Inner City 100: How 8 North Texas Businesses Benefit Low‑Income Areas

The Initiative for a Competitive Inner City rewards fast-growing businesses that create employment in urban areas with high poverty rates. Eight North Texas companies made this year's list.

inner city

Each year, Fortune publishes the Inner City 100, a list of the fastest-growing businesses in urban areas with high unemployment and poverty rates and low median incomes. This year, eight North Texas organizations were included on the list, including two making reappearances from 2017.

Founded in 1994 by Harvard Business School professor Michael E. Porter, the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City works to drive economic prosperity in America’s cities through private investment that creates jobs and income for residents.

Each year, the ICIC identifies, ranks, and spotlights the 100 fastest-growing businesses in the nation’s inner cities and ranks them by revenue growth over the previous five-year period. Those findings are published in the Inner City 100.

This year’s rankings include six fresh faces — 2M Research Services, No. 2; Texas of All Tech Electric, No. 5; Construction Cost Maintenance, Inc, No. 20; Ascension Coffee, No. 24; Peticolas Brewing Company, No. 44; Sentry Technical Services, No. 87 — and two returning companies that made an appearance on the 2017 ranking: DHD Films and Greenville Avenue Pizza Co.

The selections are made by the ICIC, but nominations are made by partner organizations such as city offices, economic development organizations, and small  business development corporations. Here’s who made the cut in 2018:

2M Research Services, LLC — Arlington

2M Research Services is a research and advisory firm that serves government, private, and nonprofit organizations with research, program evaluation, and policy analysis consulting services.

According to Fortune, 2M has been awarded prime contracts in 18 federal agencies since 2013. Co-founder Marcus Martin said his goal is to make 2M an employee-owned firm in the next four to five years.

The firm has seen a 4,949.54 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $9,540,000 in 2017 revenues.

Texas of All Tech Electric LLC — McKinney

Texas of All Tech Electric LLC, provides innovative solutions and electrical services nationwide.

Kelly Smith, owner of Texas of All Tech Electric, says she has seen the electrical services industry change rapidly since joining the All Tech Electric team in 2015. The changes present more opportunities for her and her employees to train on new systems and provide better, more efficient options to customers.

The company has seen a 1,584.77 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $7,321,590 in 2017 revenues.

DHD Films — Dallas

DHD Films is an an Emmy-nominated, video production and motion graphics studio that works with Fortune 500 companies, startups, governments, and creative agencies.

Shezad Mangee founded DHD Films in 2000 with four employees, and his brother Hussain joined the team as Chief Success Officer in 2012. According to Fortune, the brothers claim the most rewarding part of operating DHD Films is the chance to give back to their employees and community.

The company has seen a 705.07 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $3,535,000.00 in revenue in 2017.

Construction Cost Management Inc — Fort Worth

Construction Cost Management, which provides estimating and cost management services, was founded by president Katy Kothmann Abraham’s father in 1979. Abraham said charitable donations and volunteering are important to she and her father.

The company has seen a 538.41 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $1,150,000 in revenue in 2017.

Ascension Coffee — Dallas

A craft coffee café geared toward quality, design, and culture, Ascension Coffee is the fifth business by founder Russel Hayward.

The first Ascension café was founded in the Dallas Design District in 2012 and played a key role in the redevelopment of the area. Ascension continues to expand and will occupy 11 metroplex cafés by the end of 2018.

The company has seen a 390.58 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $5,102,000 in revenue in 2017.

Peticolas Brewing Co. — Dallas

Microbrewery aficionado Michael Peticolas is the descendant of five generations of lawyers, but that didn’t stop him from opening one of the most successful breweries in Texas in 2010.

Peticolas Brewing Co. aims to deliver “world class in a glass” in its beers, which are only available in the Design District taproom or at area bars and restaurants, Fortune reports.

The brewery has been the recipient of many craft beer awards and has seen a 200 percent growth rate over the last five years. Peticolas reported $2,250,000 in revenue in 2017.

Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. — Dallas

A serious redevelopment of the Lower Greenville’s strip in 2010 didn’t hold Greenville Avenue Pizza Co. owner Sammy Mandell back from finding success with his restaurant.

His commitment to delivery paid off, and Mandell opened a second location in Casa Linda in 2016. He told Fortune he hopes to open five more restaurant locations in the next few years.

The company has seen a 176.44 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $2,655,242 in revenue in 2017.

Sentry Technical Services — Dallas

Driven by entrepreneurial spirit, Sentry Technical Services provides services in low voltage systems, voice and data infrastructures, traditional telephone systems, fire and security systems, and heating ventilation and air-conditioning services. 

In a technology-driven world, founderJJ Slagle believes there is only room for growth. Slagle said he would like his company to double in growth within three years.

The company has seen a 83.55 percent growth rate over the last five yers and reported $1,590,000 in revenue in 2017.

Five North Texas companies made the top 100 rankings in 2017. Click here to see all 100 recipients of the 2018 rankings.

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