Dalco*

HometownQuotes

Rustici Software**

The ADAM Group – TAG

Hendersonville

Cardinal Construction Services, Inc.**

Gallatin

SRS, Inc.

Dickson

Freedom Communications USA***

Lebanon

MEDIAmail Packaging and Fulfillment Services, Inc.***

Woodbury Clinical Laboratory, Inc.

Number of stars indicates previous wins. “HOF” denotes Hall of Fame winners.

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