We’re Looking For America’s Most Promising Companies [News Report]

by Avinash Saxena
Have a fast-growing small business? Know someone who does? Forbes needs your help.

For the second year we are assembling a list of dynamic, privately held businesses with truly scintillating growth prospects—the kind of companies investors love to bet on, customers love to buy from, and talented employees love to work for. All industries and geographies are welcome. The best will earn a spot on Forbes’ ranking of America’s Most Promising Companies. That means serious exposure—to customers, investors and talented job applicants. Forbes magazine reaches nearly 5.5 million readers every two weeks, and Forbes.com attracts an average 18 million unique visitors each month.

The search begins with a short, free survey that takes just a few minutes to complete. Entrepreneurs can nominate themselves or be nominated by those familiar with their companies. Click here to make your submission. Some applicants will earn short profiles on Forbes.com, even if they don’t ultimately appear on our final AMPC list. Forbes also intends to recognize the most prolific AMPC scouts–those who turned up the most AMPC candidates–on Forbes.com.

Gallery: Updates on America’s Most Promising Companies Class of 2009

Greatest Lessons Learned:  America’s Most Promising Companies Class of 2009

The business press loves company lists. Many are based on a few metrics, if even that many. But that’s not remotely how professional investors evaluate the health and potential of any growing company.

To sharpen our search, Forbes teamed up with CB Insights, which tracks investment in high-growth, privately held companies. With financial support from the National Science Foundation, CB Insights has created software–called Beacon–which mines millions of online documents and applies statistical models to form a more detailed, nuanced and real-time view into a company’s health and prospects. From myriad information sources (government filings to social media), Beacon extracts company-specific information, such as product development, new partnerships, customer sentiment and employee turnover, and marries it with industry-specific information, including number of competitors, growth rates and merger activity.

Companies that meet our initial criteria will be asked additional questions to further assess their prospects. Beacon will pull all of that data, combine it with information obtained directly from the companies, and run it all through an algorithm to arrive at a ranking.

How have previous AMPC list members performed? The last 18 months have been rough on plenty of small companies, but for the most part, the 20 members of Forbes’ America’s Most Promising Companies class of 2009 came through stronger than ever. Thirteen companies raised a combined $92 million in fresh capital, including equity, debt and grants. (Recall that money wasn’t exactly sloshing around during this period.) No. 8, Auri Inc., (formerly called Auri Footwear), a men’s shoe manufacturer, did a reverse merger to go public and recently sported a $52 million market capitalization. The biggest casualty: No. 20–1st Products, maker of microwavable pastries–went bankrupt. (Click here to see how the AMPC class of 2009 has fared since appearing on our list.)

“People still introduce us as an America’s Most Promising Companies company,” says Jeff Ready, founder of Scale Computing, No. 16 on the 2009 AMPC list. “It helps our brand tremendously. Competing against folks like EMC and HP, we are at a disadvantage. So we play it up big.”

To make this year’s list bigger and better, Forbes aims to corral a huge pool of candidates from which to make our selections. That’s why our survey allows people who know and work with lots of entrepreneurs to nominate those companies on their behalf–so we can cast as wide a net as possible.

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One Comment to “We’re Looking For America’s Most Promising Companies [News Report]”

  1. Hi,

    Thanks for the great info about company..

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