The Nashville Post
December 2002
25 Emerging Companies
by Molly Cate, Brian A. Courney, David A. Fox, Drew Ruble & Alexei Smirnov

It's been a couple years since we read much about initial public offerings, those orgies of investment banking fees and chest-thumping pride that are seen as the crossing-the-goal-line event by many early-stage entrepreneurs.

It could take a few more years, but IPOs will be back. And when they return, plenty of our 25 Emerging Companies are sure to participate. Others will remain in private hands, happily reinvesting cash to expand their empires. Yet others will bulk up through mergers and acquisitions.

What all these Midstate companies have in common is some combination of a promising business plan, skilled management and a lucrative market opportunity. These are the ingredients necessary for success several years down the road.

In the process of arriving at the final list of 25, Nashville Post compiled a far lengthier list of companies across all industries. They were studied for their prospects going forward, not so much for their current conditions. While some of them already are succeeding brilliantly, many are still building the base for future profits.

The final list includes companies like Murfreesboro's Consumers Insurance, which has rebounded and is beginning to prosper under new top management, as well as America's PowerSports, the perfect combination of veteran management and astute institutional investment. Then there's National Seating & Mobility, the Franklin company that is the nation's biggest in its field, yet continues to grow without ever formalizing an expansion strategy.

These three typify the 2002 list. Of course, not all Nashville-area businesses with bright prospects are present. It wasn't our objective to compile an exhaustive list ranked in order of their relative potentials. Instead, we sought out less publicized companies that are doing the things that will make them the successes of tomorrw, and no doubt, the IPOs an M&As of tomorrow, as well.

The list includes: (in alphabetical order)
  • AIM Healthcare
  • America's PowerSports Inc.
  • Ardent Health Services
  • Automated Pharmacy Integration
  • Avondale Partners
  • Consumers Insurance USA
  • Cybera
  • DigiScript Inc.
  • Edgenet
  • FirstBank
  • HCCA International
  • Healthcare Management Directions
  • Horizon Resource Group
  • iPayment Holdings
  • IXT Solutions
  • Jabez Networks
  • Link2Gov
  • MXISystems Inc.
  • National Seating & Mobility
  • NotifyMD
  • Psychiatric Solutions Inc.
  • S&S Family Entertainment
  • Southern Land Co.
  • StreamCast Networks Inc.
  • Symbion Inc.

    Copyright 2001 Jabez Networks or used by permission. All rights reserved.