Companies Make 'Hottest' List

In order to recognize the fastest growing technology companies in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin, Lead411 is proud to announce the release of its “Hottest Companies in Midwest” award.

Each day, the Lead411 research team scours through 600+ press releases and business articles including venture capital fundings, company launches, new office openings, customer press releases, etc. This information has given insight to which are the fastest growing companies in the U.S. Their “Hottest Companies” awards have been created to recognize these fast growing companies in different geographic regions. This particular list originally started with over 1559 companies and it has been narrowed down to the top 60.

“We have been tracking fast companies for our customers for the past 10 years,” said Tom Blue, CEO of Lead411, “and we felt it was important to recognize these growing brands publicly.”

How the Winners were Chosen
First, all companies must be in either the Software, Wireless, Internet, Hardware, or Media industry and be a privately held organization, and be within Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, or Wisconsin. From there, each company must meet one or more of the following requirements;
•** 100% increase in revenues over the past 2 years; OR
•** Over $2M in funding in the past 2 years;

Nominations/Applications If you would like to be listed in the 2012 Midwest Region awards, our 2011 National Tech 500, or any future awards please apply here.

About Lead411
Lead411 provides information, news, and research about U.S. companies and their executives. Founded in 2001, its goal has been to focus on quality corporate data that is valid and useful rather than producing as many company records as possible. In addition, Lead411 tracks company news in order to alert its customers about venture financing, new hires, hiring plans, etc. Customers include Gartner, Administaff and ADP.

Manifest Digital Manifest Digital was founded in 2001 and provides design, rapid application development, hosted management services and online marketing strategy. Manifest is an interactive agency with a unique ability to spark lively conversation, connection, and exchange. The company got a hold of $9M in financing from BIA Digital Partners in January of 2009.

Arroweye Solutions Arroweye is a card marketing and production partner that provides just-in-time, highly customized plastic gift, incentive and payment cards and carriers. With a unique combination of web-based design tools and on-demand manufacturing and personalization capabilities, Arroweye is the first fully-digital manufacturer of plastic within the open-loop and closed-loop payments industries. The company collected $27.5M in financing from William Blair and Co in January of 2009.

Open Kernel Labs Open Kernel Labs is the global leader in open source virtualization software for mobile devices, consumer electronics, and embedded systems. Backed by the largest, independent team of microkernel developers, the OKL4 embedded hypervisor is deployed on more than 1.1 billion mobile phones worldwide. Semiconductor suppliers, device OEMs, and mobile network operators depend on OK Labs to deliver high performance solutions that decrease BOM cost, reduce complexity, and speed time-to-market. The company landed $7.6M in financing led by Chrysalis Ventures in January of 2009.

Compliance11, Inc Compliance11, Inc., is a leading provider of cloud-based compliance automation software for the financial community. Compliance11 products automate employee trading, insider trading surveillance, policy affirmations, employee disclosures, gifts, entertainment, political contributions, marketing review, customer complaints, regulatory inquiries and more. The highly scalable, hosted platform can be operational in days, freeing you to manage risk, not paper. Compliance11 landed $6M in funding led by Talon Capital Partners LP in February of 2010.

SingleHop, Inc SingleHop, Inc., is a full-service on-demand IT and web hosting provider based in Chicago. The company was founded by Zak Boca and Dan Ushman in 2006 and hosts websites for thousands of customers in more than 100 countries. The company has increased revenues by 1,478% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $6M in 2009.

Newser LLC Newser is a news curator with a kick. Our editors hand-pick the best stories from hundreds of US and international sources and summarize them into sharply written, easy-to-digest news briefs. Our signature grid offers a vivid snapshot of the day’s most important, thought-provoking, and entertaining news in a lively presentation of photos and headlines. Newser collected $2.5M in funding in June of 2009.

Angie’s List Angie’s List is the nation’s premier consumer ratings and review service. The company collects consumer reviews on local contractors and doctors in more than 500 service categories. Currently, more than 1 million consumers across the U.S. rely on Angie’s List to help them make the best hiring decisions. The company raised $53.6M in venture money in March of 2011.

