310 Virginia Companies in the Inc 5000 This Year

Charis Jones, CEO of Sassy Jones, No. 75 in the Inc. 5000

And now for a bit of good news. Virginia’s entrepreneurial economy is faring very well, thank you. This year 310 Virginia companies are ranked in the Inc. 5000 list of fastest growing privately held companies. Five were ranked in the Top 100.

How does that compare nationally? In very rough numbers, Virginia accounts for one out of every 40 Americans and one out of every 40 dollars of U.S. GDP. But one out of 16 private fast-growth companies is located here.

As always, the entrepreneurial ferment is concentrated in Northern Virginia, which has the best developed venture capital network, the most highly educated workforce, and a deep reservoir of IT talent. Nearly 75% of Virginia’s Inc. 5000 — 227 companies — reside in the Virginia portion of the Washington Metropolitan Statistical Area.

The Richmond metro (44 companies) and Charlottesville metro (6 companies) also punch above their weight.

Additionally, Hampton Roads has 20 companies, Roanoke three, Blacksburg two, Harrisonburg one, Staunton one, Lynchburg one, and Winchester one.

Virginia’s fastest-growing company was Olympic Media, which specializes in digital copyrighting, advertising and marketing automation. Growing more than 20,000%, Olympic ranked No. 13 in the country.

One of the coolest stories comes out of the Richmond area. I had never heard of the company. That may be because the company, Sassy Jones, has come out of nowhere, growing 12,700% over the past three years. CEO Charis Jones likely has been too busy managing the company’s spectacular growth to engage in local schmoozing and PR. The company, which describes itself as “a fashion and lifestyle brand that offers audacious style solutions for the statement making woman,” sells its products primarily online.

See Inc.’s profile and video here. Take a look. It’s lots of fun.


Share this article


(comments below)


(comments below)


14 responses to “310 Virginia Companies in the Inc 5000 This Year”

  1. LarrytheG Avatar

    This is going to go badly against DJ’s view that Byrd Virginia sucks big time!

    1. DJRippert Avatar

      Here’s the real point from Jim’s article …

      “Virginia accounts for one out of every 40 Americans and one out of every 40 dollars of U.S. GDP.”

      So, the state that gets the most federal money per capita turns in nothing better than average per capita GDP?

      Even the Byrd Machine throwbacks in Richmond can’t take credit for the massive federal spending in Virginia.

      They can, however, take credit for what would be vastly below average GDP production if we received no more than an average amount of federal spending.


  2. DJRippert Avatar

    310 – 227 = 83

    Virginia population (8.7m) – NoVa population (2.7m) = 6m

    Non-NoVa Virginia represents one out of every 55 Americans but only one out of every 60 Inc 5,000 companies.

    Take away the federal government and Virginia is a disaster.

    Q: What’s the difference between Virginia and Mississippi?

    A: NoVa.

    1. Brian Leeper Avatar
      Brian Leeper

      Replace “Mississippi” with “West Virginia” and you’ll be able to offend a lot more Virginians with that question.

      Your average Virginian really doesn’t think there’s anything wrong with Mississippi.

  3. DJRippert Avatar

    Sorry if I sound negative but I’ve founded two companies in Virginia. The first was sold to a Colorado company in 2015. The other started operations this January. Both were / are LLCs. The only reason I founded the companies in Virginia was because I live here.

    If you read most guides Virginia is not considered a top 10 state for forming an LLC. However, forming an LLC in a state other than the one in which you live adds complexity.


    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      DJ – did your companies have anything to do with the Feds or was it solely and completely non-govt private sector?

      My impression is the the Feds have got the money to spend and will and the private sector is much more circumspect and wanting a shoter-term ROI.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        No, we never did anything with any governmental organization. The first company at least. We sold to cable TV companies. The current company has just finished building the product set. One aspect is a SaaS product so anybody with a credit card can be a customer.

        The problem with the government in particular and the feds in particular is that it takes an eternity to get “qualified” or “certified”. The red tape is astonishing. Once you are qualified or certified it can be a gold mine but we never had the patience. If I wanted to sell to the feds I’d try to come in as a sub-contractor to a bigger company like Leidos. That’s a much better route for a small company that is not government focused.

