Ann Arbor SPARK Honors Thriving ‘Gazelle’ Companies at FastTrack Awards

Ann Arbor SPARK, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic development, honored 19 “gazelle” organizations at its recent 25th annual FastTrack Awards.
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Ann Arbor SPARK dinner
Ann Arbor area businesses were honored at the recent the recent 25th annual FastTrack Awards ceremony. //Photo courtesy of Ann Arbor SPARK

Ann Arbor SPARK, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic development, honored 19 “gazelle” organizations at its recent 25th annual FastTrack Awards.

The program is a component of a2Tech360, a week of events celebrating Ann Arbor’s spirit of innovation through experiences, conversations, and connections.

The “gazelles” span a spectrum of sizes, from agile startups to corporations. They are characterized by their growth trajectory with an average annual revenue surge of 20 percent over three years, stemming from an initial revenue benchmark of $100,000 or more.

This year’s accolades celebrated a diverse range of industries, including architecture, IT solutions, plush animals, genomic intelligence, medical imaging, professional chauffeur services, and more.

“The FastTrack Awards shine a spotlight on the extraordinary innovation and enduring growth exhibited by both smaller enterprises and larger corporations in our region,” says Paul Krutko, president and CEO of Ann Arbor SPARK. “These awards emphasize growth over size, showcasing the exceptional journey of each honoree. We are thrilled to elevate their success stories as part of a2Tech360.”

The FastTrack Award laureates were presented Sept. 15 at the University of Michigan Golf Club.

One-Year Award Winners

Blumira Inc. is a SaaS company in the information security industry. It provides an automated threat detection and response platform. Designed for swift cybersecurity threat identification and resolution, their cloud-delivered solution is tailored for small to medium-sized enterprises. By launching the market’s first open XDR platform for SMBs in 2023, Blumira is engineered to enhance detection and response capabilities, expediting ransomware and breach prevention in hybrid setups. This comprehensive solution combines SIEM, endpoint visibility, and automated response, empowering time-constrained IT teams.

CTC Technologies offers a combination of wired and wireless network services, new IT solutions, and comprehensive low-voltage cabling offerings. Its approach lies in integrating these components to provide tailored solutions for businesses. This integration is meant to optimize connectivity, enhances operational efficiency, and ensures smooth communication, setting CTC Technologies apart as a comprehensive and innovative technology partner.

In Parallel Architects + Builders is an architect-led design and construction practice based in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids that combines design with construction expertise. Its approach integrates creative architectural concepts with efficient construction processes, resulting in remarkable spaces that harmoniously blend form and function.

The Bear Factory has been an unstuffed plush supplier worldwide in innovation, quality, and sustainability since it was founded in 2001. With the creation of “Plush for the Planet,” the first sustainable stuffed plush line made of recycled fabrics, The Bear continues to offer environmentally conscious plush products worldwide. As an award-winning full-service plush provider, their mission is to create lasting memories while also educating the next generation on the importance of animal and environmental conservation.

Two-Year Award Winners

All Arbor Custom Fence is known for its crafting custom fences that combine aesthetics and functionality. The company works to transform ordinary spaces by blending creative design with craftsmanship. All Arbor Custom Fence stands out for its efforts to enhancing landscapes and providing privacy through well-executed fencing solutions.

Amy Cell Talent is a talent acquisition company that focuses on startups and innovation-based organizations. Its approach uses industry knowledge with new  technology. By offering personalized solutions and strategic insights, Amy Cell Talent works to ensure optimal staffing matches for both employers and job seekers. The company’s commitment to fostering connections and staying abreast of industry trends makes them a dependable partner in the ever-evolving technology landscape.

Genomenon is a genomic intelligence company that works to improve the lives of patients by making DNA information actionable. Combining artificial intelligence with a team of scientists, Genomenon enables accelerated diagnosis of cancer and rare diseases, and the development of treatments for these diseases. Genomenon recently announced its goal to be the first to curate the human genome, which will provide unprecedented insight to the medical community for the advancement of precision medicine.

Our Sci supports community-driven science through software, hardware, and training. The group specializes in creating accessible, open-source platforms, and tools for citizens to create and manage their own research collaborations. Our Sci enables communities to build these shared research endeavors using open-source tools and FAIR (finable, accessible, interoperable, and reusable) data standards.  The long-term goal is to create a culture in which all community members can not only contribute to, but also benefit from, these projects.

