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Philadelphia’s Top Emerging Companies

by Michelle Boyles

Through business incubators, government incentives, creative venture funding and innovative partnerships, the Philadelphia region has made developing and retaining new companies a priority. As a result, startups in every sector are finding success here. We’ve identified some of the top emerging companies in our area that are poised to continue growing and transforming the future of their industries and had them tell us what is propelling them forward.

1SEO
Based in Levittown, this internet marketing firm provides search engine optimization (SEO), pay per click (PPC), social media optimization (SMO) and website design/development to companies throughout the USA and internationally, whether they are large multi-national corporations or small and mid-size businesses. ?
Year founded: 2009
Top executive: Lance Bachmann, CEO?
Mission: The mission at 1SEO.com Digital Agency is simple: Help local, national and international businesses increase their bottom line by increasing their online visibility. Our core values? Communication, transparency and results. Every day, our industry-leading team of digital marketers uses those values to realize our mission with the most innovative SEO, content, Web design and social media strategies.?
Of note: 1SEO has been nominated for a US Search Award for four years running, and recently achieved Google’s Premier Partner status, now recognized in the top 3 percent of digital agencies across the country. Additionally, they have been featured in Forbes Magazine, have been on the Inc. 5000 list for three years and won Interactive Media Awards (IMAs).?
Five-year goal: As our company grows and we continue to expand, we hope to become a leading marketing agency in the region, and the country. In five short years, we think all of these are very attainable and our forward-thinking team of employees has the motivation that allows our company to reach these levels.

Arcweb Technologies
This full-service, product design and development firm builds Web and mobile technologies that directly impact the bottom lines of organizations—from Fortune 500 companies to growth stage startups spanning a variety of industries including financial technology, insurance, bank operations, wealth management and e-commerce.
Year founded: 2011?
Top executive: Chris Cera, CEO?
Mission: To build products people love.?
Of note: Second-place winner (out of 100) in the 2015 Philly 100, recognizing the fastest-growing, privately held companies in the region.?
Five-year goal: To be the first consultancy that companies in the region—from health care organizations to financial services firms—think of when it comes to digital product design and development expertise.

BrainDo
This Philadelphia-based, full-service, interactive agency draws on the combined expertise of more than 50 years in digital marketing, having touched on nearly every vertical including: travel, automotive, insurance, legal, pharmaceutical, e-commerce, B2B, health/beauty, fitness and entertainment.?
Year founded: 2013?
Top executives: Jenny Du and Brian Cosgrove, principals?
Mission: Our No. 1 goal is to help our clients succeed online through a strategic mix of digital solutions including analytics, Web development and design, SEO, paid media and social management. Our team is a collection of hard-working go-getters and industry experts that come together to create digital programs for our clients’ experiences and measurable results.?
Of note: The company opened its doors without the help of investors, opened a new coworking space on N3rd Street and has grown from one?to 13 employees in just three years.?
Five-year goal: To continue to grow and double BrainDo’s current size, keeping the same company culture and perks that it’s had since 2013. This includes unlimited paid time off, an annual BrainDo beach retreat and BrainDo University (employee-held workshops featuring a specific theme).

ORS Partners
This innovative staffing firm provides hiring solutions to venture-backed and high-growth companies. The company has developed partnerships with many software firms to make available a best-in-class toolkit for recruiters and clients to leverage. They are currently in the running for multiple fast-growing company awards this quarter.
Year founded: 2012?
Top executive: Terry Williams, CEO?
Mission: ORS Partners’ mission is to be the preeminent provider of innovative talent solutions that enable client growth.?
Five-year goal: In the next five years, we would like to have expanded to serve clients across the country and have satellite offices in multiple cities.

Relay Network
Relay Network establishes a lasting, digital connection between businesses and their customers on a private engagement channel that drives interactions and enhances the customer experience. Users connect with businesses to receive a personalized stream of interactive, service-based communications that guide them through meaningful moments in the customer journey.
Year Founded: 2011?
Top Executive: Matt Gillin, CEO and co-founder?
Mission: Enable businesses to deliver incredible customer experiences by improving the way they communicate?
Of note: Relay Network doubled its revenue from 2014 to 2015, tripled its customer reached in the last year with a client renewal rate of 99 percent and raised $28.7 million in total funding from local VCs and private investors. They were named a Celent Model Bank winner in 2016.?Five-year goal: We’re on a mission to make the concept of the “connected customer” a reality for businesses. By growing the company and extending the reach of our product, we aim to fundamentally change the customer experience by making it easy for companies and consumers to communicate and interact with each other.

