Our highly anticipated fastest-growing companies lists have returned with dozens of new businesses to celebrate.
This year’s expansive and diverse lists are based on 2019 revenue, with one for companies over $25 million and the other for businesses with under $25 million. The featured companies reported sustained revenue growth from 2017 to 2019 and were ranked by their percentage growth during that period.
Energy supplement company Vital Pharmaceuticals earned the top spot on the over $25 million list with a reported 705% in revenue growth over the course of two years.
South Florida’s Fastest-Growing Companies – Over $25 Million
Leading the under $25 million list was technology company Accelirate, which posted a two-year percentage growth of nearly 3,790%.
Unlike in previous years, when technology companies made up the largest group of fastest-growing companies across both lists, this year’s lists showcased a more varied group of industries, further illustrating the abundance of avenues to success in the region.
South Florida’s fastest-growing companies were honored Aug. 26 at a virtual event featuring keynote speaker Terry Jones, founder of Travelocity and founding chairman of Kayak.com. The event’s corporate sponsors were Atlantic Broadband, AvMed, BankUnited and Daszkal Bolton.
Congratulations to all our Fast 50 winners. The Business Journal looks forward to documenting your continued success.
– Jessica Bryant
No. 1: Vital Pharmaceuticals
Vital Pharmaceuticals’ story is the classic startup tale. Founder Jack Owoc was sleeping on an air mattress in 1993 as he began pursuing his mission to create the “highest-quality nutritional supplements on the market.”
“I was tired of all the lies and deception that unscrupulous supplement companies were using to purposefully rip off consumers,” the Weston-based company’s CEO, chief science officer and sole owner said.
That obligation paid big dividends. The company, which makes the popular Bang Energy brand, last year tallied $624.99 million in revenue, up from $285.63 million the year prior, and rising more than 704% from $77.68 million in 2017.
He credits the company’s growth to a “powerhouse branding machine” with in-demand influencers across social media; “rigorous” research and development and manufacturing; and positioning Bang Energy not as an energy drink, but a lifestyle brand. In April, the company announced PepsiCo will distribute its beverages nationwide.
Today, Owoc admits sleeping on an air mattress in pursuit of his dream “sounds crazy.” From some 2.6 million square feet of space, his team is delivering the products he first imagined – Bang Energy, VPX and Redline – and he is running his business with the same passion, energy and enthusiasm he did at the start.
“This small sacrifice was worth the massive rewards and magnificent blessings that flowed through me onto millions of others,” he said. “My objective from the very beginning was to intentionally help others.”
No. 2: Lead Engineering Contractors
Mauricio J. Gonzalez attributes his firm’s success to three ideas. One was the development of deep industry relationships to form teams and capture the significant infrastructure construction opportunities.
Feeding off that, another was a shift from being primarily a low-bid general contractor, competing mostly on a price basis, “to having over 70% of the current backlog on best-value projects where Lead’s qualifications, innovations, past performance and technical abilities have outshined the competition,” said Gonzalez, the company’s president and CEO. The moves helped drive 2019 revenue of $46.65 million, up from $20.99 million in 2018, and increasing more than 639% from $6.31 million in 2017.
Finally, he credits Lead’s adherence to workplace safety protocols.
The Miami-based company sets clear expectations and then “inspect what we expect,” as its rolling five-year business plan is continually being monitored and adjusted. To be sure, the pandemic is a reminder of what’s important, Gonzalez said. Team members come first, and the company established measures to sustain job site and workforce safety, while maintaining client commitments.
“We are determined to deliver the best service in the construction industry by following our core values of taking care of people, integrity, innovation and excellence,” he said. “Our company has enjoyed significant growth due to the commitment and determination of our team members.”
No. 3: Redcon1
Aaron Singerman was a 27-year-old heroin addict when he realized he needed to get straight and turn his life around. Today, at 40, he’s a serial entrepreneur who’s launched seven companies that he says had millions of dollars in sales.
His latest is Redcon1. Launched in 2016 and named for the highest state of military readiness, the company has quickly risen in the sports and nutritional supplement field. Singerman and his team of 125 employees at the Boca Raton-based company did $72.45 million in 2019 sales, up from $31.19 million in 2018 and rising 546.91% from $11.2 million in 2017.
Through a commitment to its employees – 15 of whom work in the Redcon1 gym – relentless innovation, and laser-focused branding through aggressive social media, Singerman believes his product has meaning to its growing legions of loyal users. The product line is available in 1,000 mom-and-pop stores, as well as Vitamin Shoppe, GNC and Dick’s Sporting Goods. Retailers Walmart, Costco and Walgreens – as well as international expansion – are in his sights.
“The fitness industry is filled with brands that have no meaning behind them and are centered around one product,” said Singerman, who began his career in bodybuilding and soon took to fitness podcasting. “From the get-go, we set out to build something people could get behind and identify with. This has created a massive loyal customer base of brand evangelists who spread the word for us.”
No. 4: Alivi
To CEO Magdiel Rodriguez and President Caleb Rojas, Alivi’s success can be attributed to one core practice: a commitment to fostering deep partner relationships.
The practice has paid off. The Doral-based company reported $30.92 million in revenue last year, up from $14.12 million in 2018 and up 392.94% from $6.27 million in 2017.
Internal relationships are critical, too. The leadership team communicates openly and regularly with employees, whom the executives consider their “front lines,” Rodriguez said. “We owe it to them to be transparent and honest.”
To bolster the team’s effectiveness, the executives have invested back into the company in pursuit of innovation. That paid dividends in short order. When the pandemic hit, IT made Alivi’s network available to its team within 48 hours. “When stay-at-home orders came during the Covid pandemic, we did not skip a beat,” Rodriguez said.
The company’s experience and technology allows it to contract and manage unique providers and services, while staying focused on helping partners grow their business. The year ahead should bring expansion into the Medicaid sector – and other states.
“The only way to grow and thrive is by providing value to your customers,” and even aligning with competitors when opportunities present themselves, Rodriguez said. “Do not ignore your competition. Befriend them, be open to partnerships on any level. Be creative, yet thoughtful, on expansion from your core product offering.”
No. 5: Genuine Health Group
When the national move from fee-for-service care to value-based care left physicians and physician groups struggling to evolve, Joe Caruncho Sr., saw an opportunity.
Tapping his experience as a former health plan CEO and corporate attorney, he launched Genuine Health Group to work directly with doctors and physician groups. He contracts with the insurers and oversees the relationship for some 200 doctors.
He’s not only taking the risk, he’s helping the physicians transition to the new model more profitably.
His model works. The Coral Gables-based company had $94.3 million in 2019 revenue, up from $59.4 million in 2018, and up 211.22% from $30.3 million in 2017.
Genuine Health Group is an analytics-driven health care company that assists physicians and health plans in successfully transitioning to value-based payment models across a variety of Medicare and accountable care markets.
Caruncho’s career suits his current position well. He gave up his career in corporate health care transactions and capital in 1998 to launch his first health care organization. He built the Preferred Care Partners Medicare Advantage HMO plan and eventually sold it to United Healthcare in 2012.
With eyes on a capital raise to “accelerate growth exponentially through acquisition,” Caruncho and his veteran team are using technology, analytics and market opportunities to again make his mark in a changing health care sector.