Liquid Web Liquid Web Inc. is a privately held managed web hosting company founded in 1997, with three wholly owned data center facilities located in Lansing, Michigan. Liquid Web is a leader in the professional web hosting market with an unwavering dedication to providing the best hosting products available. Liquid Web has over 20,000 clients served in over 120 countries. Liquid Web grew revenues by 165% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $20.2M in 2009.

One Call Now One Call Now™ is the ideal communications solution for over 35,000 clients across North America. Schools, churches, synagogues, camps, youth sports teams and clubs as well as businesses, emergency crews, military units, and communities use our high speed reliable service to get the message to everyone, everywhere, every time. The company grew revenues by 118% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $5.6M in 2009.

Benefit Express, LLC At Benefit Express, our focus is on flexible administration solutions. Our self-service platform – My Benefit Express ™ – delivers tools which help you efficiently manage HR & Benefits Administration. With My Benefit Express ™ clients have direct access to: customized content delivery, enrollment assistance, employee benefit education tools, transactional administrative processing/tracking, carrier billing reconciliation, vendor data-links and detailed HR reporting. The company has increased revenues by 101% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $8.3M in 2009.

SparkBase Since 2004, SparkBase has been the technology leader for the processing of private label gift and loyalty programs. Headquartered in Cleveland, OH, SparkBase processes millions of transactions annually for merchants in five countries. SparkBase uniquely offers its clients the ability to private label stored-value programs on a state of the art network, without involving a middleman. SparkBase’s innovative business model and robust network have contributed to its growth of more than 150% annually. The company got a hold of $3M in financing led by North Coast Angel Fund in June of 2011.

nGenX Corporation Since our founding in 2000, nGenx has been a pioneer in cloud computing, working with strategic partners such as Microsoft, Citrix, VMware, Sage, BlackBerry and others to develop hosted IT applications provided via the cloud. nGenx markets our solutions through both a direct channel and a partner channel. nGenx operates a network of autonomous data centers, each approximately 100 miles apart and all connected by a highly available fiber-optic network. The company landed $5.2M in funding in February of 2011.

8thBridge Inc 8thBridge operates a social shopping platform merchants use to create social shopping experiences for their customers. Customers engage merchants on their own terms in a shopping experience that is portable, personalized, and participatory. History was made on July 8th, 2009 when Alvenda, currently known as 8thBridge, brought online retail to Facebook and again on August 12, 2010 for the travel industry. The company received $10M in financing led by Trident Capital in March of 2011.

Zencoder Inc Zencoder is the performance leader in scalable, fast, high-quality cloud-based video transcoding. Founded in 2010, its products enable content providers to quickly deploy Internet video to virtually any Internet connected device. The team’s technology vision dates back to 2008 when the team pioneered cloud-based encoding as a service with On2 Technologies (now Google). Zencoder got a hold of $2M in funding in April of 2011.

SpringCM SpringCM is the award-winning market leader in enterprise-class, cloud enterprise content management (ECM) and workflow solutions. Led by enterprise content management (ECM) industry veterans, SpringCM delivers fast, easy, and highly affordable document management and workflow automation solutions in a completely web-based environment. SpringCM got a hold of $15M in financing led by Foundation Capital in September of 2010.

Plex Systems Inc Plex Systems, Inc. is the developer of Plex Online, a SaaS ERP (software as a service) Cloud ERP solution for the manufacturing enterprise. Plex Online’s comprehensive functional coverage delivers a “shop floor to top floor” view of a manufacturer’s operations, enabling management to run its business at maximum efficiency. The company got a hold of $6M in venture financing from Apax Partners in November of 2009.

SilkRoad technology, Inc SilkRoad Technology, Inc. provides software as a service (SaaS) solutions that significantly improve the talent within its more than 1500 customers across the globe. Through SilkRoad’s Life Suite™, an integrated talent management solution, companies are able to hire better employees, identify high and low performers, drive a pay-for-performance culture and improve employee tenure. The company landed $40M in financing led by Intel Capital in November of 2010.

