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Founders : Year of the Gazelle

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Hiring helps propel Benzinga from startup to financial media staple

"We can't hire on experience because we have a limited budget," says Jason Raznick, CEO of Benzinga. "We're trying to create something from nothing."

Questions with Hiring helps propel Benzinga from startup to financial media staple

Company:
Benzinga

Marketing investment moves growth needle for iDashboards

IDashboards grew an average of nearly 20 percent over each of the last four years. It now has a marketing budget of more than $2 million today, which isn't bad for a boot-strapped firm that built itself up to make a significant-yet-strategic gamble.

"That's the difference between a boot-strapped firm and venture-funded firm," says Shadan Malik, president & CEO of iDashboards. "Venture-funded firms have millions to spend right away."

Questions with Marketing investment moves growth needle for iDashboards

Company:
iDashboards

New hires turn into key ingredients for growth spurt at McClure's Pickles

"This year we're going to have even bigger growth because we added some key people," says Joe McClure, co-owner of McClure's Pickles.

Questions with New hires turn into key ingredients for growth spurt at McClure's Pickles

Flower child capitalists turn low profit company into gazelle startup, ardentCause

"We discovered what the customers wanted was different," says Rosemary Bayer, chief inspiration officer for ardentCause. "We had to change who we thought our customer was and adapt our products to it."

Questions with Flower child capitalists turn low profit company into gazelle startup, ardentCause

Company:
ardentCause L3C

Technology breakthrough sets stage for growth at Stratos

"It started off with a clunky, iPod-like prototype," Olson says. "Then we realized we can fit all of that technology into a card."

Questions with Technology breakthrough sets stage for growth at Stratos

Company:
Stratos

Building a community-based company, Hacienda Mexican Foods in southwest Detroit

"I ran the business with my heart, but my costs continued to go up," Gutierrez says. "I closed my eyes and prayed for help. When I opened them up I saw things differently. I am an administrator who needs to run a business."

Questions with Building a community-based company, Hacienda Mexican Foods in southwest Detroit

Olark discovers raising prices leads to rapid growth

"I think people had a hard time taking it seriously if it was priced that low," Steindler says. He adds, "We had this combination of quality and price that really helped us accelerate our growth. (Before that) our savings were dwindling. I was thinking how long until I have to get a real job? Then we hit that moment and things just took off."
 

Questions with Olark discovers raising prices leads to rapid growth

Company:
Olark

Word of mouth sends InfoReady to 1,000 percent growth over five years

The fifth-year anniversary is a big one for InfoReady. It's the year the Ann Arbor-based software startup crossed 1,000 percent growth on the strength of word-of-mouth marketing from its customers. That win is why InfoReady is one of the Gazelle 100, a year-long exploration of the fastest-growing startups in Metro Detroit as part of SEMichiganStartup's Year of the Gazelle series.

Questions with Word of mouth sends InfoReady to 1,000 percent growth over five years

Company:
InfoReady

Accelerate Michigan win sets stage for DeNovo Sciences future success

DeNovo Sciences has come a long way in its first five years, but the Plymouth-based startup can point to one critical juncture in its rapid growth: winning the Accelerate Michigan Innovation Competition in 2011. That win is why DeNovo Sciences is one of the Gazelle 100, a year-long exploration of the fastest-growing startups in Metro Detroit as part of SEMichiganStartup's Year of the Gazelle series.

Questions with Accelerate Michigan win sets stage for DeNovo Sciences future success

Akervall Technologies hits its stride when the business moves beyond its CEO

Sassa Akervall built her mouthguard startup, Akervall Technologies, from scratch. But Saline-based company started to grow quickly when its CEO became less of a manager and more of a leader. That maturation is why Akervall Technologies is one of the Gazelle 100, a year-long exploration of the fastest-growing startups in Metro Detroit as part of SEMichiganStartup's Year of the Gazelle series.

Questions with Akervall Technologies hits its stride when the business moves beyond its CEO

Seed capital fuels 365 Retail Markets rapid growth rate

Joe Hessling spent a couple years building 365 Retail Markets from nothing, but he was able to grow the Troy startup's revenues quickly after scoring $1 million in seed capital. That hockey stick spike in growth is why 365 Retail Markets is one of the Gazelle 100, a year-long exploration of the fastest-growing startups in Metro Detroit as part of SEMichiganStartup's Year of the Gazelle series.

Questions with Seed capital fuels 365 Retail Markets rapid growth rate

Mark Rieth on why Stroh's inspires Atwater Brewery's growth

Mark Rieth likes to talk about Stroh's when he is speaking about turning Atwater Brewery into Detroit's next great brewery. He explains why Detroit's most fabled brewery serves as an inspiration.

Questions with Mark Rieth on why Stroh's inspires Atwater Brewery's growth

Company:
Atwater Brewery

Joe Hessling, balancing CEO and shareholder duties

Joe Hessling is the founder & CEO of 365 Retail Markets, which means he has to balance a shareholder's need to create value and a executive's impulse to build a business.

Questions with Joe Hessling, balancing CEO and shareholder duties

Nailah Ellis-Brown turns family tradition into fast-growing business

Nailah Ellis-Brown isn't the first member of her family to start a business. In fact her Detroit-based, slow-food startup, Ellis Island Tea, has its roots with the first entrepreneurs of her family.

Questions with Nailah Ellis-Brown turns family tradition into fast-growing business

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