In our 21st century economy, speed is the new prerequisite. Entrepreneurs who don't hit the ground running are often left choking on a cloud of dust. Meanwhile, much of the glory today goes to those who accelerate from $0 to millions faster than you can say IPO.
You could say Entrepreneur was quick to pick up on this trend. five years ago, on the cusp of America's obsession with all things fast, we set out to find the nation's fastest-growing new businesses. With the help of Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), the world's top research-based business information provider, we combed massive databases to find 100 entrepreneurial ventures of all shapes, forms, industries and corners of the country. The common bond: warp speed growth.
Meanwhile, Dun & Bradstreet and Entrepreneur's Hot 100 list has itself seen some changes. In six short years, we've felt the effects of the technological boom and the subsequent superstar status of dotcoms. While our ranking still represents diversity-from toys to construction-you'll notice the increasing presence of tech ventures. What better trend to propel us into 2000?
Of course, these entrepreneurs aren't consumed with just speed. Besides making millions, these men and women introduced innovations, contributed to their communities, improved our lives and had fun in the process. Here's the inside story of a few Hot 100 entrepreneurs, plus a complete ranking of our Sixth Annual Hot 100. We consider this not only a look at today's fastest-growing businesses, but at tomorrow's household names.