Academic Network Ranked on INC. Magazine's Top Inner City 100

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Innovative Portland-based company nominated by the Mayor's Office

Inc. Magazine has named Academic Network, a medical and health communications firm, number 48 on the Tenth Annual Top Inner City 100 list which recognizes the fastest growing inner city companies in America. Extraordinary growth is the predominant trait of the 2008 Inner City 100, a ranking created by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and Inc. Magazine.

"I was proud to nominate Academic Network for the Inner City 100 program and I am thrilled that they have been selected as one of four companies from Portland to make the list," said Portland Mayor Tom Potter. "Academic Network bolsters the reputation of our region as a great place to start and grow a business. The company represents both Portland and Oregon well as a woman-owned, small business that provides a unique and innovative service in support of the growing healthcare industry."

Academic Network is a Portland-based firm which provides national health care communication solutions via its call center as well as web-based services for pharmaceutical companies, food and beverage companies and medical centers. The firm's health education consulting team runs a live, toll-free call center for consumer queries and helps with patient recruitment, program development and the management of governmental and health professional relations. Academic Network joins three other Portland organizations on the list: Jive Software, Straub Collective and Tripwire.

"We are honored to receive this recognition in the company of such an impressive group of businesses," said Kathleen McCarron, Academic Network CEO. "As a rapidly growing business, we appreciate the support of the Mayor's office and the greater community that is helping our business thrive. Portland has a great population of multilingual healthcare workers that we've been able to leverage for clients like GlaxoSmithKline, Boston Scientific and Campbell Soup Company."

Now in its tenth anniversary year, the Inner City 100 list provides original data on the fastest growing inner city businesses in the U.S. For the 2008 list, more than 6,500 new nominations were received, the most in the program's history. The 2008 Inner City 100 winners grew at a compound annual growth rate of 47 percent and an average rate of 472 percent between 2002 and 2006. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses have employed nearly 21,500 people and created more than 15,000 new jobs over the past five years; both of these employment figures are the highest in the program's history and show signs of continued growth.

"We are delighted to celebrate businesses like Academic Network that are playing a critical role in urban communities throughout the country," said David G. Latimore, president and chief executive officer of the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, based in Boston. "These high-growth businesses help create jobs, income and wealth for local residents, and they prove our belief that the most effective way to create economic equality in America's inner cities is to focus on sustainable business growth and investment."

The complete list can be found at http://www.icic.org

Academic Network, LLC is a leading medical and health communications company built by academic professionals be the best source for communicating health-related issues to consumers and health professionals. Academic Network works with leading pharmaceutical companies, healthcare organizations and food/beverage companies in developing effective communications strategies through consulting, telecommunications internet and other public media sources. The firm offers the combined technological and medical expertise necessary to meet the demands and expectations of an increasingly health-focused public.

Editor's Notes:
To qualify for the Inner City 100 list, companies were required to have at least 51 percent of their operations located in an economically distressed urban area; have at least 10 full-time employees; and have a five-year operating sales history that includes at least $200,000 in revenues in the first year of consideration, an increase in year five sales over year four sales, and fifth-year sales of at least $1 million. For the 2008 list, ICIC looked at total revenue growth from 2002 to 2006, and the specific rankings were based on these growth rates. An economically distressed urban area is defined by ICIC as having a 50 percent higher unemployment level, 50 percent higher poverty level, and 50 percent lower median income than the metropolitan statistical area.

About the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) is a national not-for-profit organization founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter. ICIC's mission is to promote economic prosperity in America's inner cities through private sector engagement that leads to jobs, income and wealth creation for local residents. ICIC brings together business and civic leaders to drive innovation and action, transform thinking and accelerate inner city business growth and investment.

About Inc.
Inc is the leading magazine written for the men and women who own and manage small-to-mid-sized, fast-growing companies. Published 12 times a year, Inc. helps its 1.5 million readers by providing expert advice and practical solutions as they face the opportunities, pitfalls and rewards of growing a company. http://www.inc.com, the Web site for growing companies, was named Best Online Magazine by Folio and Best Overall New Publication (all media) by the Computer Press Association.

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Claudia Johnson
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