Fast-Growing Private Education Companies Make Inc. 5000 List

Schoolwires Appears on the List for 9 Years

Associate Editor

A look at the 39 fastest-growing private companies serving the prekindergarten through 12th grade world in 2015–as identified by Inc. magazine’s ranking of 5,000 private businesses–shows that their annual combined revenues were about $617 million for 2014.

EdWeek Market Brief analyzed Inc.’s list, which was based on a comparison of applicants’ sales from 2011 to 2014. In 2015, 77 companies appeared on the list under “education,” but only 39 provided goods or services to students, teachers, schools, or families spanning the years from early childhood through high school. (Last year, 40 companies fit that description.)

Capture Education, a New Albany, Ohio-based company, topped the education portion of the list, based on its 1,552 percent growth between 2011 and 2014. The business, which was founded in 2006 and had $2.1 million in sales in 2014, has developed a technology to help manage schedules for teachers and students.

Schoolwires, the State College, Pa.-based Web content management services company with $21.6 million in annual revenues in 2014, is the education business with the longest-standing place on the Inc. 5000 ranking in 2015: It has been on the list for nine consecutive years, and was 26th among education companies in our analysis. (In March 2015, Schoolwires was acquired by Blackboard.)

For three companies, 2015 represented the eighth year each appeared on the list. They are: TrueNorthLogic, which provides human resource management systems for K-12 education agencies; Achieve3000, which provides Web-based, individualized learning tools for reading comprehension and writing proficiency, and ClassBook, which resells print and e-books to preparatory schools nationwide.

TrueNorthLogic is a Sandy, Utah-based company that was founded in 2000 and reported $11.9 million in 2014 revenues. The Lakewood, N.J.-based Achieve3000 also launched in 2000, and reported $67.1 million in 2014 revenues. ClassBook was founded in 1992, and reported annual sales of $13.9 million in 2014.

Caveats: The Inc. 5000 is based on applications the organization receives from private companies. Not all private companies in pre-kindergarten to 12th grade education participate. And appearance on the list does not guarantee that a company will succeed. One of the businesses that was named to the Inc. 5000 list in 2014–Thinkgate–closed its doors in 2015, the Charlotte Business Journal reported.

 

Maya Riser-Kositsky from the Education Week library and Michele Molnar generated this spreadsheet based on information from the 2015 Inc. 5000 list.

Education Business Category Leaders

Of the 39 companies on the list, eight are focused on providing instructional support or curriculum, and eight work in the area of helping schools manage their operations and personnel.

Companies that help directly with education services were: Imagine Easy Solutions, a New York, N.Y.-based company that provides reading, writing and critical thinking tools, which was sixth on the list with $9.6 million in 2014 sales; Think Through Learning, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based online math instruction company was 15th with $14.3 million, and Curriculum Associates, the North Billerica, Mass.-based company that designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools, was 23rd with $83.6 million.

Businesses that provide school support services were: the highest-ranked Capture Education, with the technology to help manage schedules for teachers and students; eSchoolView, a Columbus, Ohio-based company that  provides custom education websites and software that can be integrated via a single platform, which was 11th on the list with $2.7 million in 2014 sales; and TrueNorthLogic, which was 16th on the list with $11.9 million.

Six tutoring and test preparation companies also appeared on the list. The top ones are: PrepNow Tutoring, a Boston, Mass.-based business with $2.1 million in 2014 sales, which was the third fastest-growing on our version of the list; Private Prep, a New York, N.Y.-based business with $6.1 million in sales that was eighth, and Stratus Prep, also New York-based, with $4.9 million, was ninth.


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