Ahead of the Pack
Storing other people's stuff might not sound like the most exciting of businesses, but topping the charts of our Hot 100 is a company that does just that. Kurt O'Brien founded Simply Self Storage in 2003, and he has already grown the business to more than 225 facilities covering over 15 million square feet. Simply Self Storage employs more than 500 people and is packing in an expected $150 million in revenue this year.
A $20 million equity capital commitment in 2004 from private investment company Tavistock Group got the Orlando, Florida, business off the ground. An additional $220 million since then has helped business skyrocket. With the right resources, O'Brien has been able to hire the best team and acquire strategic assets and locations, thereby consolidating the highly fragmented industry. Says O'Brien, 40, "The keys are the people who work for you and the people who invest in you."