15 Knoxville-area companies named to 'fastest-growing' Inc. 5000 list

·5 min read

Fifteen Knoxville-area businesses are included on the list of fastest-growing U.S. companies for 2022. The annual Inc. 5000 list was released Tuesday.

StoragePug, a self-storage software provider that allows facility owners to create a website and attract tenants, was the top-ranked Knoxville business, coming in at No. 575.

The company, co-founded by CEO Matt Huddleston and COO Tommy Nguyen, reported 1,101% growth over the last 3 years.

"It feels pretty darn good," Nguyen told Knox News. "Five years in – we started in 2017 – and we were a very ambitious bunch, but I don't know that I really imagined being at this level at this point in our in our journey."

Want more business headlines?: Subscribe to Knox.biz, our free daily newsletter

Nguyen said the company's explosion of growth started with its people and their ability to adapt to a constantly changing landscape amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

The software company had 10 employees in 2020 and has grown to just under 30 employees, with plans to add about 10 more by the end of the year. He said they're currently hiring for everything from customer-facing roles to director positions.

StoragePug serves more than 1,100 storage companies in the U.S. and plans to double that customer base in the next two years.

"Prior to COVID, (the industry was) very hands-on and clunky and antiquated," he said. "So now we got a chance to bring some more modern technology and it feels kind of bonkers and amazing that we get to actually be a part of it."

Nguyen said the company's recent growth will allow StoragePug to increase wages so they're competitive in markets outside of Knoxville, like New York City and Silicon Valley.

While making the list is a cause for celebration at StoragePug, Nguyen is eager to keep the momentum going.

"It's a win, sure. Let's go feel free to celebrate, but then let's put our nose right back on the pavement," Nguyen said. "Let's let's continue to focus. Let's continue to build product that is useful (and) that is beneficial."

Tommy Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of StoragePug storage facility software company, is presented a $7,000 check at Innov865's Startup Day pitch competition for winning the Judges Choice award. Nguyen also won the $3,000 crowd favorite prize.
Tommy Nguyen, co-founder and CEO of StoragePug storage facility software company, is presented a $7,000 check at Innov865's Startup Day pitch competition for winning the Judges Choice award. Nguyen also won the $3,000 crowd favorite prize.

Twenty area businesses made the list in 2021, and 15 made the list in 2020. From familiar faces to newcomers, here are the businesses that made the cut.

2021 Inc. 5000: Which Knoxville businesses made the list last year?

Jobs: Knoxville businesses need thousands of workers, especially in these occupations

Knoxville businesses on the Inc. 5000

Other than StoragePug, one other Knoxville-area business cracked the top 1,000.

Cybersecurity company Avertium, which offers cybersecurity strategies, threat detection and responses, came in at No. 781. Founded in 2018 and led by Jeff Schmidt, the company reported 3-year growth of 816%.

Coming in at No. 1,207 is third-party logistics company Axle Logistics. Founded in 2012 by Jonathan Clay, this is the seventh consecutive year the company has made the list. It reported 3-year growth of 537%.

Axle Logistics unveils their new, downtown Knoxville home for their growing team of 175-plus employees.
Axle Logistics unveils their new, downtown Knoxville home for their growing team of 175-plus employees.

Founded in 2017 and led by Dylan Jones, Boldsquare, a marketing strategy and communications company, came in at No. 1,512. A newcomer to the list, the company reported 424% growth over 3 years.

A construction company specializing in foundation and crawlspace work, 58 Foundations came in at No. 1,701, making its first appearance on the list. The company reported a 365% 3-year growth and was founded in 1958. It's led by Kevin Coppersmith.

Landing at No. 3,154 is mortgage company Keystone Mortgage Group, which made the list for the second year in a row and reported 3-year growth of 169%. The company was founded in 2005 and is led by Matt Padgett.

Led by Jennifer Yearack and founded in 2013, RCN Technologies came in at No. 3,548. The 5G and LTE network solutions company reported a 3-year growth of 145% and has made the list 3 years in a row.

Major employer: Who will buy Discovery corporate campus? Look outside Knoxville

Growth: Black entrepreneurs are growing businesses with assist from 100Knoxville

Home improvement company K & P Enterprises reported a 106% 3-year growth and came in at No. 4,300. This is the sixth year in a row the company, founded in 2012, has landed on the list. It is led by Patricia Capezza.

Coming in at No. 4,748 is Perfectserve, a clinical communication software company led by Guillaume Castel and founded in 2000. In its second year making the list, the company reported 88% 3-year growth.

Priority Ambulance provides paramedics and nurses support teams for their care and ranked at No. 4,879. The company, led by Bryan Gibson and founded in 2014, reported 84% growth over 3 years and has made the list four years in a row.

East Tennessee businesses that made the list

Patricia Bible, KaTom CEO, Founder, & President and Larry Waters, Sevier County Mayor cut the ribbon to officially open the 58,000-square-foot expansion at KaTom Restaurant Supply in Kodak, Tenn., on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. According to KaTom the expansion will enable the facility to create 100 new jobs.
Patricia Bible, KaTom CEO, Founder, & President and Larry Waters, Sevier County Mayor cut the ribbon to officially open the 58,000-square-foot expansion at KaTom Restaurant Supply in Kodak, Tenn., on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 2020. According to KaTom the expansion will enable the facility to create 100 new jobs.

Restaurant and kitchen supply wholesaler KaTom Restaurant Supply, co-founded by Patricia Bible in 1992, has made the list 14 consecutive years and came in at No. 3,738. The Kodak-based company reported 135% growth over 3 years.

Crown Laboratories, a skin care company based in Johnson City, ranked at No. 1,305. Founded in 2000 and led by Jeff Bedard, the company reported 498% growth over 3 years. This is the ninth consecutive year it has made the list.

More: Fix traffic jams, build affordable homes: Residents tell leaders what they want

Growth: East Tennessee sustainable packaging manufacturer gets $200 million boost

Oak Ridge government engineering, technology and security firm Boston Government Services landed at No. 2,107. This is the fourth consecutive year the company has made the list, reporting 284% 3-year growth. The company was founded in 2007 and is led by Harry Boston.

Avero, a government resource planning company based in Maryville, ranked No. 2,866. The company, founded in 2016 and led by Abhijit Verekar, saw 191% growth over 3 years and made the list for the second year in a row.

Sevierville craft moonshine distiller Ole Smoky Distillery came in at No. 3,222. The company reported 165% 3-year growth and has made the list 3 years in a row. Ole Smoky is led by Robert Hall and was founded in 2010.

This story will be updated.

Silas Sloan: Covering growth and development in East Tennessee
Twitter: @silasloan| Email: silas.sloan@knoxnews.com
Support local journalism and enjoy subscriber perks. Visit knoxnews.com/subscribe.

This article originally appeared on Knoxville News Sentinel: Inc. 5000 Knoxville businesses Axle Logistics, Ole Smoky Distillery