        One final point – I am an advisor / investor with a technology services company based in NoVa. Hundreds of people, not thousands. Their recruiting message is, “we don’t work for the federal government and you’ll never get stuck on an endless federal job with us”. Amazing how well that works in attracting technology people working for federal contracting specialists.

  4. DJRippert Avatar

    Here’s what Virginia is missing … the new Amazon workforce in Arlington is going to attract and develop 25,000 employees. At least, that’s the public plan. In and of itself that’s big. However, what would make it Yuge would be a focused effort to significantly enlarge the venture capital market in Virginia. Silicon Valley didn’t just sprout up one fine and sunny day. HP started in a garage. Fairchild Semiconductor Laboratory (a division of Beckman Instruments) was Gordon Moore’s first employer. Then Moore and Robert Noyce left Fairchild and founded Intel. Marc Benioff was a business major ho got an internship with Apple as a programmer before joining Oracle until he left to found Salesforce.com.

    Thousands of employees at Amazon in Arlington will leave each year. Quite a few will try to found start-ups. If the talent is in Virginia and teh capital is in Virginia their start-ups will be in Virginia.

    Amazon was just the first step.

    The fact that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez opposed Amazon’s plans to open up in Long Island City proves she is one of the least insightful people on the face of the planet Earth. Even the libs in Arlington knew better than that.

  5. Goodie44 Avatar

    This is fake news. We all know that America is systemically racist so this success just isn’t possible.

  6. DJRippert Avatar

    “As always, the entrepreneurial ferment is concentrated in Northern Virginia, which has the best developed venture capital network, the most highly educated workforce, and a deep reservoir of IT talent.”

    What Northern Virginia really has is proximity to the federal government. Never let our state’s politicians tell you differently.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      The Feds are willing to pay for all sorts of R&D and related.

      Literally, they are willing and able to throw money at things.

      And some of it actually does produce real advances in technology.

      Take something we all take for granted. Some of us have no clue how important it is.

      I’m talking about the GPS satellite network.

      It may have eventually happened in the private sector but odds are it would have been 20, 30, 50 years later.

      Then someone figured out how to put a GPS chip in a phone… and look what happened…

      All across NoVa, there are people who work on entrepreneurial things that are related to GPS and dozens of other govt-sponsored technologies.

      1. DJRippert Avatar

        The question isn’t whether the federal government adds any value to the economy. The question is whether the federal government adds as much value as it costs.

  7. DJRippert Avatar

    Speaking of Virginia’s economy I hear that Northam is dissembling again. Appealing to the low information voters in his base Northam is trying to claim that the state budget surplus is evidence of Virginia’s “roaring economy”. Meanwhile, 12 other states have lower unemployment rates as of June. As I’m sure the readers of this blog understand the budget surplus is far more attributable to opaque and underhanded schemes deployed by the Democrat controlled General Assembly to silently raise taxes than anything to do with a “roaring economy”.

    As Northam fumbles and stumbles to figure out how to spend off the lucre from higher taxes he ought to consider a state-wide IT modernization effort. He could ask his Secretary of Technology for a plan that prioritizes the effort across departments based on importance of the expected benefits.

    Oh wait … I forgot … Northam removed the Secretary of Technology from his cabinet.

    1. LarrytheG Avatar

      well – the rest of the story as they say:

      ” Administration officials said payroll withholding and sales taxes together account for 71% of revenues. Combined, the two categories grew 6.4% this past fiscal year.

      Among the increases in revenue over last year that contributed to the $2.6 billion figure: an increase in revenue from personal income taxes of 4.7%; increase in revenue from sales taxes of 12.4%; an increase in revenue from home sales of 41%; and an increase in revenue from ABC profits of 29.4%.”

      And some of it will go to behavioral health care, state police salaries, ventilation for schools

      All the while , continuing to maintain a AAA bond ratings.

      Any way you cut it, that’s responsible Fiscal Conservatism

Leave a Reply