University of Florida entrepreneurs from all over the world gathered on Feb. 19 for the 2nd Annual Gator100 Awards at the Reitz Union Grand Ballroom.
The Gator100, presented by UF, the Warrington College of Business and its Entrepreneurship & Innovation Center, celebrates the world’s 100 fastest-growing businesses owned or led by UF alumni. Companies are ranked by compounded annual growth rate over the past three years.
The College was again well-represented on this impressive list as 37 companies led by Warrington alumni made the cut—the most of any UF college. Here’s a look at some of these innovative companies.
Orangetheory Fitness, led by Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer Dave Long (BHS ’00, MSM ’01) finished atop the Gator100 with a 147.49% compounded annual growth rate.
The Fort Lauderdale-based fitness franchise has experienced incredible growth since it was founded in 2010, and the goal is to grow even faster. Orangetheory opened its 200th studio in April 2015, and the plan is to double that mark by 2017.
In addition to locations in almost 40 U.S. states, Orangetheory has international locations in Australia, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, Dominican Republic, and the United Kingdom, with additional studios expected in Israel, Kuwait and Peru.
Orangetheory was recently ranked No. 399 in Inc. magazine’s Fastest Growing Private Companies List and No. 462 in Entrepreneur’s 2015 Franchise 500® list of the top franchises in the world.
The 2016 Gator100 truly became a global celebration as its first international entrant made the list.
Ctrip.com International, an online travel service provider based in Shanghai, made its Gator100 debut at No. 70. The company, led by Co-President and Chief Operating Officer Jane Jie Sun (BSAc ’92), is the largest online consolidator of accommodations and transportation tickets in China in terms of transaction volume.
Nine construction companies finished in the top 30 of this year’s Gator100. There were a total of 10 construction companies on last year’s list.
This year, nearly a quarter (23) of the Gator100 was composed of construction companies—20 of them Florida-based. That’s encouraging news for an industry that was devastated during the financial crisis.
And the outlook continues to improve, according to the Associated General Contractors of America. Construction jobs in Florida from December 2014 to December 2015 increased by 7 percent with double-digit growth in Fort Lauderdale-Pompano Beach-Deerfield Beach (12%) and Lakeland-Winter Haven (11%) metro areas.
Seven Warrington alums were recognized for their exemplary leadership among construction firms: Chris LaFace (BSBA ’05), Ripa & Associates (No. 22); Bob Adams (BSBA ’61), Highland Homes (No. 47); Bill Hassel (BBC ’99, MBA ’09) and Nate Pardue (BBC ’98, MBA ’09), Titus Construction Group (No. 49); Edmundo Gonzalez (BSBA ’92), Urban Partners Construction (No. 60); Evan Weiss (BABA ’99), Carolina Classic Builders (No. 64); and Paul Holmes (BSBA ’80), JK2 Construction and Scenic (No. 72).
Therigy, which specializes in web and mobile applications, and consulting services for the pharmaceutical market, enjoyed the biggest gain among Warrington-led companies.
The Maitland, Fla.-based firm jumped 29 spots to No. 55 as its compounded annual growth increased by almost 15%. Therigy’s President and Chief Operating Officer is Joe Morse (BSBA ’99).
Talon Wealth Management experienced the largest increase among the 43 returning companies surging 85 spots from 98th to 13th.