Rise Interactive among ICIC and FORTUNE’s Inner City 100 winners

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Chicago-based digital marketing firm ranks #14; annual ranking showcases the 100 fastest-growing urban businesses in America.

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The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC) and FORTUNE announced that Rise Interactive was selected for the 2013 Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing inner city companies in the U.S. The Inner City 100 program recognizes successful inner city companies and their CEOs as role models for entrepreneurship, innovative business practices and job creation in America’s urban communities.

Rise Interactive, a digital marketing agency in Chicago, ranked #14 with a five-year annual growth rate of 65 percent. Last year, Rise Interactive ranked #15.

“We’re proud to be a two-time honoree for the Inner City 100 and to represent our home base of Chicago as a thriving place for businesses,” said Jon Morris, founder and CEO of Rise Interactive. “Rise's rapid growth is a testament to our great clients, our hard-working team and our unique approach to digital marketing.”

The full list can be viewed at Fortune.com.

The rankings for each company were announced at the Inner City 100 Awards on Tuesday, May 21, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. The Awards marked the Inner City 100 program’s 15th year and launched a formal alumni network of Inner City 100 winners. Preceding the Awards celebration, winners attended a two-day small business symposium featuring business management case studies presented by Harvard Business School professors and peer-to-peer learning sessions led by CEOs of fast-growing firms. Keynote speakers included Harvard Business School Professor Michael E. Porter; Tim Westergren, Founder and Chief Strategy Officer of Pandora Media; Tom Szaky, CEO of TerraCycle; and Hamdi Ulukaya, Founder, President and CEO of Chobani.

The Inner City 100 list provides unmatched original data on the fastest-growing inner city businesses in the U.S. In the last 15 years, 750 unique companies have earned positions on the Inner City 100, collectively generating more than $2.1 billion in annual revenues and creating over 76,000 new jobs. Chevron Corporation, Staples and Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses are long-time sponsors of the program.

For the 2013 list, winners represent a wide span of geography, operating in 48 cities and 27 states. The 2013 Inner City 100 winners grew at a compound annual growth rate of 36 percent and an average standard growth rate of 411 percent between 2007 and 2011. Collectively, the top 100 inner city businesses employ 10,391 employees and have created more than 5,863 new jobs between 2007 and 2011. Not only are the winners powerful job creators in their communities, but they also help grow their employees – 56% provide onsite training programs.

“We are excited to celebrate inner city businesses like Rise Interactive whose success stories are not told nearly enough,” said Mary Kay Leonard, ICIC President and CEO. “These entrepreneurs are driving economic forces in America’s urban cores, growing their communities along with their businesses.”

The list is proof of the concept that doing business in an inner city area holds a distinct competitive advantage. ICIC has been studying the economic condition of the largest 100 American cities for more than a decade and is working to revitalize inner cities across the country.

Highlights of the 2013 Inner City 100 include:

  • Employ 10,391 workers (48% inner city residents; 20% immigrants; and 37% minorities).
  • Created 5,863 new jobs in the last five years.
  • 28% are woman-owned. Nationally, only 10% of companies with over $1 million in annual revenues are woman-owned.
  • 35% are minority-owned. Nationally, only 21% of all companies are headed by minorities.
  • Median company age is 14 years.
  • Companies generated $23.4 million in revenues on average and $2.3 billion in the aggregate.

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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 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 2013 list, ICIC looked at total revenue growth from 2007 to 2011 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.

Inner City 100 Sponsors:
Chevron Corporation, Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses, and Staples Inc.

Rise Interactive
Rise Interactive is a digital marketing agency in Chicago which specializes in digital media and analytics. Founded in 2004, Rise Interactive leverages customized reporting to equip quantitatively-minded individuals with actionable insights. The agency’s Interactive Investment Management philosophy ensures that a client’s budget is allocated to the most profitable marketing channels. For more information, visit http://www.riseinteractive.com or follow the company on Twitter @riseinteractive.

Initiative for a Competitive Inner City
ICIC is a nonprofit research and strategy organization and the leading authority on U.S. inner city economies and the businesses that thrive there. Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter, ICIC expands inner city economies by providing businesses, governments and investors with the most comprehensive and actionable information in the field about urban market opportunities. ICIC's unique knowledge and expertise about inner city success factors and thriving companies is developed from specialized urban networks and path-breaking research. http://www.icic.org

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Aaron Mays
Rise Interactive
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