Sittercity Sittercity is the source for savvy sitters and knowledgeable nannies. Launched in 2001, Sittercity now has over two million caregiver profiles nationwide, making it quick and easy to connect with qualified sitters and nannies. Parents can get to know candidates before the first interview thanks to detailed profiles, references, background checks and reviews. Sittercity has raised $22.6M in venture money led by Baird Venture Partners in April of 2011.

E-merging Technologies Group, Inc. E-merging Technologies Group, Inc. is dedicated to providing highly skilled resources and services to its customers in the Intelligence Community, the Department of Defense, Civilian Agencies, state and local governments and private sector companies. E-merging Technologies Group has increased revenues by 148% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $10.3M in 2009.

Firm58 Based in Chicago, Firm58 provides web-based financial management software to manage the processes associated with fees, commissions and payouts. By automating all post-trade processes regardless of asset class (equities,foreign exchange, fixed income, futures, etc.). The company’s Software as a Service (SaaS) platform automates middle- and back-office processes across asset classes to provide insight into daily profitability, increase operational efficiency, and protect revenue. Firm58 got a hold of $7M in funding led by New World Ventures in June of 2010.

GrubHub With over 13,000 delivery and pickup restaurants, GrubHub helps you find and order food wherever you are. How it works: you type in an address, we tell you the restaurants that deliver to that locale as well as showing you droves of pickup restaurants near you. Want to be more specific? Search by cuisine, restaurant name or menu item. We’ll filter your results accordingly. When you find what you’re looking for, you can place your order online or by phone, free of charge. GrubHub landed $11M in funding from Benchmark Capital in November of 2010.

TOA Technologies TOA Technologies is the leading provider of on-demand mobile workforce management applications for large and medium-sized enterprises. ETAdirect, TOA’s patented platform, improves customer service while dramatically reducing operational costs and delivering immediate return on investment. TOA Technologies has raised $17.2M in venture money from Sutter Hill Ventures in May of 2011.

Netarx, LLC Netarx helps our customers transform and accelerate their business through Collaboration and Data Center technologies. NetCare Managed IT Services help our customers benefit from these technologies more affordably and with higher quality. Netarx has increased revenues by 117% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $36.8M in 2009.

ACTIV Financial Systems, Inc. Founded in 2002, ACTIV is a leader in low latency technology and global distribution of market data. ACTIV was established by a group of market data professionals from top firms who shared the belief that only forward thinking technology solutions can address the growing issues facing the rapidly changing world of market data. This belief continues to propel a heavy commitment to R&D enabling ACTIV landed $23.5M in venture funding from Bessemer Venture Partners in January of 2010.

Centro Centro is a digital media services company and the creator and provider of Transis, the first “front-end to back-end” media automation software to help advertising agencies increase efficiencies, save costs and scale more effectively and profitably. The company has raised $22.5M in funding in April of 2011.

BlueLock Bluelock is an award-winning provider of cloud hosting solutions for the enterprise. Hosted in the public cloud, Bluelock Virtual Datacenters help companies get started quickly and deal with the unknown, while delivering the freedom to change their minds as IT needs evolve. With SAS-70 Type II datacenters, Bluelock’s VMware vCloud Datacenter Service provides world-class SLAs, guaranteeing enterprise level uptime. The company has increased revenues by 2,665% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $9.4M in 2009. is one of the web’s most successful distributors of wall décor items with more than 20,000 daily visitors and 120,000 loyal customers. Founded in 2002 by Stacy and David Sasson and Amit Yaari, began as a small home-based business with only a handful of unframed oil paintings to choose from. The company has increased revenues by 259% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $2M in 2009.

People to My Site A recent addition to the Inc 500 list, we’re a contemporary Internet marketing solutions provider located in Columbus, Ohio. Using our eight years of experience as a company, we spend each day developing high-end Internet technology solutions and driving business through the Internet. People To My Site has increased revenues by 359% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $4.7M in 2009.