Treetown Tech is a technology solutions provider, offering a comprehensive range of services from software development to hardware design. Its expertise lies in developing customized solutions that meet specific business needs. The company integratesg software and hardware components to create robust and efficient systems. This makes Treetown Tech’s tailored solutions valuable for businesses seeking technology implementations.

VTS – Virtual Technology Simplified offers new medical imaging solutions. Its and emphasis on new technology enables a wide spectrum of radiology services, encompassing MRI, CT, and X-ray scans. VTS has created an app and portal that facilitate precise 3D capture and mapping using iOS devices.

Three-Year Award Winners

AdAdapted Inc. is a marketing technology company focused on CPG and grocery that specializes in integrating brands into mobile apps. By providing a non-intrusive approach to advertising, AdAdapted is designed to enhance the user experience while delivering targeted messages to consumers. Through its proprietary platform, relevant ad placements align with app content. This approach benefits both advertisers and app developers by fostering authentic user engagement and driving conversions.

SkySpecs collaborates with its customers to simplify renewable energy asset management to deliver productivity. Specializing in drone-based inspection and data analysis, the company offers cost-effective and efficient maintenance for wind turbines. SkySpecs’ technology minimizes downtime and reduces operational costs by identifying and diagnosing issues quickly. Their automated approach is also meant to enhance safety and increases the overall productivity of wind energy operations, making them a crucial player in optimizing renewable energy infrastructure.

Four-Year Award Winners

Metric Marketing is a data-driven digital marketing company that focuses on delivering effective strategies to optimize online presence and drive business growth. Specializing in using analytics and market insights, they tailor solutions to enhance client engagement and ROI. Through their collaborative approach, Metric Marketing stands out by aligning business objectives with precise targeting, making informed decisions based on measurable data, and fostering lasting partnerships.

Rydberg Technologies

Rydberg Technologies is a developer of quantum and photonic technologies for commercial, government, and defense industries. It focuses on developing quantum sensing, measurement, imaging, and communications hardware. Its approach lies in harnessing the properties of Rydberg atoms in electric and magnetic field detection.  Rydberg Technologies is building a platform quantum technology to better see and measure the electromagnetic landscape that is vital to our technology-driven world.

Five-Year Award Winners

Golden Limousine International is a ground transportation company known for its professional chauffeur services. With a large fleet and a legacy of more than 29 years, Golden Limousine works to provide reliable, luxurious, and efficient travel solutions for corporate and private clients alike.

The Really Useful Information Company (TRUiC) provides free, actionable tools to aspiring entrepreneurs and small business owners. It was started in 2009 and has grown to $9 million in revenue with more than 40 employees. The company provides resources, such as business registration and planning, with user-friendly templates and step-by-step instructions. TRUiC’s value is in demystifying intricate business procedures, enabling individuals to navigate the early stages of entrepreneurship confidently, and efficiently. Through this approach, they help startups to make informed decisions and foster sustainable growth.

Seven-Year Award Winners

Beal Properties Inc. specializes in property management and real estate investment services. The company manages properties, ensuring returns for investors. It also has expertise in property acquisition, tenant selection, and effective maintenance. By leveraging market insights and a streamlined approach, the company helps clients navigate the complexities of real estate, providing stability and growth potential to clients’ portfolios.

InfoReady Corp. is an all-in-one platform that helps higher education’s selection and approval processes. InfoReady’s user-friendly software brings together the entire process of form building, document collection, routing, review, notification, and reporting into one platform. By powering more than 50 percent of the nation’s largest research universities, InfoReady helps the best ideas and people rise to the top for funding, awards and more. Commanding a nearly 100 percent annual retention rate, InfoReady counts loyal clients across over 200 campuses.

Eight-Year Award Winner

DocNetwork helps youth-serving organizations keep kids safe and healthy while they’re away from home through its Electronic Health Record solution. DocNetwork’s customizable platform streamlines the gathering of critical medical information such as allergies, medication requirements, and injuries and illnesses. Eliminating the errors and administrative burden associated with paper forms allows staff to focus their time and energy on program participants and keeping parents’ minds at ease.

Ann Arbor SPARK’s mission is to help generate growth for communities around Ann Arbor. Through economic development, the organization provides value and resources to innovative businesses, while a2Tech360 is a technology and innovation event series that celebrates the tech ecosystem in Ann Arbor.

Through a range of events, a2Tech360 brings together thought leaders, entrepreneurs, investors, and tech enthusiasts to showcase the latest advancements, foster collaboration, and inspire new ideas.