MRO Corporation
Through a proprietary platform and market-specific expertise, MRO offers a complete, enterprise-wide solution for the secure and compliant exchange of Protected Health Information (PHI) between a health care organization and other entities, including other providers, government agencies, payers, third-party requesters and patients.
Year founded: 2002?
Top executive: Stephen Hynes, CEO?
Mission: MRO’s mission is to disclose the right PHI to the right requesters in a secure and compliant fashion, with an unwavering focus on client success. ?
Of note: The company has been recognized by KLAS Research as the Category Leader for Release of Information for three years running and has been listed on Inc. 5000’s fastest growing companies in America in 2015 and 2016.?
Five-year goal: MRO’s vision is to transform the way health information is used and exchanged through innovation, technology and unparalleled service.

Aspire Bariatrics
Aspire Bariatrics has helped hundreds of patients lose significant amounts of weight and reach and maintain a healthy weight and a healthy lifestyle through an innovative approach to portion control, reducing the number of calories absorbed by your body.
Year founded: 2007?
Top executive: Katherine D. Crothall, Ph.D.?
Mission: The company’s mission is to assist patients in achieving and maintaining a healthy body weight and lifestyle through safe and effective products and services.?
Of note: The FDA recently approved the company’s AspireAssist, a new, non-surgical, reversible obesity treatment device implanted in an outpatient procedure. Because the procedure and device are relatively simple, it may be affordable for patients who cannot afford bariatric surgery.?
Five-year goal: Our goal is that our lead product, the AspireAssist, becomes one of the “gold standards” in weight loss therapy.

Yellowdig
A social learning platform driven by collaboration and data science, Yellowdig forms a social layer on top of existing enterprise learning systems used by a majority of universities and organizations to build engaging, collaborative and fun learning experiences in a private and secure way.
Year founded: 2014?
Top Executive: Shaunak Roy, founder and CEO?
Mission: Our mission is to help students connect with their peers—and faculty members understand what captures students' attention through social learning. Our patent pending platform has demonstrated higher engagement and learning outcomes through student driven collaboration, crowdsourced content curation and data science.?
Of note: The group’s customers include some of the world’s most prestigious universities, including Northwestern University, University of Arizona, University of Pennsylvania, Duke University, University of California and many more. ?
Five-year goal: There are over 5,000 higher education institutions in?the U.S. alone. In five years, we want to introduce Yellowdig to the majority of institutions, both in the U.S. and abroad. We also see a lot of potential to grow in adjacent K-12 and corporate e-learning markets.

Hyalo Technologies
This company’s innovative nanotechnology drug delivery system is intended to drastically reduce systemic side effects and increase patient compliance with target-specific drug delivery, time-controlled drug release and 100 percent biodegradability.?
Year founded: 2012?
Top executive: Shalabh Jain, chairman and CEO
Mission: Through its advanced drug delivery systems, Hyalo Technologies strives to leverage technology and research to effectively enhance efficacy and therapeutic effect with minimal side effects to establish the next generation of drug delivery. Our vision is to design and develop innovative health care products, which are of the highest caliber, quality and safety.
Of note: In addition to producing a unique platform technology and a successful and diversified pipeline of products in a relatively short period of time, the company has filed for several patents on its technology and products.
Five-year goal: Hyalo Technologies will continue to research and develop products to expand its robust pipeline. The company will collaborate with major players in the biotech and pharmaceutical industries through joint ventures, licensure deals and/or strategic partnerships to produce and market our products globally.

Wright Commissioning
Wright Commissioning is a quality-focused, technical platform for verifying and documenting that a building’s systems and assemblies are installed and perform as required, and that they can be operated and maintained effectively. Wright Commissioning is a NEBB-certified commissioning firm that specializes in getting building systems to function effectively, achieving energy savings and improving operations for complex integrated systems with fast-track schedules.
Year founded: 2015?
Top executive: Kim Wright, CEO?
Mission: To optimize performance and energy efficiency for new and existing facilities.?
Of note: Wright Commissioning is Philly’s only independent commissioning firm, certified by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council, Minority Business Enterprise and National Environmental Balancing Bureau. They are also a General Services Administration Schedule Holder.?
Five-year goal: Growth of Philly office and the establishment of offices in other regions.

Published (and copyrighted) in Philly Biz, Volume 1, Issue 9 (August, 2016).
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