The Nerdery Founded by three programmers in 2003, The Nerdery has a staff of 150+ in offices in Minneapolis in Chicago. The Nerdery has partnered with more than 200 marketing agencies in 29 states to develop their clients’ interactive projects, including websites, social media and mobile apps. The Nerdery has made the Inc 5000 and Biz Journal Fast 50 lists of fast-growing privately owned companies for the past three consecutive years. The company has increased revenues by 1,990% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $8.6M in 2009.

The Fiberutilities Group Fiberutilities Group (FG) is a professional utilities management company, providing communications connectivity management, planning, building and operating services to clients. FG provides full operational control of network at the operational, data link level, including monitoring and maintenance of the physical network, as well as providing design, planning and construction services for any new fiber network required. FG received $20M in financing in December of 2010.

Aircell Business Aviation Services LLC Aircell is the world’s leading provider of inflight connectivity and a single-source, turnkey provider of equipment, service, and technical support. With a global sales and support presence, its products are offered by virtually every fixed- and rotor-wing airframe manufacturer in business aviation, and are installed aboard the world’s four largest fractional ownership fleets. Aircell collected $35M in funding in February of 2011.

ABILITY Network ABILITY Network is helping create a healthier America by transforming how care is delivered using the Internet. Over the last ten years, we have been working in the background connecting thousands of hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, home health agencies, clinics, and tens of thousands of physicians across the country with each other, and with the nation’s largest payer: Medicare. The company received $20M in financing led by Lemhi Ventures in May of 2011.

Handmark Inc Handmark is a leading mobile media company delivering the next great customer experience and revenue opportunity for partners. Handmark specializes in delivering mobile application solutions for brands, publishers and media companies. The company received $11.5M in venture funding in February of 2009.

Iasta Iasta® is an award winning leader of Enterprise Spend Management through SRM Best Practices. Founded in 2000, Iasta helps organizations solve traditional business problems in new ways by providing its customers with cutting-edge tools for making strategic decisions on how to save and spend their valuable resources. Iasta has increased revenues by 134% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $8.5M in 2009.

Univa UD, Inc. Univa, the Data Center Optimization Company, is the leading provider of optimization and management software for traditional, dynamic and cloud data centers. Univa’s award-winning products are used by Global 2500 companies to improve resource sharing, amplify the efficiency of people and processes, and increase application and license utilization. Univa offers the industry’s broadest, most innovative and integrated product set for managing shared, high-demand data center resources. The company received $2M in financing in March of 2010.

Palisade Systems, Inc. Palisade Systems, Inc., is an industry leader in the Data Loss Prevention (DLP) market dedicated to providing comprehensive, affordable compliance solutions for small- and mid-sized businesses. Palisade’s patented DLP product, PacketSure, helps mid-sized organizations proactively secure sensitive and proprietary intellectual property from leaving data networks, defines and enforces access to internal network resources. The company has raised $2.6M in funding led by DeWaay Investment Partners in December of 2009.

eBureau eBureau provides a powerful suite of predictive analytics and real-time information solutions to help consumer-facing businesses find their next customer. Supported by a robust data mining platform that aggregates massive amounts of consumer data, eBureau helps performance marketers and digital advertisers improve the profitability of their new customer acquisition efforts. The company received $10M in financing from Tenaya Capital in September of 2009.

Vontoo Inc Vontoo, Inc. is a leading provider of permission-based voice broadcasting solutions for 21st century customer communications. Vontoo provides the technology and FTC compliance expertise to allow organizations to add Voice Messaging, SMS, and Interactive Video to their interactions with their customers. Whether voice is integrated into your enterprise system, or a supplement to your communication, Vontoo offers a voice broadcast solution for you. Vontoo got a hold of $2M in funding from EDF Ventures in February of 2009 and increased revenues by 644% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $1.6M in 2009.

