Business Journal Fast 50 – w00t!

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Vibrant was very proud to be chosen for the 2006 Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal Fast 50 Private Companies.

Last night, our CEO, Jennifer VanDerHorst (or VanDerHorst-en according to the Fox9 emcee), accepted a giant etched glass obelisk on behalf of Vibrant. It was a fun evening that allowed us to take a brief moment to celebrate our company’s rapid growth over the past two years.

Here’s a little overview of the evening, and what we did to be included on this year’s list.

Nomination and Acceptance
This past summer we applied, knowing that our growth level put us in range of the fastest growing private companies in the Twin Cities. I entered our basic info on the Biz Journal’s website nomination form (yeah, self-nomination, it sounds like that’s how almost everybody does it) and then I collected our certified financial documents for the past three years from my CFO. I delivered those to the financial firm, Virchow Krause, who was also one of the sponsors of the event. (Thanks for the beer and spanakopita!) Coming in at 123% growth over two years, we knew we had a great shot. Then last month, we got the letter that confirmed we had made it. We wouldn’t find out our placement until the awards event, and keeping the good news quiet was not easy.

The Awards Evening

Last night, Thursday, October 19th, 50 growing businesses convened at the center of the city. It was an elegant stand-up event with open bar and light catering in the Windows banquet room of the IDS Tower. I was glad I grabbed my suit coat as the crowd looked as if they had come right out of the Handsome Boy Modeling School. Jen, our fearless leader, looked great – and her youthful, energetic spirit stood out in the crowd.

Emcees from Fox9 began to announce the winners, with the 50th of the Fast 50, Micro Dynamics Corp, coming in at 71% growth. Everybody in the room started discussing how impressive that was for the 50th spot, and began to reassess where they might stand on the list. At this point, the Vibrant crew all made modest guesses of our placement. As usual, Jennifer was the closest, her guess of 23 was just one off. She was called to the stage at #24.

We got over our new glimmering glass obelisk of a trophy just in time to pay attention to the fastest of the Fast 50. The #2 firm, Verisae, was announced and the Amerilab crew went crazy. Amerilab Technologies came in first with an amazing 787.65% growth rate over the past two years.

The Publication
On our way out of the room, we received advance copies of the next day’s publication. I couldn’t help but flip through and find our page as we dropped 50 floors in the elevator. Somehow, we scored a full page overview of Vibrant with a great photo of Jen leaning against a bright red Ford Raush Racing car. Sweet! Very few people like to see pictures of themselves, and Jen refused to look at it, but we all thought it was awesome and she looked great. Kudos to the photographer and all of the people who worked on the special issue. It was an impressive publication all-around.

Congratulations to the award winners, and thanks to the sponsors and the Business Journal for hosting a bang-up event! Now it’s time for all of us to roll up our sleeves and keep on keepin’ on.

Look for the special Fast 50 publication in the October 20th edition of the Mpls / St Paul Business Journal.

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