San Diego, CA, (October 20, 2004): Sullivan International Group announced today that Inc. Magazine, the premier publication for small and medium-sized businesses, released its 23rd annual Inc. 500 ranking of the fastest-growing private companies in the country. Sullivan International Group, Inc., ranks #7 on the list, with five year average annual sales growth of 1977%. Sullivan, which was founded in 1998; is a professional services company providing engineering, technology & logistics services. Sullivan is an SBA certified 8(a), Small Disadvantaged Business and Service Disabled Veteran Owned Company that focuses on providing cost effective engineering and advanced technology solutions for both commercial and government clients throughout the United States. Sullivan was also listed as the number 1 fastest growing privately held company in San Diego for the past two years as published by the San Diego Business Journal. They also received the San Diego Chamber of Commerce’s “Excellence in the Work Environment” award this year and the prestigious Department of Defense Nunn-Perry award for superior program performance as a government contractor.
Steve Sullivan, CEO of Sullivan International Group, Inc. recently said “our continued growth is a true example of what a good team and business strategy can accomplish even in a down economy. We are constantly looking at ways to improve our products and services. This constant innovativeness and corporate wide entrepreneurial spirit has helped make us the success we are today – we don’t plan on going places, we’re already on our way!”
The companies that made this list have thrived despite continued stagnation in the economy, posting an average year-over-year sales growth of 265%. Inc. 500 companies posted aggregate 2003 revenue of $12.6 billion, and 82% of them were profitable. And while the United States shed 410,000 jobs in 2003, Inc. 500 companies provided employment for more than 70,000 people.
Further demonstrating the resilience of this year’s Inc. 500 crop is the fact that 102 of this year’s honorees started in 1999—meaning that they weathered the start-up costs of the overcapitalized boom and thrived during the impending bust that was one of the toughest periods for young companies in recent memory.
“The best thing you can say about this year’s crop of Inc. 500 entrepreneurs is that they didn’t buy into the hype,” said Inc. editor-in-chief John Koten. “When people were practically giving away funding in the late 1990s, these companies didn’t overextend, and when everyone hit the panic button a few years later, they stayed calm and seized opportunity.”
The Inc. 500 ranks privately held companies according to averaged year-over-year sales growth over the past four years. Over the years, the Inc. 500 has identified the next generation of world-class companies, with Microsoft, Stonyfield Farms, Timberland, Oracle, The Princeton Review, Morningstar, E* Trade, Intuit, and Domino’s Pizza all appearing on the list before they became industry powerhouses.
This year’s Inc. 500 is the first to reflect the tremendous start-up costs prevalent in the late 1990s economic boom. Of the Inc. 500 founders, 36% had start-up capital of less than $20,000, compared with 48% last year—and 21% reported needing more than $300,000 to get going, compared with only 14% last year. Just 7% of Inc. 500 CEOs reported using formal venture capital to start their company, compared with 2% last year, while 62% depended entirely on private equity.
To be eligible for this year's Inc. 500, companies had to be independent and privately held through their fiscal year 2003, have had at least $200,000 in net sales in the base year of 1999 for Inc. 500 alumni and 2000 for new applicants, and $2 million in net sales for 2003. In addition, their 2003 sales had to exceed 2002 sales. Companies are ranked on averaged year-over-year sales growth. Inc. verifies all information using tax forms and audited financial statements from certified public accountants and by conducting interviews with company officials.
The Inc. 500 Special Issue will appear on newsstands October 26 and will be on display until December 21, 2004.