More than 50 Nashville-area companies earned a prestigious ranking on the Inc. 5000 list featuring fast growth.
For the second consecutive year, Axe Wellness, a vitamin supplement provider in Franklin, reported the fastest growth during the past three-years. Pop Culture Media, Plow, Fan Fest and XPro each landed in the area's top five ranking.
Inc. magazine ranked privately-held companies based on the percentage growth of revenue from 2013 to 2016. Companies must have earned more than $2 million in revenue in 2016.
Nashville's presence on the 2017 list was in line with 2016, when 53 local companies were ranked.
"There has been a long history of great companies that have been on the list that Nashville has been proud to be home to be," said investor and XMI CEO Jim Phillips. "I'm delighted to see strong participation from Nashville-based companies.
The metro area still significantly lags larger cities long associated with business success -- Washington, D.C., New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago and Atlanta. It also fell below some peer cities -- Austin and Denver. Nashville ranked slightly higher than Raleigh-Durham and Charlotte.
Phillips said some Nashville companies choose not to apply and that other local businesses's growth is on par with those ranked. He commended the state's business climate which does not include income taxes but does include a strong workforce and large customer bases in health care, IT and music.
"You want to go to where your customers go," Phillips said. "You have to spend time with your customer as much as you can. If you do that, you outpace your competition."
Axe Wellness, owner of the Dr. Axe brand, reported growth that exceeded 7,000 percent and revenue of $46 million. Pop Culture Media posted growth that surpassed 4,000 percent.
Provider Trust, a health care compliance company in Nashville, made the list for the second year in a row and reported 316 percent growth. Founded in 2010, the company has gained clients as enforcement of health care regulations has increased.
“There is a lot of data, there's growing regulations and we’ve been able to provide really simple solutions,” ProviderTrust co-founder Chris Redhage said.