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Inc. Magazine: Clearwater Tops in Nation for Fastest Growing Companies

Inc. 500 | Business News | Clearwater

Four private companies were listed on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S.

CLEARWATER – Inc. magazine, a national business and industry growth monthly publication based in New York City, has ranked Clearwater No. 1 in the nation for the number of private businesses rated in the magazine’s annual Inc. 500 list.

The ranking showcases the number of fast-growing businesses in Clearwater, relative to the city’s population size, according to the magazine’s September 2016 edition. Clearwater had four private companies ranked in the annual Inc. 500 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Inc. also ranked five additional businesses in the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies. Clearwater was ranked above Irvine, CA; Atlanta, GA; Hollywood, FL; and Alexandra, VA.

“The city of Clearwater congratulates each of the businesses that made this prestigious list,” said Denise Sanderson, the city’s economic development and housing director. “This result is a testament to each and every business owner and employee dedicated to the growth and success of their enterprise.”

She added, “The result also illustrates the significant concentration of successful, high-growth businesses in Clearwater. The city of Clearwater welcomes businesses with its favorable business climate, great infrastructure, talented workforce and exceptional quality of life. Clearwater has and will continue to attract entrepreneurs, startups and established businesses poised for growth and expansion.”

Clearwater has a thriving and enduring business climate with amenities that attract businesses to invest and stay. While tourism is Clearwater’s top industry with millions of annual visitors to Clearwater Beach, other industries have taken hold in the city of more than 110,000 residents. Clearwater is home to growing and diverse businesses that are solidly established in the sectors of information technology, software, finance, insurance, marine science, medical technology and manufacturing.

The Clearwater businesses that made the Inc. 500 list are: Stratus, Telequote Insurance, KnowBe4  and Digital Media Solutions.

The Clearwater businesses that made the Inc. 5000 list are: Progressive Dental, GovDirect, Pure Air Control Systems, CWU Inc., and Murphy Business & Financial Corp.

Located in downtown Clearwater, Stratus built its foundation in the language access industry with video, audio and in-person interpreting solutions. The company has recently leveraged its existing technology into a telehealth division focused on improving patient care while reducing hospital costs.

“We are honored to make the Inc. 500 list of fastest-growing private companies for a fourth consecutive year,” said David Fetterolf, president of Stratus’s Language Access Division. “Our tremendous growth shows our dedication to patient care and innovation. This technology empowers health care providers to quickly and effectively meet the changing demands of their industry.

“Clearwater has been an excellent home for us and we plan to continue our growth in this innovative community. It’s fantastic to share the same space as other companies that have made the Inc. list.”

Downtown Clearwater’s KnowBe4 was ranked in the Inc. 500 list, and Inc. magazine also ranked KnowBe4 the top security company in the nation for its percentage of growth in revenue from 2012 through 2015.

KnowBe4 is an information technology and online security awareness training company founded in 2010 and based in downtown Clearwater with more than 140 employees.

Along with its success in the cyber security market, Stu Sjouwerman, founder and chief executive officer of KnowBe4, also credits its home base of Clearwater for its business climate and opportunity.

“Being in Clearwater has been great for KnowBe4,” Sjouwerman said. “It offers access to a trained workforce, low cost of living combined with a high quality of life, and a great financial climate that allows a startup to scale fast and generate new jobs.”

Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Winner of the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. Total monthly audience reach for the brand has grown significantly from 2,000,000 in 2010 to over 15,000,000 today. For information, go to

For information on Clearwater’s Inc. magazine national ranking, contact Denise Sanderson, the city of Clearwater’s Economic Development and Housing director, at (727) 562-4031 or

Clearwater | Inc. Magazine | Inc. 500 | Stratus | KnowBe4 | Telequote | TB Reporter

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Inc. Magazine: Clearwater Tops in Nation for Fastest Growing Companies
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Inc. Magazine: Clearwater Tops in Nation for Fastest Growing Companies
Four private companies were listed on the Inc. 500 list of fastest growing private companies in the U.S.
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