ChaCha Search, Inc ChaCha gives free, real-time answers to any question both online at and through mobile phones by either texting “ChaCha” (242-242) or using one of our mobile apps. ChaCha is among the very top online and mobile publishers per comScore and Nielsen, and continues to grow in loyal users at a rapid pace. The company received $3M in financing from Qualcomm Ventures in January of 2011.

Cleversafe, Inc Cleversafe is the leader in resilient storage solutions and puts organizations in control of cloud storage and massive digital archives. When information assurance is important, Cleversafe’s hardware and software infrastructure solutions deliver cost-effective confidentiality, data integrity, and limitless availability. Cleversafe received $31.4M in venture funding led by Motorola Ventures in October of 2010.

Ifbyphone Inc Ifbyphone is a voice based marketing automation platform that helps companies drive sales, reduce collection cycles, measure marketing effectiveness and improve customer experience. Ifbyphone provides a suite of software-as-a-service voice applications for call tracking, call notifications, call forwarding, call automation and interactive voice response (IVR). The company raised $8M in venture money led by Apex Venture Partners in December of 2009.

Networked Insights Inc Networked Insights was founded in 2006 by CEO Dan Neely in Madison, Wisconsin, a long way from Silicon Valley. Madison is known for its top-five research university, iconoclastic outlook, and bitterly cold winters. That’s turned out to be a great place to grow a business requiring smart, unconventional minds. Networked Insights raised $5M in financing from Kegonsa Capital Partners in April of 2010.

gloStream, Inc. gloStream got its start when Yaw Kwakye and Milind Ghyar, two software developers with a gift for translating ideas into easy-to-use healthcare technology, began developing gloEMR – gloStream’s flagship electronic medical record software. gloStream landed $7.5M in funding from Beringea in May of 2009. provides a suit of 100% free online business tools for small businesses, landlords, home business and the SoHo market, independent contractors and professionals. Fastdue helps users better organize their business communications, extend their brand, shorten collection cycles, overcome payment inertia and move more of their core business functions online or to their mobile devices. Fastdue has increased revenues by 4,999,900% from 2007 to 2009 and received $5M in funding in February of 2009.

Mu Sigma Mu Sigma is a leading provider of decision sciences and analytics services, helping companies institutionalize data-driven decision making. Mu Sigma works with market-leading companies across multiple verticals, solving high impact business problems in the areas of Marketing, Supply Chain and Risk Analytics. The company got a hold of $25M in financing from Sequoia Capital in June of 2011.

INXPO, Inc. INXPO is the leading provider of privately-branded virtual events and virtual business environments that connect, educate and engage audiences. INXPO’s full suite of solutions includes Virtual Trade Shows, Virtual Career Fairs, and Virtual Corporate Events, as well as Audio, Video and Interactive Webcasts. The company has raised $9M in venture money from Highland Capital Partners in September of 2009.

Scale Computing Scale Computing is a developer and manufacturer of unified, scale-out storage solutions tailored to the virtualization and archiving needs of the small and medium-sized business (SME), The entire Scale portfolio is based on its uniquely flexible Intelligent Clustered Operating System™ (ICOS) technology that offers full-functioning, advanced storage features at a fraction of the price of comparable solutions. Scale Computing has increased revenues by 551,642,500% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $5.5M in 2009 and landed $17M in funding from Scale Venture Partners in November of 2010. is an e-commerce platform and online marketplace for household essentials. As a leading provider of online retail and interactive marketing services for the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry, offers manufacturers a direct to consumer platform that provides shoppers with competitive pricing, free delivery, instant coupons, and simple automation and management of household purchases. The company received $6M in venture money in November of 2009.

HarQen HarQen (pronounced HAR-ken) is a next generation web-telephony company that captures, organizes and distributes original voice through our Voice Asset Management (VAM) platform. HarQen provides applications, white label solutions and an open API – all designed to turn voice into an asset, unlocking new layers of value for our clients. Founded in 2007, HarQen is a Milwaukee-based, privately held company with investment from Phenomenelle Angels Fund, Silicon Pastures and Golden Seeds. HarQen got a hold of $2.7M in financing in January of 2010.

