The Fastest Growing Companies in Fort Worth

Inc. Magazine annually publishes a list of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies across the nation. As of March 2020, there were an estimated 11 million companies in the United States. That being said, the top 5,000 fastest growing companies only comprise the top .05% of companies. This list is the honor roll of all honor rolls. Arguably, the term ‘honor’ is an understatement. 

To comprehend the metrics of the list, it’s important to delve into how the list is calculated. First, Inc. Magazine doesn’t take any company into account until it applies to be on the list. So hypothetically, the number one fastest growing company that year may be the fastest growing company, but if they don’t apply, Inc. Magazine will not include them in their list. Next, while this list can come across as a list for startups, Inc. Magazine requires that all companies that apply be at least three years old. Furthermore, these companies must be privately owned and submit their financials from the past three years. Inc. Magazine then crunches the numbers and ranks them based on their three years growth period.  

Previously, Sparkyard published a recap on the Inc. 5000 Lists between the years 2016 and 2019. The article concentrated on how Fort Worth compared to everyone; from other prominent Texas cities to other municipalities in Tarrant County.

The fastest growing Texas Company in 2021 ranked no. 11, a construction company known as Texas Solar based in San Antonio. In the past three years, the company grew a whopping 22,381%. On the contrary, Fort Worth’s fastest growing company came in at #228, with Play Makar growing by 1,914% over three years. 

Not only does this list help Fort Worth see where it ranks on the startup totem pole, but it also reveals all of the fast-growing companies that are creating an influx of new jobs. It also lays out common ground in the innovation world as well as representing local economies across the nation. Our focus is Fort Worth. 

Based on the Inc. 5000 lists in 2020 and 2021, 12 companies in 2020 and 13 companies in 2021 from Fort Worth made the cut. Austin had over eight times as many companies featured, Houston almost six, Dallas over 4, and San Antonio twice as many.

Over the same period of time, Fort Worth only made up 7% of all DFW companies featured on the Inc. 5000 List.

Despite Fort Worth’s dominance in population size, it falls behind much smaller DFW cities such as Plano and competes closely with places like Frisco and Irving.

Taking a closer look at Tarrant County alone, Fort Worth prevails against all other municipalities. However, for Fort Worth being the fifth largest city in Texas, it should be astronomically larger than places such as Grapevine and Southlake.

So how does this data compare to the years 2016-2019? 

Since this data is over a four-year period rather than a two-year period, Fort Worth having 49 companies listed between the years 2016 and 2019 and having 25 companies listed between 2020 and 2021 prove to have the same ratio; in fact, since 2016, it’s safe to say that Fort Worth has stalled in its Inc. 5000 company features.

Also, the ratio of Fort Worth features to DFW features is also the same since 2016. 2020-2021’s was a total of 25 to 338; 2016-2019 was a total of 49 to 665. Both fractions equal a 7% ratio.

As far as the DFW city’s features, there are some differences in the past 6 years. In 2020 and 2021, Fort Worth surpassed Irving in its number of featured companies.

When taking a look at the shift in Tarrant County Municipalities, the changes from 2016-2019 and 2020-2021 are minor. Fort Worth is still at the same level of economically mature. However, the municipalities altered in their amount and ranking of featured companies on the Inc. 500 list. For example, in 2020 and 2021, Southlake and Grand Prairie had more featured companies than Arlington and Grapevine.

So what can Fort Worth do to remove itself from this standstill? 

  • Encourage Fort Worth companies to apply to the Inc. 5000 list. 
  • Instill incentives for Fort Worth companies for being featured on the Inc. 5000 list. 
  • Make a huge PR push for when companies do make the list, encouraging more companies to apply in future years. 

Fast-growing companies are a vital factor for a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem. These companies reflect the city as a whole, as well as representing the employers for future generations. Recognizing and supporting these companies is the first step to strengthening Fort Worth’s ecosystem.  


About the Author

Faith Emmitte is a student intern for the Next department at the University of North Texas Health Science Center at Fort Worth. Faith will be a first-year student at Texas A&M University, pursuing a BA in Business Administration. Gig ‘Em Ags! All thoughts and opinions are her own and in no way reflect the thoughts and opinions of the HSC.

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