Shoutlet, Inc Shoutlet provides enterprise social management software for companies to engage consumers online and monetize their social media communication. It includes Facebook, Twitter and YouTube management, Social CRM, a contest platform, HTML5 web app building, email and mobile marketing, social commerce, and real-time analytics in one easy-to-use interface. The platform gives brands and agencies the tools to create, manage, and measure their entire social media communications. Shoutlet landed $6M in funding from American Family Insurance in December of 2010. Newsy is a multi-platform, multi-source video news service that monitors, analyzes and presents the world’s news coverage. Through short video segments available on the web and mobile devices, Newsy accelerates the understanding of how a news story is being covered differently by media outlets from around the world. Newsy got a hold of $3.5M in financing in the past two years.

Vigilant Technologies Vigilant is a global IT Services firm specializing in Oracle Professional and Managed Services. Founded in 1999, Vigilant has over a decade of experience successfully helping our customers envision, plan and implement Oracle-based Application, Database and Middleware systems across a variety of industries. The company has increased revenues by 788% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $3.2M in 2009.

The Higher Gear Group Inc The goal of The Higher Gear Group is to deliver an easy-to-use software solution which will revolutionize retailer sales efficiency, customer prospecting, customer retention, customer relationship marketing and trade cycle management, while increasing profitability. The company received $7.5M in financing from H.I.G. Capital in June of 2010.

Integrated Medical Partners Integrated Medical Partners manages a portfolio of synergistic healthcare IT service businesses which partner with physicians and hospitals to promote better delivery of patient care, enhanced compliance, improved operational efficiency and increased profitability. The company received $2M in financing from Blackthorne Partners in September of 2010.

Fitness Plus Equipment Services, Inc is committed to providing you with quality fitness and exercise equipment repair and service parts, accessories, club & gym supplies. Our commitment is to give you access to the highest quality parts at competitive prices. We remove the obstacles that separate you and your parts. has increased revenues by 483% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $2.4M in 2009.

Bluemile Inc. Bluemile owns and operates a highly redundant data center with an enterprise VCE cloud infrastructure powered by EMC, VMware, Dell and other Tier I technology providers. Bluemile has been an established leading-edge provider in voice, colocation and data technology solutions since 2003. A new product set labeled bCloud™ with Backup, Storage and Compute packages is launching Bluemile even further ahead as an enterprise cloud service provider. The company has increased revenues by 382% from 2007 to 2009 ending with $18M in 2009.

StudyBlue StudyBlue is an online home for students to store lecture notes and make flashcards, with efficient tools that help focus their studying where they need it most, making review sessions effective and efficient. And with StudyBlue, a student’s study materials are accessible whenever and wherever they choose to study – online and on their phone for effective, productive learning. StudyBlue got a hold of $3.6M in financing in October of 2010.

ReadOz Based in Chicago, Illinois, ReadOz™ was founded in 2007 in response to this growing drive for dynamic online publishing venues with new portability options. ReadOz is a leading digital publishing software technology company with the industry’s only one-stop publishing, commerce and analytics platform which serves the needs of consumers, publishers and advertisers. The company received $2.2M in venture funding in November of 2010.

ExactTarget ExactTarget is a leading global provider of on-demand email marketing and interactive marketing solutions. The company’s Interactive Marketing Hub TM technology provides organizations a single solution to connect with customers via email, integrated text messaging, landing pages and social media. ExactTarget got a hold of $30M in financing from Technology Crossover Ventures in April of 2011

Celergo Celergo is a provider of outsourced international payroll services. Celergo’s roots lay in the development of expatriate administration software for multinational companies back in the late 1990’s. Our team is staffed with professionals with international experience in managing multi-country businesses, expatriate management, global payroll management, and ASP technologies. Celergo landed $15M in financing from Frontier Capital in March of 2011.